The Evil Hours

By David J. Morris,

Book cover of The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Book description

“An essential book” on PTSD, an all-too-common condition in both military veterans and civilians (The New York Times Book Review).
 
Post-traumatic stress disorder afflicts as many as 30 percent of those who have experienced twenty-first-century combat—but it is not confined to soldiers. Countless ordinary Americans also suffer from PTSD, following…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Evil Hours as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Six months ago, I lost someone very close to me to suicide. This person had been suffering for years from complex post-traumatic stress disorder due to traumas endured both as a child and an adult.

I read this book in an attempt to understand more about the nature of PTSD, its causes and consequences.

The book is a harrowing account of the torment caused by PTSD, but also a history of the birth and development of the whole concept of PTSD (it gained recognition as a disorder thanks to the efforts of a group of Vietnam vets in the 1970s),…

For Morris, war was a siren call, “exalting” work that allowed him to “challenge death.” But once redeployed to the safety of America, he realized that months and years of waiting for the next bomb to explode had taught his body to react to potential threats in the environment that his mind rightfully ignored. A sack of trash at the side of the road. A car backfiring. A restless crowd. For the combat veteran, these everyday triggers can generate a crippling flashback or a spiraling panic, the body shooting up flares of alarm before the mind has time to recognize…

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