Hist Psychiatry. 2011 Dec;22(88 Pt 4):465-76.
Abstract. The concept of traumatic neurosis conceived by Hermann Oppenheim (1858-1919) located post-traumatic nervous symptoms between hysteria and neurasthenia, considering them a consequence of physical reactions to fright and a cause of molecular tissue changes. As early as 1890, his concept was criticized at an international congress in Berlin. In February 1916, there was a significant debate of the issue in Berlin, and eventually Oppenheim’s concept was completely defeated at the war meeting of German neuropsychiatrists in September 1916 in Munich. In the Berlin debate, a range of views on war neurosis was presented. Partly as a result of this, but also due to the powerful position of Oppenheim himself, it was not until after the end of WWI that traumatic neurosis was excluded from medico-legal assessments. The differing views of physiological brain-mind relations from that time do not differ greatly from present concepts. However, Oppenheim’s traumatic neurosis with its more quasi-neurological picture should not be equated with PTSD.