Psychological effects of combat stress
AbstractDoctors who worked during American Civil War were between those people who first described the psychological problems that soldiers got when they returned home. As R. Gabriel notes, the number of distraught soldiers wandering around the country was so great that it caused public outcry. Therefore, in 1863 the first military psychiatric hospital was established in America. Most of the diagnoses were identified as «nostalgia». Also, to provide psychotherapeutic assistance special houses for veterans were created. Russian physicians were those ones, who first explored psychological problems which appeared as a result of the soldiers’ combat stress. Also, they made an attempt to diagnose and treat soldiers’ combat shock in the immediate vicinity of the front line. It’s a well-known fact that during the war between Russia and Japan in 1904 there was created the department for mental disorders treatment on the basis of Harbin Military Hospital, headed by G. Shumkov. According to his observations, such psychic phenomenons as dreams about fighting episodes, increased irritability, weakening of will, a sense of brokenness can be observed in many months after leaving the battle. He considered fatigue and emotional upheavals as the main causes of the mental combat wounds. “War” phenomenon as the main cause of neuroses and psychoneuroses among Russian soldiers, who participated in the war between Russian and Japan, was considered by M.Astvatsaturov, V. Bekhterev, A. Gerver and others. Nowadays it is determined that 90-95% of servicemen who took part in hostilities taking into account their total number, and who got medical hospital courses, are required further psychocorrectional and psychotherapeutic assistance. Also, all those servicemen, who got traumatological and/or surgical care, regardless of the severity of their injury, age and specificity of the official activity, need psychological help. As it has been diagnosed, 23% of the military staff obtained acute stress reactions, individual symptoms of PTSD – 32%, adaptation disorders – 35%, post-traumatic stress disorder – 10%.
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