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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

Print version ISSN 0034-7450


ARIAS LOPEZ, Beatriz Elena. Mental Health and Political Violence. Care of Psychiatric Patient or Acknowledge of the Micropolitics of the Subject. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2013, vol.42, n.3, pp.276-282. ISSN 0034-7450.

Abstract Introduction: Political violence is a global phenomenon, especially in low- to middle-income countries. This phenomenon increasingly involves civilians. This situation is a priority in collective health, as it produces multiple and complex effects on physical and mental health, and human and social ecosystems. The objective of this article is to present the main tendencies that coexist in research and practice on the understanding of the effects of political violence on mental health. The biomedical approach of psychiatric trauma and the wider perspective of social sciences, which incorporate the collective dimension of these effects, are also taken into account. Methods: Review of research determines the relationship with political violence / collective violence and mental health in international databases and national documentation centers, academics and NGOs within the last decade of the twentieth century, and the first of this century under the headings of trauma, war, armed conflict and political violence. Results: The limitations of general explanations of psychiatric trauma in understanding the complex effects of political violence on mental health are shown. The constructs that incorporate social and collective dimensions increase this comprehension of these effects and knowledge of mental health, both conceptually as methodologically. Conclusions: In a political violence context it urgent to change attitudes about mental health. It is a way to overcome the biomedical, individualistic, and short term epidemiology, and to remove medication from mental health. This means acknowledging that people who experience the effects of political violence effects are not sick. They are powerful people who can transform and produce the life they dream of.

Keywords : Violence; War; Mental health; Politics.

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