Was "The Beat Generation" of the 1950s PTSD?

I was watching a Perry Mason episode, which featured some 'beatnick' types. They explained how they felt lost, depressed, and "beat", withdrawing from society, into drugs, alternative life styles- that whole Beat Generation thing. The more they expressed their sentiments, the more it sounded like PTSD. This is occurred from 1948 through the 50s. This is also when millions of guys were back home, from WWII, with undiagnosed PTSD. They knew about "shell shocked", but they didn't understand PTSD. This was a TV program, but it struck me how similar the "Beat" symptoms were to PTSD. I'm not a scholar or anything, but it got me wondering if that whole "Beat Generation" was PTSD???
 

Keesha

Playful Scamp
Location
Canada
I was watching a Perry Mason episode, which featured some 'beatnick' types. They explained how they felt lost, depressed, and "beat", withdrawing from society, into drugs, alternative life styles- that whole Beat Generation thing. The more they expressed their sentiments, the more it sounded like PTSD. This is occurred from 1948 through the 50s. This is also when millions of guys were back home, from WWII, with undiagnosed PTSD. They knew about "shell shocked", but they didn't understand PTSD. This was a TV program, but it struck me how similar the "Beat" symptoms were to PTSD. I'm not a scholar or anything, but it got me wondering if that whole "Beat Generation" was PTSD???
Wow. What a slap in the face for anyone who actually has a real diagnosis of ptsd and I didn’t get it from feeling lost within this world or from taking drugs. From my personal experience and those of others with ptsd, it’s a serious condition caused by severe trauma and it is never cured; only managed.

Note: I wasn’t part of the Beat Generation.
 

Pepper

Active member
Beatniks were an expressive, non-conformist people deliberately challenging WASP society. They were a group who prized art, intellect and sexual experimentation. They dealt with racism, sexism and a host of social issues. To boil it down to ptsd is a denigration of their creativity and societal trailblazing. They were hipster pioneers!
 

RadishRose

Well-known member
Location
Connecticut USA
Wow. What a slap in the face for anyone who actually has a real diagnosis of ptsd and I didn’t get it from feeling lost within this world or from taking drugs. From my personal experience and those of others with ptsd, it’s a serious condition caused by severe trauma and it is never cured; only managed.

I didn’t get it from feeling lost within this world or from taking drugs

.
No, feeling lost or turning to drugs are symptoms of the trauma, not the cause, if I understand you correctly, Keesha. Sorry if I didn't.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder isn't always caused by war!

Military personnel joining WW2 toward the end at ages 18-20 or so, would only 23 to 25 or thereabouts, certainly could be victims of PTSD. Even older
 
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RadishRose

Well-known member
Location
Connecticut USA
Beatniks were an expressive, non-conformist people deliberately challenging WASP society. They were a group who prized art, intellect and sexual experimentation. They dealt with racism, sexism and a host of social issues. To boil it down to ptsd is a denigration of their creativity and societal trailblazing. They were hipster pioneers!
And mostly that, too @Pepper !
 

Keesha

Playful Scamp
Location
Canada
Yes. Sorry. I did not read this correctly.
This was about a total movement and not really about ptsd. Ptsd is merely suspected as being part of the movement which is still a bit crazy but I get it.
 

Keesha

Playful Scamp
Location
Canada
No, feeling lost or turning to drugs are symptoms of the trauma, not the cause, if I understand you correctly, Keesha. Sorry if I didn't.

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome isn't always caused by war!

Military personnel joining WW2 toward the end at ages 18-20 or so, would only 23 to 25 or thereabouts, certainly could be victims of PTSD. Even older
Yep! I’m famous for mixing stuff up🤭😝
 

fmdog44

Well-known member
Location
Houston, Texas
All soldiers from all countries suffer long after the wars end in so many ways and all governments don't give a damn about them. For us perhaps WWI had the worst impact on them because of the high rate of close quarters killing.
 

Keesha

Playful Scamp
Location
Canada
All soldiers from all countries suffer long after the wars end in so many ways and all governments don't give a damn about them. For us perhaps WWI had the worst impact on them because of the high rate of close quarters killing.
I agree and it’s disgusting how quickly these very people who fought for their own country get forgotten about or get treated like they are a burden.
 
Original Poster
I probably should explain what I meant by his post. After WWII, there was a social event, which was called the Beat Generation, this was not just a literary excursion. but a subculture that lasted for several years. It was marked by deep depression, withdrawal from society and its norms, drug use, and hyper-sexuality. It was primarily a male phenomenon under 30. I was wondering if the "Beqat Generation" was really PTSD showing up in WWII vets, since the symptoms seem so similar and who was affected by it- post WWII males. I put this out as a question, not as a statement of fact.
 

Butterfly

Well-known member
I'm thinking that most of the beatniks were too young to have served in WW2.

I think so, too. Beatniks were much younger-- most of them would have been born after the war, or maybe in the middle of it, but too young to have served.

Besides, the stuff they did doesn't look like PTSD -- my husband was afflicted with PTSD after two tours in Vietnam and what he went through didn't look anything like the beatniks. Would have been a hell of a lot easier if it had.
 

MeAgain

Active member
I've never seen this clip before. Thanks for posting it, Trade. George Carlin sure had his finger on the pulse beat of America, didn't he?

I liked what he said but I didn't like all the F-Bombs he put in almost every other word at times.
My favorite Carlin saying,

" its a club and you ain't in it".
 

SeaBreeze

Endlessly Groovin'
Location
USA
The first beatnick I ever knew of, Maynard from the Dobie Gillis Show, he mentions 'beat generation' in this clip.

 


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