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Medieval Knights May Have Had PTSD

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Rowan
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Interest in HF: I love history, but it's boring in school. Historical fiction brings it alive for me.
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Medieval Knights May Have Had PTSD

Post by Rowan » Thu December 22nd, 2011, 2:26 pm

This is something I've never really thought about...
In movies, medieval knights are portrayed as courageous and loyal heroes who will fight to the death without fear or regret.

In reality, the lives of knights were filled with a litany of stresses much like those that modern soldiers deal with.
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu December 22nd, 2011, 2:54 pm

Fascinating article, Rowan. I know that PSTD is the chemical result of elevated levels of cortisol, and that does things to your innards over time. But I also agree with the researcher's comment that the knights (indeed, everybody in that time, and in this time too in countries like Sudan and Afghanistan) were less affected by the constant threat and violence because they were accustomed to the idea. Also, they had a religious answer for the afterlife to sustain them.

Acclimatization is key to how the body and psyche manage stress. I can compare my own journey as an animal breeder. The first llama I lost, our special pet, hit me so hard I felt miserable for months. By the time I'd had 250 and seen several births and deaths, I could take each incident more in stride. Especially after doing post-mortems with my wonderful vet, who would do them free as long as someone was there to assist. Also, having to deal with the remains in such a hands-on way helped me process much better than the times I didn't. I guess that's what they mean when they say a funeral (as in something where you have to deal with the fact that the person is gone) brings closure.

A death still isn't fun, but I have a longer view, and yes, my religious viewpoint is a great part of that. I know that my animals do not suffer after death, and that I will see them in heaven.

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