Donnish Journal of Neuroscience and Behavioral Health

November 2015 Vol. 1(2), pp. 012-020

Copyright © 2015 Donnish Journals

Original Research Article

Does Corruption Manifest Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Ishmael D. Norman1,2 and Mark A. Aviisah1*

1University of Health and Allied Sciences, School of Public Health, (Hohoe campus) P. M. B. 31, Ho, Volta Region, Ghana.
2Institute for Security, Disaster and Emergency Studies, Sandpiper Place, NYD 54/55 Nyanyano District, Suit # Langma, Central Region, Ghana.

Corresponding Author's E-mail:

Accepted 2nd October, 2015.


Evidence from the scientific literature on corruption: (misuse of public office for private gain) seems to suggest that the root cause of corruption is ‘fear and ego’. The question is what is the proximal cause of this fear? Where does ego compliment fear? We put aside the ‘fear and ego’ paradigm for corruption, but assessed whether prolonged exposure to socio-economic shocks and stresses could provoke rent-seeking behavior in a population such as that of Ghana with a checkered post-colonial history. We further investigated if the scientific literature supports our theory that experiencing severe socio-economic shocks and stresses over time such as what Ghana experienced between 1972 and 1992 has the same debilitating effect as those who encounter socio-political trauma and may suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). We also theorized that the period from 1972 to 1992 presented challenging economic crises capable of instigating PTSD manifestation in a large segment of the national population. Extensive literature and documentary review were conducted on the internet, from free and open access data management sites including journals and scientific publications. Physical in library search for grey literature was conducted. The scientific literature is explicit in supporting the theory that those who experience severe economic shocks and stresses over time are more likely to experience PTSD. Also, that fear and ego may be artefacts of exposure to prolonged socio-economic trauma. As a coping mechanism, such persons may engage in rent seeking practices as ways of building personal slush fund against economic uncertainties: shocks and Stresses. It may also be ill-conceived means of improving personal sense of security and resilience against future but similar economic shocks and stresses. Bad economic conditions of a nation even in peace time can mimic wartime situations. Political economies that appear to be in a constant state of agitation and upheaval can be a traumatizing ecosystem that may produce psychosis similar to PTSD, although such conditions are modifiable over time. Considering the systemic challenges and pressures on the national economy, it appears there may be more nationals experiencing PTSD than it is normally understood, due to the persistent poor performance of the national economy. If such is the case, then rent-seeking behaviors and corrupt practices in Ghana are poised to get worse and more mainstream than it has been previously observed. Either way, the prognosis does not appear to be encouraging and immediate remedies are recommended.

Keywords: Corruption, Post traumatic stress disorder, Ghana, Economy, Rent-seeking behavior.

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Ishmael D. Norman and Mark A. Aviisah. Does Corruption Manifest Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?. Donnish Journal of Neuroscience and Behavioural Health 1(2) 2015 pp. 012-020.

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