Author Information

Julia Swirbalus


This article explores the origins of the understanding of trauma and post- traumatic stress disorder through analyzing the written work of Charles S. Myers who studied and treated soldiers suffering from “shell shock” in World War I. As a result of Charles S. Myers’s research, recognition of causations and symptoms, and treatment of soldiers with “shell shock” during the Great War he unknowingly provided the world with a basic understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder and how stress effects humans. I argue without Charles S. Myers’s research and various publications regarding “shell shock” it is hard to say if the modern criteria of post-traumatic stress disorder would have been developed.

Note on the Author

Julia R. Swirbalus is a recent graduate of Bridgewater State University who double majored in Criminal Justice (concentration in Victimology) and History, with a minor in Social Studies. This article was written in the spring of 2019 for Dr. Leonid Heretz (History) for a Proseminar on World War I. This project guided much of her further research in her directed study with Dr. Jamie Huff (Criminal Justice) as well as her History capstone with Dr. Paul Rubinson (History).

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