Treatment Resistant Symptoms of Complex PTSD Caused by Torture During War

Vito Zepinic


Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the severity and complexity of a treatment resistant PTSD caused by torture during war. The inclusive criteria included the experience of torture and no efficacy of provided therapy after five years of being treated due to severe war-related PTSD.
Method: The study was conducted on 24 treatment resistant PTSD patients from former Yugoslavia who had been tortured during their captivity as the POW. Despite being already diagnosed and treated due to their war-related PTSD, all patients were screened by the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID), MMPI, and the Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale (PDS).
Results: Results of the initial assessment revealed that 19 out of 24 patients satisfied criteria for treatment resistant symptoms of complex PTSD due to severe trauma experience.
Conclusion: The treatment resistant PTSD is very a complex condition that requires various ways to make real contact with, endeavour congruent, emphatic and unconditional positive regards for the patients. It is important that clinicians do not use a ‘copping’ but qualitative and idiographic individual approach to each patient finding differences value alongside.


Complex trauma; POW (captivity); Torture; Treatment resistance

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