Treatment of the disabled during WWI By athena sandy

During WWI, the treatment of the disabled could be viewed as deplorable. Following the movement of eugenics, the murder and sterilization of disabled people was commonplace. People often were involuntarily sterilized for having hereditary conditions such as mental illness, epilepsy, "feeblemindedness," or physical deformities.

Although with "good" intentions, eugenics was carried out abhorrently, and with atrocious outcomes. In 1907, Indiana was the first state to enact sterilization laws "for confirmed idiots, imbeciles and rapists". The term idiots and imbeciles refers to the mentally disabled or "feeble-minded" people. Something as harmless as a learning disability could get you sterilized and something as insignificant as how your body or mind was made could determine whether or not you could have children or a significant other.

In the early twentieth century, the eugenics movement was split between two groups. Positive and negative eugenics. Positive eugenics encouraged the intercourse of people with superior genetics to others. Negative eugenics was the act of sterilizing and murdering people with bad genetics so they won't have children.

While the treatment of disabled people has improved from the early nineteen hundreds, it is not by much.

Shell Shocked

After coming back from World War One, many people suffered from a mental condition called "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder" or shell shock which is caused by prolonged exposure to warfare, especially bombardment. Symptoms of it were fatigue, tremor, confusion, nightmares and impaired sight and hearing. Many victims of shell shock were put into asylums and mistreated as the field of psychoanalysis was relatively new. Doctors struggled to find an answer to all of these puzzling symptoms and effects of the war. Women became shell shocked also from the never ending air raids. You can read more about it below.

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