Jean-Martin Charcot referred to these memories as "mental parasites," and this conception recurs in the writings of Pierre Janet and Sigmund Freud on traumatic neurosis
and traumatic neurasthenia.
(3.) Douglas Kelley, "The Use of General Semantics and Korzybskian Principles as an Extensional Method of Group Psychotherapy in Traumatic Neurosis
," in General Semantics and Psychotherapy, Isabel Caro and Charlotte Schuchardt Read, eds.
According to Sigmund Freud in "Beyond the Pleasure Principle," the identification and the treatment process of traumatic neurosis
hinge on establishing the traumatic event as a visible condition via the articulation of discursive memory.
Prior to the publication, the condition we now know as PTSD was called "Traumatic Neurosis
," "Gross Stress Reaction," "War Neurosis," and "Combat Fatigue" (Resick, Monson, & Rizvi, 2008).
First applied to the victims of railway accidents (Charcot 1887) and then to the 'shell-shocked' soldiers of the First World War (Mott 1919; Freud 2001a; Myers 1940), the notion of psychic trauma came to public notice thanks to the works of Sigmund Freud, whose conceptualisation of traumatic neurosis
is still present in contemporary trauma critics such as Cathy Caruth (1995, 1996) or Roger Luckurst, who has described psychical trauma as:
Lear emphasizes that the traumatic neurosis
enables Freud to isolate the compulsion to repeat, which functions before the pleasure principle (trauma has a retrospective structure), and that traumatic neurosis
delivers a traumatic blow to Freud's theory of the mind (unconscious desire is inherently slippery).
In "Beyond the Pleasure Principle," Freud locates traumatic neurosis
at the limits of what he calls "sublimation" (1955, 18.7).
Irina Sirotkina, for example, compares the medical treatment of 'traumatic neurosis
' among Russian soldiers in the First World War with the handling of shell-shock in the West, finding the former to have been considerably milder and more 'relaxed' than the latter.
In the DSM-I, the precursor to PTSD was called "traumatic neurosis
." In DSM-II, it became "transient situational disturbances." This vague definition became more specific in the DSM-III, which introduced PTSD-qualifying stressors--a recognizable stressor that would evoke significant symptoms of distress in almost everyone, distress that is generally outside the usual human experience.
As a local description of a contingent and extraordinary phenomenon called traumatic neurosis
, this may be accurate enough; when yoked to Freud's universalizing proclivities--to the idea that we're all "structurally" traumatized--it becomes not just ahistorical in its tendency toward abstract universals, but antihistorical in its emphasis upon the atemporal structure of human time.
Freud (1920) suggested that individuals who survived traumatic events may develop what he termed traumatic neurosis
. One consequence of traumatic neurosis
is the survivors' compulsion to repeat elements of the traumatic event.
(3) For Freud, traumatic neurosis
arose from the response to threats to life.