Many Russian soldiers are mentally ill from the war in Ukraine. Ukrainians are also affected – but they know how to help.
The essentials in a nutshell
- The war in Ukraine is taking its toll not only physically but also psychologically.
- That is why Ukraine employs many psychologists.
- These teach soldiers how to deal with stress and anxiety.
The war in Ukraine has been going on for over a year now. The morale and morale of the Russian troops was devastating.
But what about Ukrainians? The mental state here must be very good. The New York Times reports how well military psychologists care for soldiers.
Deputy battalion commander Ihor Bahniuk told the newspaper: “Boys came to me from their position and said that they (…) are under stress and need support. You can’t do it alone.” As the war dragged on, people needed more help.
Colonel Dombrovsky heads a team of several dozen psychologists and trainers in the Ukrainian army. Each group conducts 60 to 90 training sessions per month, including group therapy and individual sessions.
Referring to the war in Ukraine, Rodion Hryhorian, a military psychologist, explains: “Sometimes soldiers don’t even know what the problem is. This training will help them figure it out.” Also what they should focus on and how they can “control their mind and thoughts”.
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Practitioners teach various breathing techniques to reduce stress. This is to prevent soldiers from panicking in the event of an attack. Both physical and mental exercises are a topic. The opportunity to express oneself in meetings is also very important.
“Panic Spreads Like a Contagion”
“It’s not just about life and death, it’s about losing your homeland, a relative… or the city you lived in. It evokes great fear,” says coach Oleksandr.
“When my brother panics, it rubs off on me,” she explains in a therapy session. “Subconsciously I switch to danger mode and affect my entire team with it.” Below is a “step-by-step” guide on how soldiers deal with victims of the panic of the war in Ukraine.
Soldier Constantin has been at the helm since November. At the end of a training session, he asks psychologists for advice on how to prevent himself from “freezing” on the battlefield.
He complains: “I have nightmares and sometimes I don’t even realize I’m asleep.” Let it be like a lottery, get his position. “Will it hit you or not?”
A soldier suffered a heart attack due to stress during the war in Ukraine
Another soldier, Volodymyr, says he suffered a heart attack while on duty. He did not believe that such a therapy session would cure his fear. “Imagine being surrounded by bombs and explosions for two weeks straight,” he begins.
“You can hide, and then you look up: a few meters away from you is a crater your entire body deep.” No one who has not experienced it can understand it.
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