Book ID: CBB415503478

PTSD: A Short History (2018)


Horwitz, Allan V. (Author)

Johns Hopkins University Press

Publication Date: 2018
Physical Details: 256 pages
Language: English

Post-traumatic stress disorder―and its predecessor diagnoses, including soldier’s heart, railroad spine, and shell shock―was recognized as a psychiatric disorder in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The psychic impacts of train crashes, wars, and sexual shocks among children first drew psychiatric attention. Later, enormous numbers of soldiers suffering from battlefield traumas returned from the world wars. It was not until the 1980s that PTSD became a formal diagnosis, in part to recognize the intense psychic suffering of Vietnam War veterans and women with trauma-related personality disorders. PTSD now occupies a dominant place in not only the mental health professions but also major social institutions and mainstream culture, making it the signature mental disorder of the early twenty-first century. In PTSD, Allan V. Horwitz traces the fluctuations in definitions of and responses to traumatic psychic conditions. Arguing that PTSD, perhaps more than any other diagnostic category, is a lens for showing major historical changes in conceptions of mental illness, he surveys the conditions most likely to produce traumas, the results of those traumas, and how to evaluate the claims of trauma victims. Illuminating a number of central issues about psychic disturbances more generally―including the relative importance of external stressors and internal vulnerabilities in causing mental illness, the benefits and costs of mental illness labels, and the influence of gender on expressions of mental disturbance―PTSD is a compact yet comprehensive survey. The book will appeal to diverse audiences, including the educated public, students across the psychological and social sciences, and trauma victims who are interested in socio-historical approaches to their condition.Praise for Allan V. Horwitz’s Anxiety: A Short History"The definitive overview of the history of anxiety."―Bulletin of the History of Medicine"A lucid, erudite and brisk intellectual history driven by a clear and persuasive central argument."―Social History of Medicine"An enlightening tour of anxiety, set at a sensible pace, with an exceptional scholar and writer leading the way."―Library Journal

Reviewed By

Review Mical Raz (2019) Review of "PTSD: A Short History". Journal of American History (pp. 489-490). unapi

Review Paige L Sweet (2019) Review of "PTSD: A Short History". History of Psychiatry (pp. 379-380). unapi

Review Allan Young (2020) Review of "PTSD: A Short History". Social History of Medicine (pp. 659-659). unapi

Review Hans Pols (2020) Review of "PTSD: A Short History". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 910-911). unapi

Review Hans Pols (2020) Review of "PTSD: A Short History". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 910-911). unapi

Review Edgar Jones (2019) Review of "PTSD: A Short History". Bulletin of the History of Medicine (pp. 144-146). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Schioldann, Johan
Revuelta, José I. Pérez
Moreno, José M. Villagrán
Appignanesi, Lisa
Wright, David
Crozier, Ivan
History of Psychiatry
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Spontaneous Generations
Cambridge University Press
W. W. Norton & Co.
Oxford University Press
Pickering & Chatto
Alliant International University
Mental disorders and diseases
Disabilities; disability; accessibility
Medicine and culture
Moreau de Tours, Jacques Joseph
Down, John Langdon Haydon
Wimmer, August
Time Periods
19th century
21st century
20th century
18th century
17th century
Early modern
United States
Great Britain

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