shell shock

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shell shock

1. dated Intense psychological damage or strain occurring as the result of prolonged combat engagement in warfare, resulting in myriad negative side effects such as nightmares, anxiety, emotional detachment, anger, and so on. The term was popularized during the First World War in reference to soldiers returning from combat; it is known in modern times as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and has expanded to cover the psychological damage caused by any kind of traumatic event. My brother came home with such terrible shell shock that I could no longer even converse with him as I had in the past. When you come back home with PTSD that doesn't line up with what they think shell shock ought to look like, it makes it hard for them to sympathize with you.
2. By extension, a state of utter disbelief, confusion, grief, or shock caused by a powerful and upsetting event. The family has been dealing with shell shock after finding out their father had gambled away their life savings. The fans seemed to be stricken with shell shock after their team—heavily favored to win the championship—were robbed of victory in the final seconds of the game.
See also: shell, shock
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

shell shock

Psychological adverse reaction to combat. The phrase originated during World War I when intensive enemy artillery bombarding caused soldiers in the trenches to suffer from a variety of traumas that ranged from moderate panic attacks to physical and emotional paralysis. Changes in warfare and psychological lingo caused the phrase to be replaced during the Second World War by “battle fatigue” and more recently to “posttraumatic stress disorder.”
See also: shell, shock
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
I think this image that's portrayed in film, in television shows and in post-war novels has been of an underage soldier and a shell-shocked soldier," says Iacobelli.
Fifty Shots Fired in Long Branch Streets to Subdue Shell-shock
The historians' debate on shell-shock dates back to Eric Leed's remarkable study of combat and identity in the First World War, No man's land (1979).
Peter Leese has written a carefully researched book on shell-shock, which essentially looks at three areas: the origins of the understanding of shell-shock in the British army in World War I; the treatment of shell-shock by British medical doctors; and finally, the post-war cultural legacy of shell-shock in Britain.
Sgt Evans added: "He is suffering from what in the old days would have been called shell-shock.
I've seen his court martial file and he spent five months in hospital for shell-shock. He was a genuinely ill man who had fought on the frontline at the Battle of the Somme, and they shot him.
He said: "We are calling for an end to this injustice by granting posthumous pardons to all those executed for offences such as cowardice, but who were suffering from shell-shock and other traumatic disorders."
They showed that many men traumatised by the horrors of trench warfare - who were suffering from shell-shock or whose minds had gone while trying to endure the heat of battle - were summarily executed because their mental stress wasn't understood.
She pointed out that they were more likely to have been shell-shock victims than cowards.
Most suffered shell-shock and really were in no state to make sound decisions.
By the shell-shocked rolled inside session, it Ireland had to They responded to being bundled out in 23.4 overs, their shortest innings on home turf, by bowling out their visitors for 207 on a chaotic 20-wicket day and then saw nightwatchman Jack Leach survive a solitary over at the close.
She considers the external factors that influenced clinical presentations of traumatized soldiers and how cultural and political factors impacted mental illness and the reactions of doctors and society, arguing that the challenge posed by shell-shocked soldiers and the need to maintain the fighting strength of the army led to a modernization of medicine and modern trauma therapies.
We would come away looking shell-shocked and pale.' was came looking shocked' s.