ARTSAKH – 44-day war led to serious traumatic health and psychology manifestations, despite physical losses.

The Artsakh people, soldiers, as well as their relatives, who have seen the horrors of war, are in worse condition.

What kind of psychological and mental problems did our Artsakh compatriots face as a result of war, who survived all that tragedy? ‘‘Iravunk’’ tried to find the answer to this question from HAKOB HAKOBYAN, the Head of the Forensic Psychiatric Commission, next to the Ministry of Health of The Republic of Artsakh, who mentioned the following referring to war and post-war depression,

-In general, the war horror is one of the main human organs, which suffers, that is the psychic function of the central nervous system. We had acute stress disorders from the very beginning of the war. Then during the war, the mental state of a person seems to get adapted to the war, but we have acute disorders at that time. Some time after the end of the war, we are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, which manifests itself both in the form of mental disorders and physical disorders.

-May post-traumatic stress cause mental disorders?

– Mental disorders appear later, which are the distant consequences of post-traumatic stress disorder. Unfortunately, the population of Artsakh and the Armenian people in general are constantly under stress disorders. And we’ve been dealing with mental disorders since the war in the 1990s. They were both traumatic and reactive. We will still deal with the effects of the mental disorders of the 2020 September war. Today we will not have an increase in mental disorders, as the pain is still fresh, we will have forms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and we will have more consequences of this war in a few years.

– In other words, is it possible for the post-traumatic stress to not won’t cause serious problems at the moment, and it will only rise in a few years?

– Yes, we will have the symptoms of mental illness, which psychiatrists have to deal with, after some time. And that’s why psychologists and psychotherapists now have to work very hard to prevent post-traumatic stress disorder from turning into a psychiatric illness.

– Do psychologists work with our people of Artsakh today in order to neutralize the problems you mentioned?

– Yes, as the 90s’ war wounds of Artsakh were still fresh, that is why the psychological services were better established in Artsakh than in Armenia. It is another matter that we have a problem working with the military who have gone through the whole war. Of course, we have a psychological rehabilitation center in Armenia, which has a very positive effect, it would be desirable to have a similar structure in Artsakh, to work with the servicemen of Artsakh as well.

– Mr. Hakobyan, do you have concrete statistics on people with mental illness in Artsakh?

– It will be difficult to say in terms of numbers, but I think it does not differ in any way from the statistics of Armenia, maybe it’s a little less. As the people of Artsakh, always living in a more tense state, their mental state is more adapted and strong. Maybe that is why we do not have a high level of mental illnesses in Artsakh. But at the same time, what we have is disturbing.

Interview by ILONA AZARYAN’Artsakh.pdf