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American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon University of California, California, USA American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon


Conflicts and wars kill humanity. Nationalist or Religious wars, terrorist attacks, shock and awe war on terror, and revolutions such as the Arab upheavals, all underscored by victors “mission accomplished”: the destruction of the body, the soul, and the minds of people involved. This study addresses the prevalence and implications of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among civilians exposed to continuous trauma aggravated by displacement. The majority of the literature on PTSD that examines people who witnessed wars focuses mainly on veterans. Little research addresses the innocent populations caught up in an on-going political upheaval. Our case study includes 450 Syrian refugees 21 years or older living in Lebanon. The results found that 61.56% of the Syrian refugees met the criteria of full PTSD, 8.67% participants fit the criteria of partial PTSD, and 29.78% refugees did not report any symptoms of PTSD. PTSD affects the area of the brain responsible for executive function, including memory and emotional ability. Accordingly, we hypothesize that people with PTSD will be more prone to be conflictive, will have low impulse control, associated with anger and a high desire for revenge. Hence, high prevalence of PTSD among civilians feeds into the cycle of extremism and violence.


continuous trauma, conflictive behavior, displacement, PTSD, Syrian refugees

Cite this paper

Lina Haddad Kreidie, Mahmoud Kreidie, HayaAtassi. (2016). Living with Ongoing Political Trauma: The Prevalence and Impact of PTSD among Syrian Refugees. Psychology Research, 6(10), 598-615.


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