From Shellshock to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

All welcome for the first in our series commemorating 100 years since the end of WW1

Prof. Suzanna Rose: ‘From Shellshock to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder’ – Tuesday 10 July

Dunsden Village Hall, RG4 9QG at 7.30pm – entry on door, £4 including refreshments.


Battle stress has been recognised since the sixth century BC and has had many names including shell shock, war neurosis, soldier’s heart, gross stress reaction, transient situation disturbance, tunnel disease, railway spine disorder, combat stress and Buffalo Creek syndrome. It was first named PTSD in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of 1980.

In World War 1, the British army viewed shell-shock as cowardice and desertion and it was often used as a pretext for execution. In World War II it was labelled by the Royal Air Force as evidence of a ‘lack of moral fibre’. Today it is more likely to be simply labelled as ‘stress’.

Suzanna Rose will look at responses to traumatic events over the centuries, including WWI shellshock, WWII battle fatigue and leading on to the formulation of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in the 1980s. We will look at causality and treatment options over the years. Current treatments will be discussed in some detail.

Professor Suzanna Rose (nee de Wreede) JP DL PhD MA RN lives in Henley on Thames and is a Visiting Professor of Psychology at the University of Reading.

She retired from the NHS in 2014 where she set up and clinically practiced in three specialist services treating Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. She was also head of Psychological Therapies and head of Research. She became a Governor of Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in 2015. She is President of the Berkshire Branch of the British Red Cross. In the past she has led several disaster responses both within the UK and overseas. She is also the Red Cross Representative Governor of the Royal Star and Garter Homes. She has published extensively and has spoken at conferences in many parts of the world.

In 2007 she was made a DL of the Royal County of Berkshire and 2012-13 she served as High Sheriff of the Royal County. She is married with two adult children and two grandchildren.


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