Although we know more now than ever before about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, you could say that we are still very much in the early stages of understanding it. People only now really realize what is going on, how it can be a disability, and the type of assistance people need — often, veterans of foreign wars — to work through it.
However, that’s not to say that we never understood the impact of traumatic events. We just had different names for it over the years.
For instance, one of the earliest examples comes from the nineteenth century, when train travel was common. People who got involved in serious accidents often showed the impact of stress after the physical injuries healed, and doctors said that they had “railway spine.”
The evolution continued into the First World War. There, soldiers who fought in the trenches often came home with what was called “shell shock.” To a large degree, this name just came from the soldiers who, when asked how they felt after combat and why they felt that way, had a hard time putting it into words.
After the Vietnam War, the same exact issue had the name “delayed stress syndrome.” Some people at the time even went so far as to call it “post-Vietnam syndrome.”
What was clear, though, was that it wasn’t related to any specific war. It was just the result of trauma. That gave rise to the term PTSD in the 1980s, which we still use today.
If you’re suffering from PTSD or other injuries and issues, be sure you understand all of your legal options.