Hello Mithriel,

Quote Originally Posted by Mithriel View Post
I was reading a novel which had a lot of detail about shell shock and WW1. Not the same as a factual book, but it got me interested and if I feel well enough I will try to find out what I can.

I think it is important for us because some of the ideas of somatisation and hysteria come from studies of soldiers. There were psychiatrists who got very interested and did lots of work, some compassionately. (Though the criteria for damage was changed to reduce the number of pensions paid out.)

Recently, they have shown that percussive damage causes micro brain injuries. They are trying to develop helmets which will cushion the brain because as it is shook by blast small tears and damages occur which do not show up easily but cause lasting problems.

I am convinced that many of the cases of "shellshock" and the like were actually percussive damage. The strange movements, dystonias and tics of ex soldiers were seen as psychological and experiments done then are the basis for somatisation in neurology.

One experiment struck me. When soldiers with difficulty walking were hypnotised they resumed a normal gait. This was taken as proof that psychology cause walking difficulties. Yet if one part of the brain was sending a signal causing contractures then deep relaxation could damp down that signal and release the muscle to walk properly. I doubt if they had the men walk far and they may well have exaggerated how "normal" the gait was the same way "recovery" for us is so far from the usual meaning of the word.


Meant to say thanks to Orla for all the information, very interesting.

Quite so: Just as I thought (hypnotised, the brain uses other circuiting than not hypnotised, and since hypnosis is unexplained, mostly, the reasoning used for the "proof" is fallacious).

Also, a very nice novel about it is Reginald Hill's "The Wood Beyond", who seems to treat Farr's case, novellistically but quite well. I think you'll like it if you didn't read it: he is an excellent and witty writer.

Best wishes,