War in Ukraine: “A strong and brave soldier is afraid of contractions, he wants to take refuge in wine”

Physical and Psychological Suffering of Caregivers in Ukraine: “How to treat others if you leave your family?”

What is your biggest concern right now?

How much longer we have to live and work in this environment is an unknown fact. At first we thought it would last a few months, then a year. A few weeks ago, we expected the counterattack to succeed. There, it’s been a year and a half and we don’t know when we’ll finally win.

How are your patients?

Most players and people seem to suffer from post-concussion shock, but that’s not the main issue right now. After all, it will be a big problem at the end of the conflict. Our problem today is anxiety disorders and depressive disorders. Many patients combine multiple emotional disorders because they are unable to adapt to this new environment, this new reality. They had to leave their homes, their cars, their jobs in Kherson or Zaporizhia, and give up everything they owned. They have nothing and are asked to start over with or without family. Some see it as a phase, while others feel that it is not temporary. For a year, a year and a half, you can tolerate this kind of thing, more time, your mind becomes clouded.

Ukrainian military relies on crowdfunding to support war effort: “Without their support, we can’t fight”

In the current climate, how can you help bereaved veterans?

Before you can help them, you have to approach them physically and mentally. Our biggest challenge is stigma. In most cases, a strong and brave soldier is scared to death of psychologists and psychiatrists. He likes to take refuge in alcohol, which causes even bigger mental problems. To reach out to these people, we need time, which we usually don’t have. Soldiers feel that we are not there when they are dealing with a traumatic event, that we are not on the front lines, and therefore cannot understand how they are feeling, let alone help them. We encounter profiles that jump at the slightest sound, check every corner of the room as they enter, and feel responsible for the death of their companions. They feel a lot of guilt and don’t need medication but need therapy. So the challenge is to achieve a small platform. If one soldier seeks help from a psychiatrist and it works, others eventually follow. Although most of them want only one thing: to return to the fight.

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How do you and your fellow doctors feel?

I’d be lying if I said I was fine. I’m sick”. I need significant psychological support from my colleagues and superiors. So I live things week by week, month by month. The more it progresses, the more I live and feel, to talk about the evolution of my mood, anxiety, depression, etc. But I’m not complaining.

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