Marco Sarchiapone, Sanja Temnik, Federica Limongi, and Vladimir Carli
University of Molise, Campobasso, Italy; University of Primorska, Koper, Slovenia; Leonardo Foundation for Medical Science, General Hospital, Abano Terme, Italy
War and Suicide. Hauppauge, New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2009, 306 pages.
Wars have been, and they remain, a companion of humankind throughout the history. Every war means an adverse experience, which dramatically reaches into the life of every affected individual, as well as society as a whole, and inevitably, without compromise, demands adjustment to the new environmental conditions, which are colored by uncertainty, unpredictability and fear. During a war, the dynamics of human psychosocial functioning, including our behavior patterns, change profoundly, as one of the most basic human needs, the need for a structured environment, is left unsatisfied. This evokes feelings of pronounced anxiety and helplessness, which might, if they are intense enough, lead to long-term psychological damage, either in the form of mental disorder or prolonged personality change. In this chapter, we provide an overview of evidence for different determinants of human behavior during war-time and in the post-war era, the identification of which enables a holistic outlook on the acts of people, affected and driven by war-circumstances. We devote special focus to the effects of war on one of the most vulnerable population groups, when it comes to long-term detrimental effects of war, the children. With this chapter, we hope to contribute a few pieces into the puzzle of behavioral dynamics in the shadow of war-related (di)stress.