Breaking the Stigma: The Psychological Trauma of the Ukraine Conflict
The conflict in Ukraine has been raging for more than a year and the psychological toll it has taken on soldiers is immense. Ukrainian troops are facing intense symptoms of psychological stress, including nightmares, poor sleep, guilt, anxiety and panic attacks. Even with the prospect of a victory in 2023, as proclaimed by President Volodymyr Zelensky, the psychological strain of the war continues to be felt by troops across the country.
The war effort has been exacerbated by an acute shortage of artillery shells, which Washington and its allies have worked to address. Russia is facing an ammunition shortage of its own, leading to anxiety about a potential Ukrainian counteroffensive.
The stigma surrounding mental health is a major factor in many troops not seeking care for psychological issues. Mental health discussion is still considered taboo, especially for men and soldiers, leaving many to suffer in silence. A soldier interviewed by The Post said, “It’s a pain and a suffering you bestow upon someone else.”
The psychological trauma of the conflict in Ukraine is an invisible wound that has not been given its due attention. It is time to break the stigma and provide soldiers with the mental health support they need to cope with the trauma of war.
0. “Ukrainian soldiers aren't leaving the front lines for mental health” Business Insider, 10 Mar. 2023, https://www.businessinsider.com/ukrainian-troops-front-lines-mental-health-not-seeking-care-2023-3
1. “How Russian Forces in Ukraine Are Learning to Fight: U.S. Veteran Trainer” Newsweek, 13 Mar. 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/how-russian-forces-ukraine-learning-fight-american-veteran-trainer-1787239
2. “Russia's war hawks say attrition has backfired in Ukraine: ‘We have no rounds'” Washington Examiner, 13 Mar. 2023, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/russia-attrition-backfired-no-rounds
3. “Traumatic stress, an invisible wound, hobbles Ukrainian soldiers” The Washington Post, 10 Mar. 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/03/10/ukraine-war-post-traumatic-stress