Skip to main content

Therapy on Hold: Reservists’ Return to Service

Written on |

Reservists with PTSD recalled before therapy completion.

With the war continuing for many months, the Clinic of the National Center for Post Trauma & Resilience at Tel Aviv University warns about a troubling phenomenon: many IDF reservists diagnosed with PTSD after serving in Gaza have recently been called up again, before completing the required therapeutic processes. The Clinic cautions that some reservists quickly respond to the new summons, quit or delay therapy, and return to service, risking further deterioration in their condition while endangering their comrades because they might not be fully fit for active service. The data was presented at the Tel Aviv Conference – ‘The Future of Israel’.

The Clinic of the National Center for Post Trauma & Resilience at Tel Aviv University, the largest PTSD clinic in Israel, was opened soon after the current war broke out. Every week the Clinic receives about 40 new requests for treatment from both civilians and soldiers, most of them affected by the war. According to the Clinic, this torrent is unusual, even compared to past military campaigns, indicating the great emotional distress engendered by the war, with no end in sight.

Concerns in Calling Back PTSD Patients

Prof. Yair Bar-Haim, Head of the National Center for Post Trauma & Resilience at Tel Aviv University: “Since the Oct. 7 attack, the number of people with PTSD in need of therapy has grown every month. Usually, reservists go back home, presumably to their ‘normal lives’, and it takes them some time to realize that they can’t function normally at work or home. Moreover, these people face substantial danger due to a troubling phenomenon we noted recently: many of our patients are called up again before completing therapy for PTSD from their first round of fighting. Being deeply committed to their country, unit, and comrades, some leave everything behind and go back to serve. It must be understood that this can worsen their own symptoms, and there is also real concern about their ability to function and make decisions as commanders or squad members on the battlefield. This trend also calls for adapting existing therapeutic protocols – generally addressing past traumas that have generated a psychological disorder but most probably will not happen again. The unique situation of returning to the context of the trauma and risking exposure to more trauma has rarely been discussed in the professional literature. Today, this is happening in two places, Israel and Ukraine, as a result of protracted wars”.

Prof.Yair Bar-Haim.

Prof. Bar-Haim adds: “Clearly, Israel’s mental healthcare system is experiencing a deep crisis. I call upon decision-makers to act now and develop long-term solutions: solutions that look beyond the horizon, to the next two decades at least; solutions that will upgrade and accelerate training processes for future therapists and establish strong regional clinics specializing in trauma and PTSD. In the immediate term, we must raise the awareness of soldiers, commanders, and civilians regarding the symptoms of PTSD, and individuals already receiving therapy for PTSD should be exempt from additional military service – until the therapeutic process has been completed and the patient is once again psychologically competent”.

Related posts

The Eighth Front: Against Academia

7 July 2024

Cyber Week 2024: Securing Cyber Strength

5 July 2024

Tech Vs. Hate: New Ways to Fight the World’s Oldest Hatred

4 July 2024

One in Three Arab Israelis Prefer External Governance for Gaza Post-War

30 June 2024

Report from the Campus Battlegrounds

18 June 2024

Tel Aviv University Ranks First in Israel in the Prestigious QS Ranking for the Year 2025

16 June 2024

Antisemitism Worldwide Report for 2023

5 May 2024

Barbie Buzz: Mattel CEO Shares Branding Wisdom with Tel Aviv University Students

23 July 2023

Victoria

Tok Corporate Centre, Level 1,
459 Toorak Road, Toorak VIC 3142
Phone: +61 3 9296 2065
Email: [email protected]

New South Wales

Level 22, Westfield Tower 2, 101 Grafton Street, Bondi Junction NSW 2022
Phone: +61 418 465 556
Email: [email protected]

Western Australia

P O Box 36, Claremont,
WA  6010
Phone: :+61 411 223 550
Email: [email protected]