Long-Term Mental Sequelae of Torture in Iran-Who Seeks Treatment?


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Abstract

In this study, we investigated long-term mental sequelae of torture in Iran and explored differences between treatment seekers and nontreatment seekers. Thirty-four torture victims suffering from enduring mental sequelae and now living in Germany were examined. According to DSM-III-R, depressive, anxiety, and somatoform disorders were diagnosed with a high degree of comorbidity and with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) being the most frequent diagnosis. Treatment seekers had a higher level of psychopathology, particularly the PTSD symptoms of intrusion and increased arousal, and a poorer knowledge of German. They reported different ways of coping. The differences found between the two groups may reflect more or less successful adaptation to conditions in the host country and contribute to the motivation to seek treatment.

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