Invisible Scars

Mental Trauma and the Korean War

Meghan Fitzpatrick

  • Published: 2017. Paperback May 2018
  • Subject Listing: Asian Studies / Korea; Health
  • Bibliographic information: 196 pp., 15 illus., 1 map, 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

Invisible Scars provides the first extended exploration of Commonwealth Division psychiatry during the Korean War and the psychiatric-care systems in place for the thousands of soldiers who fought in that conflict. Fitzpatrick demonstrates that although Commonwealth forces were generally successful in returning psychologically traumatized servicemen to duty, they failed to compensate or support in a meaningful way veterans returning to civilian life. Moreover, ignorance at home contributed to widespread misunderstanding of their condition. This book offers an intimate look into the history of psychological trauma. In addition, it engages with current disability, pensions, and compensation issues that remain hotly contested.
Meghan Fitzpatrick is a SSHRC postdoctoral research fellow in war studies at the Royal Military College of Canada.

"Invisible Scars is a groundbreaking account of the psychiatric treatment of Commonwealth Division soldiers during the Korean War. Clearly written and well researched, it adds significantly to our understanding of this conflict and what the soldiers endured."
-Terry Copp, professor emeritus of history, Wilfrid Laurier University

1. Brave New World: Organization of Wartime Psychiatric Medicine, 1914-50
2. Together We Stand: Inter-Allied Cooperation and Quality of Care
3. For the Common Good: Mental Health and Maintaining Morale
4. Weathering the Storm: Psychiatrists and Soldiers in the Field, 1950-53
5. Forever Changed: The Korean War, Veterans, and the Pensions System

Conclusion: Korea and Its Legacy