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Recognizing PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, was first listed as a medical diagnosis in 1980. However, it has been recognized and called by many different names throughout history. The first recorded description of PTSD is in the Epic of Gilgamesh, which dates back to 2100 B.C. In The Iliad and The Odyssey, Homer wrote about Trojan War soldiers exhibiting symptoms of PTSD. Shakespeare described a character in King Henry IV who suffered from post-traumatic nightmares.

During the Civil War, the terms “irritable heart” and “soldier’s heart” were used to describe PTSD symptoms. In World War I, it was...


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