Objectives: The invasion of Iraq and Syria by the so-called "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) began in 2014. Most of the people were displaced or forced to migrate in great numbers, and as a result, they suffered from mental and emotional disorders. The purpose of this pilot study is to assess ISIS psychiatric patients and report on possible unusual psychosocial symptoms that may occur among them.
Methods: The prospective multicenter study, which included 18 patients from a community mental health facility within the IDP camp in Ninewa, included nine former ISIS members and nine general controls both groups suffering MDD and PTSD. The purpose of this study was to screen for unusual signs and symptoms using a semi-structured interview and a mental health assessment.
Results: There were a total of nine patients from ISIS affiliates, with an average age of 29 years. The ISIS patients met DSM-V diagnostic criteria for MDD, PTSD, and unusual psychosocial symptoms, but the control group only met DSM-V diagnostic criteria for general mental illnesses, not unusual psychosocial symptoms. This is the first time that uncommon psychosocial symptoms including low self-esteem, dread, suicidal thoughts, aggressive behavior, self-blaming, isolation, and disguising identity have been identified among ISIS psychiatric patients.
Conclusion: Extremist groups, particularly ISIS affiliates, are thought to have a considerable prevalence rate of uncommon symptoms, which are thought to be unique to them. Future studies should be encouraged in order to understand more about these unique and unusual characteristics in order to find a more effective therapy and it may be recognized as a novel syndrome.