Shell Shocked Britain. The First World War's legacy for Britain's mental health.
Today, conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are well known and part of our 21st century vocabulary. Indeed, such conditions are known and recognised but in the war of 1914-18 these disorders were a new phenomenon brought on by the sheer horrors of industrialised warfare. Not only were men traumatised by what they had seen and experienced, by fear, by the conditions in which they lived and fought but also by the relentless and literally shocking noise of gun fire. All of these factors caused hitherto unseen responses to war, which had devastating effects on the sufferers and their families. The overarching name given to the condition at the time was "Shell-Shock". Shell Shocked Britain is certainly an appropriate title, for that is exactly what the nation became. A century on, the shock of that war has not entirely faded away and this is a long overdue book.
Author: Suzie Grogan is a London-born professional writer and researcher in the fields of social and family history and mental health. Suzie's first book Dandelions and Bad Hair Days: Untangling Lives Affected by Depression and Anxiety was published in 2012 and she also writes for a wide variety of national magazines. Suzie also runs a popular blog, 'No wriggling out of writing', and presents a local radio show on literature, called ‘Talking Books’.
Review published in Britain_at_War_february_2015.