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  • 1 Nemzeti Közszolgálati Egyetem, Rendészettudományi Kar, Kriminálpszichológia Tanszék, Kriminálpszichológia Kutatóműhely, , Budapest, Magyarország; University of Public Service, Faculty of Law Enforcement, Department of Criminal Psychology, Criminal Psychiatry Workshop, , Budapest, Hungary
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Összefoglaló. A poszttraumás stressz zavar (PTSD) egy súlyos mentális állapot, amely nehezen gyógyítható, és évtizedeken keresztül fennállhat. Gyakorisága 1–3%-ról világszerte 20% körülire emelkedett a COVID–19 járvány után. Az észlelt gyakoriság nem függött a vizsgált populációk érintettségétől: a gyakoriság közel azonos volt fertőzöttek, karanténba kerültek, pusztán életmódváltozást elszenvedők és egészségügyi szakemberek körében. Ez vetekszik a háborús helyzetekben tapasztaltakkal, azzal a különbséggel, hogy a modern háborúk a világ népességének kis részét, míg a járvány az emberiség tekintélyes részét érintette. A COVID–19 járvány lecsengése után tehát számolnunk kell azokkal a pszichiátriai jellegű károkkal is, amelyeket maga mögött hagy, köztük a PTSD áldozataival.

Summary. Almost 20 years ago McNally (2003) wrote a paper on the Vietnam War with the title “Psychiatric Casualties of War”, outlining that people may suffer psychological injuries in war beyond those that harm them physically. Like wars, epidemics also have “psychiatric casualties” e.g., people who avoid the dangers of the epidemic per se but do not survive the situation without harm. One possible form of impairment is psychiatric in nature; this category includes among others post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study addresses the question of how how much concern the COVID-19 epidemic raises in the long run for an increased incidence of PTSD. PTSD is a severe and difficult-to-treat mental disorder caused by traumatic stress i.e., an event that threatens life and/or physical integrity. It is usually attributed to disasters, war, and interpersonal violence, but it can also be caused by serious illness such as AIDS and cancer. The COVID-19 epidemic conforms to the concept of trauma in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, as the disease it causes is potentially life threatening. Thus, even a purely logical approach suggests that the epidemic may increase the incidence of PTSD, an assumption that is confirmed by numerous targeted studies. The pre-epidemic PTSD morbidity rate of 1-3% has risen to around 20% globally over the past year due to the COVID-19 epidemic. PTSD affected not only those who fell victim to the disease, but also those who have “merely” witnessed the development and spread of the disease, those who have been placed in preventive quarantine, and healthcare workers who have had the burden of treating the epidemic. Behind the global 20%, an uneven picture emerges. In certain populations and at certain times, the frequency was reported to be much lower (e.g., 8%) or much higher (e.g., 96%), depending on the specifics of the study participants, as well as the place and time of the investigation. Overall, however, the post-epidemic prevalence of PTSD appears to rival that observed in war situations, such as the Vietnam War. The difference is that modern wars mostly affect a small portion of the world’s population, while the COVID-19 epidemic affects almost the entire humanity. Recent events suggest that the epidemic will soon recede. However, the epidemic leaves behind a large number of people who have sustained long-lasting and severe mental injuries - including those who have developed PTSD. Tackling this problem is the task for the future, but it must be prepared in advance. To this end, the study also briefly maps the factors of inborn and acquired resilience in a new network science approach.

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Editor-in-Chief:

  • Tamás NÉMETH 
    (Institute for Soil Sciences and Agricultural Chemistry, Centre for Agricultural Research
    Budapest, Hungary)

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Editorial Board:

  • Melinda KOVÁCS (Szent István University Kaposvár Campus)Á
  • Miklós MARÓTH (Eötvös Loránd Research Network)
  • Charaf HASSAN (Budapest University of Technology and Economics)
  • Zoltán GYŐRI (Hungaricum Committee)
  • József HALLER (University of Public Service)
  • Attila ASZÓDI (Budapest University of Technology and Economics)
  • Zoltán BIRKNER (National Research, Development and Innovation Office)
  • Tamás DEZSŐ (Migration Research Institute)
  • Imre DOBÁK (University of Public Service)
  • András KOLTAY (University of Public Service)
  • Gábor KOVÁCS (University of Public Service)
  • József PALLO (University of Public Service)
  • Marcell Gyula GÁSPÁR (University of Miskolc)
  • Judit MÓGOR (Ministry of Interior National Directorate General for Disaster Management)
  • István SABJANICS (Ministry of Interior)
  • Péter SZABÓ (Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences (MATE))
  • Miklós SZÓCSKA (Semmelweis University)
  • János JÓZSA (Budapest University of Technology and Economics)
  • Valéria CSÉPE (Research Centre for Natural Sciences, Brain Imaging Centre)

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