Krótki rys historii psychiatrii wojennej

Ryszard W. Gryglewski


A brief historical outline of wartime psychiatry

Fear and panic were with soldiers on the battlefield from most ancient times. Alarming symptoms, leading to a collapse of morale, discipline and frequent desertions were often observed after battles. Even though already in the sixteenth century, there was a separate term which defined the state of fatigue and apathy among soldiers – namely Heimweh, which later gave way to Schweizer Heimweh, it is only the 19th century which will bring the first change in the treatment of soldiers suffering from stress. Nevertheless it took subsequent decades and the nightmare of World War I to subject the problem to proper medical research. The concept of shell shock or battle fatigue later became more and more precisely defined as psycho-somatic disorders. Slowly, specialized programs were created both at the level of diagnosis and therapy respectively – for example the works of the Yerkes Committee, those of William HR Rivers, Charles S. Myers or Frederick W. Mott. In our contemporary times, we are more and more precise in talking about the factors causing distressing symptoms among soldiers and veterans. We are seeking for the best ways to prevent and neutralize the effects of stress attaining as a result an increasingly evaluated interdisciplinary research studies which involve specialized teams of psychiatrists and psychologists.

Słowa kluczowe: historia wojskowości, historia medycyny, medycyna wojskowa, psychiatria wojenna, stres pola walki

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