[Observed, pursued, disintegrated--mental disorders among victims of non-criminal repressions in the former GDR].Psychiatr Prax 2007; 34(2):81-6PP
While there are numerous studies on the mental sequelae of political imprisonment in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), there is little knowledge about the prevalence of mental disorders in victims of other forms of political persecution.
74 individuals, who were subject to non-criminal repressions in the GDR, were investigated by means of a standardized psychiatric interview.
They had been exposed to a variety of reprisals such as observations, purposeful indiscretions, arranged professional failure and other forms of social marginalization. At least one mental disorder was found in 60 % of the participants. Affective disorders were the most common ones with a lifetime prevalence of 38 %, followed by anxiety (23 %) and somatoform disorders (28 %).
The frequency of mental disorders in our sample of politically persecuted people was higher than in the general population and similar to that of political prisoners, who only show higher rates of anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorders.