Socio-cultural context and feelings of hatred and revenge in war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder 15 years after war in Kosovo

Ramadan Halimi (Department of Psychiatry, Gjilan General Hospital, Kosovo;)
Emond Dragoti (Department of Psychology, European University of Tirana, Albania;)
Hidajete Halimi (Regional Centre of Public Health, Gjilan, Kosovo;)
Nazife Sylejmani-Hulaj (Department of Psychiatry, University Clinical Centre, UCC-Prishtina, Kosovo)
Sevdie Jashari-Ramadani (Department of Psychiatry, Gjilan General Hospital, Kosovo;)

Mental Illness

ISSN: 2036-7465

Publication date: 24 February 2015

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Abstract

We aimed to assess, in socio-cultural context, the level of hatred and revenge in war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The sampling frame consisted of 215 Kosova War veterans, randomly selected. The Harvard Trauma Questionnaire was used to assess the prevalence of PTSD and Manchester Short Assessment of Life was used to assess social satisfactions. The participants were asked to declare the strength of feelings of hatred and revenge in the four preceding weeks by using four items scale: not at all, a little bit/sometimes, a lot and extremely. Willingness for action of veterans was assessed using three item scale: yes, no or maybe. A probability level of 0.05 was adopted to be considered as statistically significant for differences among groups. DSM-IV-TR criteria for PTSD (very similar to DSM-V) were met by 52.6% of veterans; the data have confirmed existence of thoughts and fantasies of revenge against opposing forces by 42.8% veterans; at the same level 42.8% manifested feelings of hatred. Fantasies of taking revenge a lot was recorded by 19.5% and extremely by 1.4% of veterans, while hateful thoughts at level a lot were likely expressed by 22.3% and extreme by 2.8% of veterans. It is important to note that 84.7% were confident to act based on their beliefs. Social-economic and cultural factors have played major role in the understanding of psychological problems of traumatized individuals with a direct impact on their ability to function socially. This study has confirmed the urgent need for the establishment of psychological rehabilitation programs as well as programs for the social and economic rehabilitation of War Veterans.

Keywords

Citation

Halimi, R., Dragoti, E., Halimi, H., Sylejmani-Hulaj, N. and Jashari-Ramadani, S. (2015), "Socio-cultural context and feelings of hatred and revenge in war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder 15 years after war in Kosovo", Mental Illness, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 1-4. https://doi.org/10.1108/mi.2015.5609

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015 R. Halimi et al.

License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (by-nc 3.0).


Corresponding author

Ramadan Halimi, Department of Psychiatry, Gjilan General Hospital, Murat Kryeziu No. 130, 60000 Gjilan, Kosovo.