Today I'd like to welcome Smitten Historical Romance author, Janet Grunst ~Denise Weimer
Trauma has been with mankind since the beginning of time. But it took until the late seventeenth century for the physical and emotional consequences of it to be given a name. Traumatic stress can result from any experiences that cause intense anguish. It can begin during or after the event(s), be of short or periodic duration, and be triggered unexpectedly by a myriad of causes.
What we now refer to as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was identified by different names in the past in relationship to war. During the American Revolution, “Nostalgia” was the term for perceived homesickness and a general condition of melancholy. Those who suffered it experienced various problems such as loss of appetite, sleep disturbances, insomnia, physical weakness, anxiety, apathy, heart palpitations, irritability, fever, and depression. At the time, the effects of battle on men was often viewed as cowardice. Soldiers not only experienced combat but often existed under extreme conditions of exposure and a lack of food and clothing. After the Revolutionary War, some of these soldiers were considered insane. My post on America’s first mental health facility, Eastern State Hospital, established in 1773 in Williamsburg, is found at: https://colonialquills.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-first-mental-health-facility-in_17.html. In 1985, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation rebuilt a replica of the original hospital on its excavated foundations. It currently operates as a museum.
|The public hospital at Williamsburg|
|St. Elizabeth's c. 1909-32, National Photo Co.|
By the early twentieth century, the medical condition became known as “battle shock.” After WWI, it was referred to as “shell shock” and after WWII, “battle fatigue.”
While many Korean War combat veterans experienced traumatic events, many were not diagnosed or sought mental health treatment for battle fatigue.
It has been suggested that around 30% of returning Vietnam War veterans suffered from mental and emotional stress. A segment of society in the years during and following the war had a contemptuous attitude towards Vietnam veterans, portraying them as war mongers, baby killers, and drug addicts. It likely contributed to the high percentage of those suffering from the disorder. Even popular culture and movies often portrayed these veterans negatively. PTSD was eventually accepted as a diagnosis in 1980.
Fortunately, by the time veterans returned from subsequent wars, there has been acknowledgement, understanding, and treatment available for people enduring the consequences of trauma.
In my October release, Setting Two Hearts Free, both characters have experienced trauma. Donald Duncan joined the Patriot cause for noble reasons, but now the battle is internal. Returning home after six years to Virginia and a new life with Mary is his goal.
Mary Stewart spends the war years with her family at Stewarts’ Green. Daily, she prays for Donald’s safe return, eagerly waiting for him … until that day the evil side of war touches her.
Two hearts changed by a war. Two hearts left hurting and struggling to find the love and trust they once knew.
Janet Grunst is a wife, mother of two sons, and grandmother of eight who lives in the historic triangle of Virginia (Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown) with her husband. Her debut novel, A Heart Set Free, was a Selah Award winner. A Heart For Freedom was a Christian Indie Award winner. She also has a novella in The Highlanders: A Smitten Historical Romance Collection. A lifelong student of history, her love of writing fiction grew out of a desire to share stories that communicate the truths of the Christian faith, as well as entertain, inspire, and encourage the reader.