Prof. Rachel Dekel – Adjustment profiles of Yom Kippur war veterans seeking delayed help from the IDF

Prof.-Rachel-Dekel

Abstract

The most common stress reactions following combat are post-traumatic stress reactions. These responses have a great impact on quality-of-life and can damage victims’ personal, familial, and social functioning. However, of the people who develop PTSD, only a few request psychological help. The first aim of the research was, therefore, to examine the long-term adjustment patterns of Yom Kippur War veterans who sought help only after a period of more than 30 years. The second aim was to classify the participants according to a common symptom profile. The participant sample consisted of 195 Yom Kippur War veterans who went through a process of assessment and evaluation via intake interviews conducted between 2006 and 2012, when they came to the Combat Stress Reaction (CSR) unit. Data were collected from the participants’ files. The findings indicated that, by the time they arrived at the CSR Unit, 90.8% of the participants were experiencing PTSD. The findings support the argument that delayed onset of PTSD without a background history of symptoms is rare, and indicate that most people who seek help report that their low-level symptoms intensified over the years until these symptoms developed into clinically meaningful PTSD.

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