Archive footage of shell shock patients

I’ve just uploaded some archive film footage to YouTube of shell shock patients from World War One, taken from a recent Channel 4 documentary on soldiers executed for cowardice.

I was surprised to find that there is almost no video of this historically and clinically important condition on the internet.

The clip has footage of patients who displayed some extreme ‘shell shock’ reactions, including paralysis, shaking and convulsions.

These physical reactions are now considered a form of conversion disorder, where extreme emotional stress or turmoil is expressed as physical symptoms.

The clip also discusses the case of Private Harry Farr (covered previously on Mind Hacks) who was executed for cowardice, despite having been affected by the condition.

If you didn’t catch it the first we mentioned it, the recent article about his case that was recently published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine [pdf] is a gripping and thought-inspiring read.

Link to YouTube video of shell shock patients.
pdf of article ‘The life and death of Private Harry Farr’.

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