Shell shock  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Shell shock was the reaction of soldiers in World War I to the trauma of battle. It has been described as a reaction to the intensity of the bombardment and fighting that produced a helplessness appearing variously as panic, or flight, an inability to reason, sleep, walk or talk.

During the War, the concept of shell shock was ill-defined. Cases of "shell shock" could be interpreted as either a physical or psychological injury, or simply as a lack of moral fibre. While the term shell shock is no longer used in either medical or military discourse, it has entered into popular imagination and memory, and is often identified as the signature injury of the War.

In World War II and thereafter, diagnosis of "shell shock" was replaced by that of Combat stress reaction, a similar but not identical response to the trauma of warfare.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Shell shock" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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