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DOI: 10.18413/2408-932X-2016-2-1-40-45

WAR AND MENTAL TRAUMA: REFLECTIONS ON PSYCHIATRIC LOSSES IN WARS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

The paper reports on psychological disorders throughout the history of wars in different regions and various ways of their treatment. War related psychological disorders are common not only in war veterans and their superiors, but also in civilians. This is why preventive activities, such as strengthening the resistance to fear, anxiety and panic, are extremely important. The experience gained in previous wars should be relied upon when working with combat troops and the principles of treatment of psychologically traumatized should be applied in stages. In addition to discussing psychiatric losses in recent wars, we shall present our experiences as military psychologists with troops and commanders during recent wars on the territories of former Yugoslavia. The majority of cases reflected the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), while disorders occur and/or intensify after the war, in which trauma was suffered. The paper discusses the cases of several soldiers and commanders who were referred to specialists for psychiatric examination. The findings emphasize the importance of preventive activities to increase combat morale and of the necessity to strengthen resistance to fear and panic in war situations.
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