Children most affected… How do wars affect mental health?

The Russian-Ukrainian conflict worried the entire world because of its devastating repercussions, especially on humans. The American Mental Health Journal reported that 22 percent of people living in areas of armed conflict suffer from depression, anxiety, “post-traumatic stress disorder”, “bipolar disorder” and “schizophrenia”, and that about 9 percent of the population of countries where Witnessing violent conflicts and suffering from severe mental and psychological health disorders.

ukrainian displaced family

Symptoms of psychological disorder appear after weeks or within 3 months, including symptoms such as muscle pain, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, headache and appetite disturbances, and coincide with other psychological control over the patient such as panic attacks, fear, depression, anxiety and guilt, and may reach suicidal thoughts and tendencies. .

The most harmful children

Studies have shown that children and families who live in or flee war zones are at increased risk of suffering from mental health problems. “We’ve seen previous war situations like what’s happening in Ukraine, an increase in depression and anxiety,” Dr. Monica Barreto, a clinical psychologist at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Children’s, told ABC News.

Although not all children experience trauma, they may react differently to traumatic situations they witness. “Some children may be more impressionable, they may be more difficult to calm, and even more anxious,” said Dr. Jack Schonkoff, director of the Center for Child Development at Harvard University. “Some children in these circumstances tend to be more withdrawn, do not cry as much, and are not demanding. Lots of attention.”

“Sometimes people would look at that and say this kid is doing really well,” he continued. Sometimes that’s a sign of things to worry about more than others because these kids are withdrawing, they are internalizing a lot of what’s going on.”

PTSD symptoms fall into four categories:

1- Feeling like the experience is happening again

The patient may live the same traumatic experience with feelings similar to what happened, such as fear, sounds, and involuntary pain during the day or in nightmares at night.

2- Avoid certain situations and places

The victim tries to do a lot of activities or work strenuously while avoiding places and people associated with the accident.

3- Always feel alert

The patient cannot relax with difficulty sleeping and anxiety. Symptoms may include agitation, emotional reaction, tantrums, and acting reckless or self-destructive.

4- Changes in cognition and mood

Allowing negative thoughts and feelings to form distorted beliefs about oneself leads to wrongly blaming oneself or others.

Psychological treatments focus on the incident that caused the symptoms, helping him think differently and control negative emotions. Antidepressants may be used to control feelings of anxiety and tension, get rid of nightmares, and help sleep.

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