*Societal PTSD in Northern Ireland

Elliott et al,2006

Northern Ireland

“Can there be a societal form of PTSD?  Do other individual constellations have a societal parallel?  Are there implications for psychotherapists?  The answer is ‘yes’; but this must be systematically demonstrated….This paper describes some of the work of the Irish Institute for Psycho-Social Studies in studying the Protestant community in Northern and Southern Ireland, and particularly a paramilitary-dominated community in Belfast…..shows powerful parallels between the experience and attitudes of this community and the experience of individual PTSD….For psychotherapists there are important implications about the existence of cultural pathology in a client’s psyche – and perhaps the psychotherapist’s!”


Bell et al, 2007

Northern Ireland

Sample 643 adults seeking compensation for “Nervous Shock” – 23% diagnosed with PTSD – tended to be older, included more females, had more depressive symptoms, had more severe prolonged disturbance – “…The findings document our experience of PTSD in the special context of Northern Ireland and suggest it may be a more useful term in describing psychological reaction to violence than the nebulous concept of “Nervous Shock” used at present by our courts.”

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