The medical discourse on military psychiatry and the psychological trauma of war: World War I to DSM-III Public Deposited

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  • THE MEDICAL DISCOURSE ON MILITARY PSCYIATRY AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMA OF WAR: WORLD WAR I TO DSM-III
Last Modified
  • March 22, 2019
Creator
  • Levandoski, Rachel
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
Abstract
  • Using the professional journals of the mental health community this thesis discusses how the discourse on psychological trauma and the trauma of war developed within the psychiatric profession during the twentieth century. During WWI military psychiatrists attempted to master the dual responsibilities of treating and preventing war neuroses. Then, during and after WWII, the professional discourse acquired greater nuance when the mental health community sought to understand the chronic nature of some trauma-related neurotic conditions. The thesis concludes with the public and professional debates on the psychological trauma of war during and after the Vietnam War, which culminated in 1980 with the acceptance of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by the mental health community as an official diagnostic category. Whereas some scholars argue that PTSD was a social construction of the post-Vietnam era, this thesis demonstrates that the theoretical foundations of the diagnosis developed long before American involvement in Vietnam.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Lee, Wayne
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  • Open access
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