Combat and post-traumatic stress disorders in military veterans are not new, though the conditions have been called many other names throughout the years: "insanity" and "melancholia" during the Civil War, "shell-shock" during World War I and "combat fatigue" during World War II.
Top military leaders are now addressing the lingering effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, (PTSD) which were ignored for many years because they were seen as a sign of weakness. Last week, Gen. George Casey, the chief of staff of the U.S. Army, called PTSD "the defining military health issue of our era."
Consider that statement alongside the much-recounted story from World War II, when Gen. George S. Patton infamously slapped a solider suffering from "nervous exhaustion" in a military hospital and ordered him back to the front.
That story, and others from wars stretching from the Civil War to the current battles in Afghanistan and Iraq are chronicled in a new HBO documentary, Wartorn 1861-2010, which combines footage, interviews and documents to examine the effects of PTSD on soldiers returning from the battlefield. Read More HERE