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Concussion, traumatic brain injury and PTSD, what is the difference between them

War mercilessly takes away the health and mental peace of all those who participate in it. However, our defenders often face the negative impact of war on their lives, because participation in hostilities harms their physical and mental health. Among the injuries most often received by servicemen in battle, the following can be distinguished: traumatic brain injuries, contusions and post-traumatic stress disorder. Therefore, it is of particular importance for specialists who work with military personnel to develop a clearer understanding of the phenomenon of psychological trauma and various brain injuries, as this will help to make the psychologist's work with military personnel more qualitative and targeted.

The main area of work of a psychologist during the war is psychological assistance to servicemen with post-traumatic stress disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder is an extreme reaction to a strong stressor that threatens a person's life. The main difference between post-traumatic stress disorder and contusions and brain injuries is that with post-traumatic stress disorder, only mental health disorders occur in a serviceman, while the state of his physical health remains unchanged.

The main symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are:

  • increased anxiety;

  • unmotivated aggression;

  • feeling of chronic fatigue;

  • flashbacks;

  • uncontrollable desire for revenge;

  • lack of motivation for any activity.

Psychotherapy for military personnel is primarily aimed at relaxing the nervous system, helping him to socialize in a peaceful life, while psychotherapy for military personnel with brain injuries and contusions is primarily aimed at correcting and overcoming the consequences of a brain injury.

Militarymen with severe contusions are much less likely to be seen by a psychologist. A contusion is a general damage to the body as a result of a sharp mechanical impact, for example, from the explosion of a projectile (air, water or sound wave, hitting the ground or water, etc.). A contusion may not be accompanied by mechanical damage to organs and tissues, but have serious consequences for a person's future life.

The main symptoms of contusions are:

  • constant headaches;

  • significant hearing loss;

  • pronounced violations of memory and other cognitive processes;

  • periodic episodes of depersonalization;

  • stuttering.

The main task of psychotherapy for servicemen with concussions is the restoration of adequate work of higher mental functions and the adaptation of the serviceman to life with permanent brain disorders caused by the contusion.

And the last category of servicemen who can apply for the qualified help of a psychologist are servicemen with craniocerebral injuries. Craniocerebral injury is a condition that occurs as a result of traumatic damage to the brain, its shell, vessels, bones of the skull and outer coverings of the head.

Symptoms of brain injury are:

  • dizziness;

  • nausea;

  • temporary loss of ability to navigate in space;

  • strong physical weakness;

  • increased sensitivity.

As a rule, working with military personnel who have a history of severe brain injury is not the competence of a psychologist, however, in connection with the events taking place in our country, more and more psychologists encounter clients with a history of traumatic brain injury in their practice. which have a craniocerebral brain injury.

Psychotherapy of clients with severe craniocerebral injuries should be aimed at leveling mental manifestations caused by craniocerebral injury.

In this way, we can say that contusion and brain injuries to a greater extent harm a person's physical health, while post-traumatic stress disorder has a greater negative impact on a person's mental health.

In addition, it should be noted that the process of psychotherapy of servicemen with brain injuries and contusions has significant differences from the psychotherapy of servicemen with post-traumatic stress disorder. Thus, the psychotherapy of servicemen with contusions and craniocerebral injuries will be aimed at correcting and overcoming the consequences of the trauma, while the main task of the psychotherapy of a serviceman with post-traumatic stress disorder is the restoration of internal resources and the socialization of the serviceman in peaceful life.

Psychologist - Alyona Sadykina

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