Book: The Invisible Injured, by Adam Montgomery

Readers of h-madness interested in military psychiatry, shell shock, and PTSD might be interested in Adam Montgomery’s The Invisible Injured: Psychological Trauma in the Canadian Military from the First World War to Afghanistan, published by McGill-Queen’s UP in 2017.

The blurb reads:

“Canadian soldiers returning home have always been changed by war and peacekeeping, frequently in harmful but unseen ways. The Invisible Injured explores the Canadian military’s continuous battle with psychological trauma from 1914 to 2014 to show that while public understanding and sympathy toward affected soldiers has increased, myths and stigmas have remained.

Whether diagnosed with shell shock, battle exhaustion, or post-traumatic stress disorder, Canadian troops were at the mercy of a military culture that promoted stoic and manly behaviour while shunning weakness and vulnerability. Those who admitted to mental difficulties were often ostracized, released from the military, and denied a pension. Through interviews with veterans and close examination of accounts and records on the First World War, the Second World War, and post-Cold War peacekeeping missions, Adam Montgomery outlines the intimate links between the military, psychiatrists, politicians, and the Canadian public. He demonstrates that Canadians’ views of trauma developed alongside the nation’s changing role on the international stage – from warrior nation to peacekeeper. While Canadians took pride in their military’s accomplishments around the globe, soldiers who came back haunted by their experiences were often ignored.

Utilizing a wide range of historical sources and a frank approach, The Invisible Injured is the first book-length history of trauma in the Canadian military over the past century. It is a timely and provocative study that points to past mistakes and outlines new ideas of courage and determination.”

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