Dr. R.M. Jayatunge – Shell Shock to Palali Syndrome

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ptsd Not All Wounds are Visible

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is usually identified with war and violent trauma, the term was not introduced until 1980 as a new entry to the DSM-III. Throughout history men and women have made post combat adjustments to suppress the psychological wounds of war. To American history in the Civil War it was known as “Soldiers Heart”, World War I identified it as “Shell Shock”, by World War II it was labeled “Combat Fatigue”.  The identified characteristics of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder are marked by re-experiencing the trauma in thought, feeling, or dream content, which is in turn evidenced by emotional and psychological numbing. Psychiatrist Edward Tick, PhD, worked with post Vietnam combat veterans.  Dr. Tick discovered that these traits have been identified under 80 different names tracing back to ancient civilization.

Attached is Dr. Jayatunge’s latest contribution to the Brookhaven Blog community. It is titled “Shell Shock to Palali Syndrome” and provides a perspective of combat related PTSD from the experiences of Sri Lankan Army veterans of that country’s 30 year long Eelam (civil) War. It also presents a couple of interesting case studies of how Great Britain handled individuals “Shelled Shocked” in World War I.  Dr. Jayatunge brings to light the impact of prolonged exposure to actual combat on those who experience combat related psychological trauma. Whether it is called Palali Syndrome or any of the other 80 names identified by Dr. Tick, the harsh reality is that the damaging effects of combat related PTSD go far beyond the soldier and their family.

Click here to read Dr. Jayatunge’s article, “Shell Shock to Palali Syndrome.”

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