Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a relatively new term in the field of psychology, but the symptoms of the disorder have been observed throughout history.
400 BC - In ancient Greece, Homer describes the symptoms of PTSD in his epic poem, "The Iliad." The character of Achilles, a Greek warrior, experiences flashbacks, nightmares, and avoidance behaviors after witnessing the death of his friend Patroclus.
1598 - In his play "Henry IV," William Shakespeare depicts the character of Falstaff as suffering from the symptoms of what could be interpreted as PTSD, such as anxiety, avoidance, and detachment.
1860s - During the American Civil War, soldiers reported experiencing symptoms similar to what we now know as PTSD. At the time, the disorder was known as "soldier's heart" or "nostalgia."
1914-1918 - During World War I, soldiers were diagnosed with "shell shock" after experiencing trauma on the battlefield. Symptoms included physical tremors, anxiety, and nightmares.
1940s - After World War II, psychologists recognized that soldiers who had experienced combat trauma were at risk of developing a psychological disorder. The term "post-traumatic stress disorder" was not coined until the 1970s, however.
1980 - PTSD was officially recognized as a mental health diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in the third edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III).
1990s - PTSD became more widely recognized as a result of increased media coverage of traumatic events, such as the Gulf War and the Oklahoma City bombing.
Today - PTSD is a well-known and widely studied disorder that can affect anyone who has experienced a traumatic event, such as combat, sexual assault, or natural disasters.
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