Effect of political imprisonment and trauma history on recent Tibetan refugees in India



We sought to examine the impact of political imprisonment on anxiety depression, and somatic symptoms reported by newly arrived Tibetan refugees in Dharamsala, India. We used the Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25 to compare 76 previously imprisoned with 74 never imprisoned recent Tibetan refugees. Previously imprisoned refugees reported more traumatic events, especially torture and deprivation. Previously imprisoned refugees reported more anxiety than nonimprisoned refugees, but the groups were similarly high in terms of depression and number ot somatic complaints. According to assessment with the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire, 20% of the tortured and imprisoned refugees met criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder.