Psychosocial transition in a postsocialist context: posttraumatic stress disorder in Croatian psychiatry




Dokic, Goran

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In this thesis I explore the effects of the recent introduction of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the post-conflict and postsocialist discourse of Croatian psychiatry. In recent years Croatian psychiatrists have been faced with a significant increase in the number of reported cases of various types of war-related disorders. PTSD, in particular, is spreading among the population of veterans from Croatia’s Homeland War that lasted from 1991 to 1995. To explore the effects of the introduction of PTSD to the discourse of Croatian psychiatry I am raising the following questions: (1) how was the diagnostic category of PTSD introduced; (2) how are Croatian war veterans encouraged to communicate their traumatic experiences; (3) how are ideas about the effective treatment of PTSD reproduced, transformed, and resisted by individual medical practitioners? In the final analysis, I argue that PTSD in Croatian psychiatry is constituted in a way that makes it both a medically recognizable form of emotional suffering and an instrument in post-conflict governmentality.



Medical anthropology, psychiatry, war trauma, postsocialism, Croatia, former Yugoslavia, Post-traumatic