Mental states dynamics in civilians during the war in Ukraine

  • І. Zhdanova Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs, Kharkiv, Ukraine
  • О. Shakhova Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs, Kharkiv, Ukraine
  • V. Rodenkova Харківський національний університет внутрішніх справ, Харків, Україна
Keywords: mental states, traumatic situation, mental trauma, war


The article presents the results of the mental states dynamics study in the Eastern region civilians of Ukraine during the Russian military aggression on the territory of Ukraine in the first year of the war. The paper substantiates the relevance of the study of the mental states of the civilian population in the context of maintaining mental health problem and preventing post-traumatic stress disorders. War is a prolonged traumatic situation during which episodes of a threat to life and health occur with a certain frequency, and this affects the dynamics of the mental states of the civilian population. An additional traumatic effect on the psyche is exerted by the information and psychological warfare that people are exposed to through Internet technologies. The study found that at the beginning of hostilities in Ukraine, the most typical mental states of civilians in the eastern regions of Ukraine were fear, confusion, helplessness, despondency, depression, panic, irritability and anger. These mental states are typical of the acute experience of a traumatic stressful situation. A year after the start of the war, respondents noted a significant decrease in the frequency of experiencing fear, confusion and panic. At the same time, sadness, depression, fatigue, exhaustion, anxiety, and irritability became common. These are mental states that testify to the reduced energy potential of the population, the danger of new fears and outbursts of irritation. The consequence of this may be a violation of interpersonal relationships, professional maladjustment, the development of psychosomatic and post-traumatic disorders. At the same time, a number of respondents showed an interest in life, "protective indifference", peace. The results of the study can be used in the development of psychotechnologies to minimize the consequences of war-related injuries, as well as to preserve and support the mental health of the population in war conditions and in the long term.


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How to Cite
ZhdanovaІ., ShakhovaО., & Rodenkova, V. (2023). Mental states dynamics in civilians during the war in Ukraine. The Journal of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. A Series of «Psychology», (74), 7-12.