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War and trauma in children: (II) trauma and its characteristics

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Traumas or features of mental health caused by war are overviewed as follows: 1. War experiences which resulted in PTSD symptoms, other various symptoms, and a remarkable deterioration in mental health index. 2. The prevalence of PTSD symptoms which depend on how exposed the children have been to war experiences (dose-effect relationship). 3. When the state of war is severe, risk factors which influence PTSD symptoms in children more than the absence of their parents, are their exposures to war, shortages in cloth/food/residence, or their refugee experiences. The positive factors which influence PTSD symptoms in children are how the children have spent their time in relief in shelter rooms during air raid alarms. For younger aged children, the latter factors are if the children have stayed with their mothers who are mentally stable and how well the children can command their visual image ability, when the state of war is less severe. 4. The onset of depression, that is found in many PTSD clinical cases, has a different mechanism from the above-mentioned, and it reflects the post-war stress of everyday of life. War trauma does not always create negatives. Some people have a fairy good ability in social activities, even when their PTSD symptoms are still present. Others can be healthy and sound or socially active and have resilience in spite of their severe circumstances.




Nagao, K., & Shindou, E. (2004, June). War and trauma in children: (II) trauma and its characteristics. IRYO - Japanese Journal of National Medical Services.

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