Psychological stability in the conditions of war: Aspen alumni met with psychotherapist Serhii Bohdanov

It is essential to preserve our life, physical health, and mental balance for our victory in this war. On March 31, Aspen Institute Kyiv alumni talked with Serhii Bohdanov, a psychotherapist and head of the Center for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support of the NaUKMA. During the meeting, the participants discussed post-traumatic stress disorder and methods of psychological self-regulation. Denis Poltavets moderated the meeting.

We share the brief abstracts of the meeting below:

  • The impact of an extraordinary event cannot be avoided. It causes neurobiological reactions fixed at the level of instincts: freeze, flee or fight.
  • Any reactions during the impact of an emergency are normal; they should not be pathologized. Intense crying, stupor or numbness, severe anxiety, and feelings of helplessness are normal responses to danger. Insomnia, insecurity, and uncontrolled anger may also occur at this time. Such symptoms are typical if they last up to a month.
  • However, the simultaneous presence of pronounced symptoms for a long time may be a sign of a disorder that requires the attention of a specialist.
  • Among the recommendations that help minimize the negative impact on the psyche: restoring the usual routine of the day, maintaining social contacts, physical activity (sports, walks), helping others, following your boundaries and feelings, regulating news watching, as well as maintaining your rituals (if there are; such as dinners in the family circle, favorite hobby, etc.).

 We also advise you to check out the chatbot in the “Words Help” telegram bot, which the Center for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy developed. You can get the first psychological support and advice through it.