oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen
oracne

notes on WWI/blindness and shell shock



William Rush Dunton, Jr., M.D. RECONSTRUCTION THERAPY. W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, 1919.

p. 110 "A further recommendation of Dr. Salmon's which is of considerable interest is that "No soldiers suffering from functional nervous disorders be discharged from the army until at least a year's special treatment has been given." Furloughs can be given when visits home will be beneficial, but the government should neither evade the responsibility nor surrender the right to direct the treatment of these cases. A serious social and economic problem has been created in England already through the establishment in its communities of a group of chronic nervous invalids who have been prematurely discharged from the only hospitals existing for the efficient treatment of their illness."

p. 111 When discussing occupational therapy, Salmon noted "Non-productive occupations should be avoided." [I wonder what was considered non-productive?]

p. 112 "The experience in English hospitals has demonstrated the great danger of aimless lounging, too many entertainments and relaxing recreations such as frequent motor rides, etc. It must be remembered that 'Shell Shock' cases suffer from a disorder of will as well as function and it is impossible to effect a cure if attention is directed to one at the expense of the other."

p. 113 "As Dr. H. Crichton Miller has put it, 'Shell shock produces a condition which is essentially childish and infantile in its nature. Rest in bed and simple encouragement is not enough to educate a child. Progressive achievement is the only way whereby manhood and self-respect can be regained."

"It has been found that the personality of those applying occupational therapy is of far greater importance than skill in crafts. Such a person should possess considerable tact, common sense, and a fertility of ideas and invention. The last so that adaptations can be made for special cases and purposes."

[Some of these things sound dire!] Puzzles, catches, card games, dominos, string work, paper folding and cutting, basketry, wood work, clay modeling, schoolwork, typewriting. Attendance at lectures. Physical games.

p. 117 Massage, hydrotherapy, Frenkel's movements.

p. 188 "The evils of the lack of occupation show more plainly perhaps in the blind than in any other group except the insane. The blind man who has not been trained in some occupation is very apt to develop dissipated habits [!] as a relief from idleness. As a consequence he causes trouble and becomes a nuisance or even menace to the community." Warns against "coddling...and...self-pity." p. 189 suggests teaching small tasks to get rid of feelings of helplessness.
p. 190 cane is also called an "antenna"
p. 191 Braille, Moon, and New York Point systems of reading
p. 192 [o-kay...apparently broom-making was a job regarded as "specially fitted" for blind men for a long period of time]
p. 194 "...the will to do brings about the accomplishment of anything. The problem, therefore, is to stimulate the will of the patient so that he makes the effort to accomplish the work he has chosen."

AMERICAN RED CROSS BASE HOSPITAL NO. 38 IN THE WORLD WAR. W.M.L. Coplin, Philadelphia, 1923.

p. 102 a handy list of ways in which soldiers could be blinded: "fragments of exploding shell and boring bullet," "force of concussion," burned corneas, "flying sand or other secondary projectiles," poison gas.

p. 113, in the chapter on the neuropsychiatric service:
"more than 10,000 'mental cases' are known...many of these poor devils (they went forth proudly as "our heroic soldiers"!) will never return to normal; their minds will ever be sweet bells out of tune [blerg]...They sit alone in darkness; though others weep with them, alas, they know it not. They are part of the 'wastage' that accompanies the 'glory' of war."

CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE NO. 12: DISABLED SOLDIERS AND SAILORS, PENSIONS AND TRAINING. Edward T. Devine, assisted by Lilian Brandt, Oxford University Press, NY, 1919.

p. 56 "The blind, like the deaf, constantly exhibit extraordinary capacity in winning their own way in spite of their handicap. The best service society can render them is to strengthen their self-confidence, to utilize every contribution they are capable of making, and to regard them at all times as entitled to self-respect, based not only on self-support but on a reasonable contribution to the welfare of others."


Tags: wwi, wwi research
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