GB No. 4(19)/95
There are about 200,000 soldiers in Polish army. Over 50% officers suffer from neuroses, which are the main problem with mental health of professional soldiers. The second important illness among officers, and the first one among ensigns and non-commissioned officers, is encephalopathy, which results from head injuries, poisonings and infections. Officers and non-commissioned officers usually suffer from injuries which are caused by military service. Statistical patients, who visit a psychiatrist are: a 44-year- old major, a 40-year-old captain and a 36-year-old sergeant. Neurasthenia occurs mostly among professional soldiers while depression prevails among non-commissioned officers. The most popular illnesses are stomach ulcer, duodenal ulcer, hypertension and spastic inflammation of the largeintestine. Older professional soldiers complain of coronary thrombosis. ‘Their common characteristic is the damage of various organs or systems resulting from improper reaction to negative emotions, such as fear, aggression, depression and anxiety,' says Adam Szymusik, a professor of psychiatry, in a textbook for students of medicine.
reprinted from Przekrój 3(2686)/15.01.95.
The above-mentioned opinion confirms my own and my friends' observations of professional soldiers. A question arises: what is the cause of this situation? In my opinion, which is not unfounded, the character of our army, its interpersonal relations and the people with the specific atmosphere created by them, all of them simply destroy the psychic. What is even worse, the people, whose state requires psychiaric treatment have young men under their command for 18 months.
Until this dangerous situation changes and the army starts reforming itself, like in Switzerland for example, refusing to do military service will be just a self-defence reaction.
reprinted from Zielone Brygady 10/95
translated by J. Iwański