CASE HISTORY – August 2023

Devastating effect of the Russian invasion on mental health: the story of the adjustment disorder of a 10- year old Ukrainian boy and his family


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The Ukrainian-Russian war has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of families, disrupting their normal life arrangements and devastating both their physical and mental health. Due to the situation, several tens of thousands of war refugees have reached Estonia. War and related life events can result in a variety of mental health problems, including adjustment disorder. Adjustment disorder includes symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. In addition, young people in particular may experience various behavioural problems. Here, the course of adaptation of a 10-year-old boy from Ukraine and his mother as war refugees in Estonia has been reported. There are probably many stories of such families, where the war in Ukraine has turned the way of life completely upside down and, as a result, various mental health problems have manifested themselves. Concerns and problems are often dealt with within the family and, unfortunately, many people in need may not reach professional help. However, the Estonian state does everything in its power to ensure the welfare of war refugees in the best possible way and to create a safe living environment for them as well.