Shell Shock to Palali Syndrome- PTSD Sri Lankan Experience
Posted on February 18th, 2016

Author- Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge  

Published by Godage International Publishers (Pvt.) Ltd

Shell Shock to Palali Syndrome is an impressive endeavour to put together all experiences from different dramatic and tragic situations in war impacted society. This book is for me the monumental example of sufferings all kinds of disasters were tormenting people, leaving heavy consequences on actual and future generations. This takes the description and elaboration of all sufferings onto highest priority of mental health policy of Sri Lanka.
 Comparing similar experiences from other countries, former Yugoslavia included, it can be seen that all sufferings are on common denominator of human condition. In that way we can be compassionate with other human beings regardless of their cultural characteristics. This is of utmost importance when we are planning and organizing help for these psychologically traumatized people, and our experiences on a professional level become comparable.
 Shell Shock to Palali Syndrome is a very powerful book on human suffering, either caused by man-made or natural disasters, that were overwhelming Sri Lanka during last several decades. The long shadows of traumatic experiences should be recognised and treated, because time proved not to be a general healer, it fails to heal all wounds. Dr Ruwan Jayatunge and his colleagues and teams are drawing upon their experience, knowledge and newly gained wisdom in helping traumatized people to mourn losses and to open up the processes of transformation from hatred and violence to empathy.
Prof. Ivan Urlić, M.D., Ph.D., 
Neuropsychiatrist, group analyst, Medical School, University of Split, Croatia
KUDOS to Dr . Ruwan M Jayatunge for his astute clinical descriptions of the impact of combat. His cultural sensitivity of combat related trauma is a welcomed contribution.
Professor Donald Meichenbaum -Research Director of the Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention: Miami USA
In this fascinating book, Dr. Ruwan M. Jayatunge develops a caleidoscopic perspective which clearly shows that PTSD is not a western culture-bound syndrome 
Professor Onno van der Hart – Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands  
Dr. Ruwan M. Jayatunga persuasively describes the psychological wounds of war. His book is remarkable for its comprehensiveness and historical research. This is a significant contribution to the literature.
Professor Roger Brooke -Director, Military Psychological Services Duquesne University USA

One Response to “Shell Shock to Palali Syndrome- PTSD Sri Lankan Experience”

  1. Sooriarachi Says:

    Haven’t read this book.
    But this brief introduction indicates it is a book that may have an impact on general masses and their leaders and might influence their thinking to reduce the meaningless violence perpetrated on humans by other humans, driven through greed, jealousy or craving for power. Similar suffering happened in Sri Lanka till it was brought to an end in 2009, but it is continuing to happen around the world.
    If one listens to world news or watch TV, a most sad thing to see is people uprooted from their homelands by brutal and powerful external forces, who came by force pretending to liberate them from “brutal” dictators, when in fact these external forces were actually going after their assets, such as oil. minerals etc and control of strategically situated countries. These forces have absolutely no compassion or empathy for the innocent civilians, with their homes and cities flattened, with no future in the regions they lived.

    We need to support the rapid re-construction of these nations such as Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Laos, Cambodia etc and compensate the refugees now flooding into other parts of the world in search of a new beginning – which wont be easy at all. They would prefer to go back to their homelands, but there is nothing to go back to. We got to only imagine, what could we do in a similar situation, other than looking for liveable pastures for ourselves and our children.
    I hope this book would enlighten the people who are capable of influencing the future of human beings, animals and their environment.

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