Entering exile: trauma, mental health, and coping among Tibetan refugees arriving in Dharamsala, India.J Trauma Stress. 2008 Apr; 21(2):199-208.JT
Each year thousands of Tibetans escape Chinese-controlled Tibet. The authors present findings on the experiences, coping strategies, and psychological distress (depression, anxiety, somatization, and posttraumatic stress disorder) of 769 Tibetan refugees arriving in Dharamsala, India (2003-2004). Distress increased significantly with greater trauma exposure. However, despite a high prevalence of potentially traumatizing events, levels of psychological distress were extremely low. Coping activity (primarily religious) and subjective appraisals of trauma severity appeared to mediate the psychological effects of trauma exposure. The potential impact of other variables, including culturally determined attitudes about trauma and timing of assessment, are discussed.