Translated by Tekknorg, Citation from the book: Permanent peoples tribunal – Chernobyl” by the IPPNW. Buy it here: Global Education Associates, 475 Riverside Drive Suite 1848, New York, NY 10 1115, Tel. + 1212 870 3290 / UK: Low Level Radiation Campaign, Ammondale, Spa Rd. Llandrindod Wells, Powys LD1 5EY, U.K., Tel. + 44 1597 824 771. Or in Germany: Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Den Kindern von Tschernobyl in Deutschland e.V. ESG-Haus, Breul 43, 48143 – Münster (Pfr. Burkhard Homeyer). Tel. + 49 2501 274 17.
From: Prof. Ludmilla Kryshanovska, Institute for Social and Forensic Psychiatry, Kiev – Ukraine. About: Psychiatric disorders on Survivors of Chernobyl.
Chernobyl is 65 miles away from Kiev, the main capital of Ukraine. The atomic reactor explosion in 1986 has big political, social and personal consequences. Many people still suffer from it. The people don’t believe in the authorities anymore. The task of decontamination of the 30 kilometer zone was committed to 800,000 workers (liquidators). All from former parts of the Soviet Union, which later decayed. Most of them were exposed to radiation at an average of two months, often without the right safety equipment. Most of them didn’t know the truth about the radiation level. So it wasn’t too much stress for them to work there.
According to the Ukranian Health ministery in 1993 more than half of the Ukrainian national territory was affected by Chernobyl. About 2,8 million people still live in contaminated areas. Between 1990 and 1993 official statistics show that only 28 – 32 percent of the mature population and 27 – 30 percent of the children were healthful. The number of healthy people has decreased. There is a strong tendency in the direction of chronically, not specific in the population: Gastro-intestinal disease, disease of the airways, the heart, cancer (Memo wordpress.tekknorg: Denied by the IAEA). One of the tragic consequences is the increase of childrens thyroid cancer (Memo wordpress.tekknorg: thyroid cancer is the only approved by the IAEA as a disease caused by Chernobyl – because inside of the IAEA physicists decide, not medics).
In 1993, a book called “Chernobyl: What can we learn from it” was released in the U.S. In this book you can read details about acute radiation syndroms, about thyroid disorders and about psychological problems of the liquidators. When the radiaiton level reaches 40 – 50 Rem (1 Rem = 0,01 Sv) it can cause all kinds of mental disorders. The classification of these disorders is debatable and a topic of debates with psychiatrists, neurologists and psychologists.
In 1991 all date was kept secret. The patients were sent to special hospitals. The official diagnosis was “Vegetative Dystonia”. This was a vague defintion, which included a big bandwith of disorders. Not all medics affirmed that. After 1991few articles were made public and material about mental disorder of liquidators. There were three opintions:
#1 – Most of these disorders were functional: Vegetative Dystonia, neurotic disorders, post-traumatic stress symptoms, radiophobia (Memo wordpress.tekknorg: Official statement of the IAEA and the WHO – WHO is gagged by a contract with the IAEA), despair and psychosomatic disorders.
#2 – Patients suffer from brain disorders.
#3 – Some patients suffer of post-traumatic disorders caused by stress, and pseudo-neurotic syndroms and psychosomatic disorders, somatisation disorders, hypochondria, disorders caused by fear, and various depressive syndroms and organic mental disorders.
Till today there are no clear categories for the diagnose of these disorders. It depends on the neurological or psychological school you’re with.
In 1990, the Ukrainian Institute for Social and Forensic Psychiatry began to study the consequnces of Chernobyl on people, who had taken part on the liquidation of Chernobyl. 380 liquidators were examined, clinical and psychologic. The examination began four years after the catastrophe. All patients were treated in a special hospital, which opened it’s doors after the catastrophe of Chernobyl. Most of the patients were transfered by the medics to our psychiatric examinations, because of psychologic or psychiatrical problems. The aim of the study was to determine the clincal and psychologic aspects of not-psychotic mental disorders with the link to the catastrophe of Chernobyl.
A special questionary and psychologic tests were developed, to get the data. We asked high level radiated patients, when the first symptoms appeared. The exposed doese depends on the time when they started working as a liquidator in the Zone and on the duration of the work. 55 percent of our patients showed first symptoms at the end of 1986. Not until 18 months later, sometimes 2 years later, the symptoms developed to a full picture. (Memo wordpress.tekknorg: This shows the complexity of radiation disease: It’s invisible and takes a long time. This is the reaseon why IAEA and even normal people mistake it with diseases caused by other things such as poverty).
At this time the age of our patients was 30 – 45 years. Most of them had similar problems: Headache, fits of dizziness, chronic fatigue, concentration problems, mindful problems, memory loss, testiness, sometimes fury, moodiness, anxiety states, exhaustion after mental and pysical work, high clood pressure, dysregulation of breathing, feelings of desperation and trashiness and loss of the libido. They also showes a sensitivity against lout noises, bright light and high temperatures.
In short, it was described as “Cerebrasthetic Post-Chernobyl Syndrom”
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