Shell-shock and its Lessons


IN NATURE of September 6 there appeared, under the enigmatic title, “The Psychopathy of the Barbed Wire,” an exceptionally lengthy review of our little book on “Shell-shock and its Lessons.” In it Sir Robert Armstrong-Jones makes no reference whatsoever to the main themes to which practically the whole of the book is devoted. These are, first, the vital importance, in dealing with cases of illness due primarily to specific anxieties and mental conflicts (whether these are caused by the terrifying experiences of warfare or the worries of civil life), of discovering the real nature and causes of these anxieties and conflicts; and, secondly, the urgent need for the establishment of clinics in which patients afflicted with mental disturbance can be treated while they are still sane.

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SMITH, G., PEAR, T. Shell-shock and its Lessons. Nature 100, 64–66 (1917).

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