Professor Chaban's response to Dr. Arye Shalev's report "Surviving the hardships of war. Brief advice on survival for civilians in the circumstances of war stress"
It was generously provided for publication in our journal “Psychosomatic medicine and general practice” in the Ukranian professional media space.
The first thought one has when reading Professor Shalev’s analysis and the advice that is based on this brief but meaningful analysis by this well-known and thoroughly quoted author, is that Arieh Shalev is an optimist and someone who loves and values life. Perhaps such things come as a result of certain existential upheavals and living several lives at once. Both his life and his patients’. How was I able to arrive at such a conclusion. Because Arieh Shalev points out something that I also see in my patients. Despite all the shocks and adversity of the war, the genetic program to continue life and keep building again and again the map of their lives remains the foundation of people’s survival. That is what we see in Ukraine today. There are tens of thousands of refugees and internally displaced people. People have lost their families, their homes and work. They are transitioning out of the stress of catastrophic anxiety to the stress of fatigue and paranoia and still rebuild their map of reality, they adjust and live.
This scale of collective trauma, has never been encountered by the inhabitants of our country. So, an understanding of what to do and most importantly of what happens next and how people go back to their lives. Thus, Arieh Shalev’s advice is very much in demand. I work with people daily in the aftermath of acute distress and have marveled at how people can combine catastrophization and a psyche horribly violated and as a counterbalance an uptick in the number of marriages. Life prevails. The great idea of immortality – as biological continuity. Hurry and reproduce your DNA. This is also multiplied by the idea of immortality in the form of spirituality. Spirituality that is the noble cause of Ukrainians to transform the archetype of the Ukrainian people in a people that win and into an image of warriors defending their land. That is fantastic idea. Arieh Shalev is a wonderful professional. His works speak for themselves and this paper is no exception. We are sincerely grateful to Arieh.
With warm wishes, Oleg
Head of the department Medical Psychology, psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy
Bogomolets National Medical University, Kyiv, Ukraine.