I’ve been spending time with a friend who had a bad concussion about a little more than a year ago. I’ve also been corresponding regularly online with a friend who got a bad concussion a couple years ago.
Thus I’ve gotten more familiar with the long term effects of minor traumatic brain injuries, if you want to use the newer term, or concussions, if you want to use the older term.
Those effects can include more difficulty concentrating, more easily distracted, more easily frustrated, quicker to anger, and more mood swings in general.
Or as one of my friends put it, he is very glad his college has a disability program that gets him a quiet room to take tests in, as sudden loud noises disrupt his concentration and too much noise-making or loud chitchat during a test and he’d probably try to brain someone with his textbook.
So, here is my question: it would seem like there would be a lot more people (or at least men) with concussions or minor traumatic brain injuries in previous generations than now*. Was that part of the reason why so many fraternal and social organizations used to emphasize civility and decorum? That it wasn’t just part of the social expectations at the time, but there was also a much greater likelihood that some loudmouth who was too loud a few too many times was likely to have a close encounter with half a dozen easily frustrated, easily angered guys who’d had their concentrations shattered a few too many times by Mr. LookAtMe?
* Here is my reasoning:
1) World War I and World War II saw many more people in the service and I would assume many more people seeing combat than more recent wars such as Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, or even Korea.
2) There used to be a lot more manufacturing, trade, natural resources, and blue-collar jobs than there are now, all of which have a lot more physical risk than office jobs, and often those riskier jobs had less safety precautions than they do now.
3) People (or at least men) seemed to do a lot more crazy stuff, even up into the mid-80s. I regularly hear stories from previous generations that would turn the hair white of a lot of people in Generation X and Generation Y / Millenials who think they are bad asses for bicycling without a helmet.