[The Stasi persecution syndrome].Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr 1991; 59(7):251-65FN
For many years western psychiatrists only out of their clinical experience have known about a syndrome for which the name Stasi-persecution-syndrome will be used here. Stasi was the all powerful secret police of what was the East German Democratic Republic. The syndrome concerns an hitherto unknown number of the aprox. 50,000 survivors. It is a sequel of a form of persecution now more generally named torture. The characteristics of the persecution include arrestion, interrogations, degradation, humiliation, maltreatment, assault, mass detention in tiny rooms, hunger, cold, discrimination, defamation, disgrace, outlaw, social degradation, absence of rights, uncertainty of future, life threatening, and stigmatizing. The sequels resemble in many aspects of what is known by the psychiatry of the persecuted, but own a special flavor. Among the sequels are persisting and paranoid anxieties, re-arousable by specific situations. There are also realistic anxiety and persecution dreams, mood disturbances, lack of confidence, attempted suicide and complaints about lack of understanding by others, which the victims suffer from. Questions of indemnification for psychiatric sequelae have entered into a new stage after the East-German parliament had passed a rehabilitation bill and because of corresponding declarations in the unification treaty. Psychiatrists should fight for treatment costs and appropriate compensation for physical and psychiatric sequels of Stasi persecution to be set into reality as soon as possible. There is urgent need for a not yet existing scientific literature and publications of clinical experiences.