Charles Dickens and Stress

Charles Dickens was one of the great writers in the history of the English Language.  Toward the end of his life, he was also a victim of what we now call “Post Traumatic Stress.”  He wrote about being “curiously weak…as if I were recovering from a long illness,” after a traumatizing railway accident in which the front of the train plunged off a bridge under repair and killed ten people while injuring fifty others.  Dickens wrote in letters to friends, “I begin to feel it more in my head.  . I sleep well and eat well; but I write half a dozen notes, and turn faint and sick.  I am getting right, though still low in pulse and very nervous.”  The author also wrote about being unable to travel by rail, because he kept getting the feeling that the train carriage was tipping over on its side, an image which he called “inexpressibly distressing.” He was never as prolific after this incident, and he died on the fifth anniversary of the crash.

In our Point Man Ministry, we offer a listening ear to combat veterans and to anyone else whose life has been shattered by brain-searing memories that can’t be purged.  We are not able to heal, but we can point the sufferer to a Man who can.


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