Shattered: The Effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

1738 WordsJun 21, 20187 Pages
In regards to the Civil War veterans he saw, Rev. J.L. Burrows once said, "It is not in human nature to be contented under physical restraints." This quote perfectly describes the feelings of soldiers taken prisoner during the Civil War. Many of these captives harbored feelings of resentment towards their captors, despite relatively mild prison camp conditions. However, these feelings of resentment soon turned to animosity as conditions went from mildly inconvenient to hellish nightmares. This will become apparent when given the history of the prison camps and examples of two of the worst offenders - Confederate led Andersonville in the South and Union run Elmira to the North. These fiendish prisons and their practices would leave a wound…show more content…
For example, if a soldier associates beans and cornbread with their time in the camp, they might avoid beans and cornbread in an effort to escape the memories. Next, there is paranoia. Paranoia hyper-sensitizes the sufferer to their surroundings. They might constantly feel on guard, be irritable, have difficulty focusing, be easily startled, or have troubles sleeping. The final, and perhaps most deadly, symptom of PTSD is depression. Depression comes with a host of its own symptoms, but perhaps the most common are not enjoying once enjoyable things, difficulty expressing loving feelings towards others, and even memory loss. Depression is not a trivial condition. It saps the energy and will out of sufferers and may even lead to suicide. PTSD from physical and psychological torment ran rampant through the ranks of Civil War prisoners. Among prison camps, the Confederate-operated Andersonville prison in Georgia takes the trophy for being the most extreme. Conditions at the camp were gruesome. The vastly overpopulated, unsanitary, and poorly supplied camp led to the demise of 12,000 captives at Andersonville, a gruesome figure that would torment those who lived among the dead. Upon his arrival at Andersonville, Union soldier Warren Lee Goss proclaimed, "As we waited the great gates of the prison swung on their ponderous oaken hinges, and we were ushered into what seemed to us Hades itself." Obviously the
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