News / Middle East

Ongoing Turmoil Undermines Egyptians' Mental Health

Ongoing Turmoil Undermines Egyptians' Mental Healthi
X
February 26, 2014 9:57 PM
The violent aftermath of the Arab Spring in Egypt is taking a toll on the mental health of ordinary Egyptians. And with no end in sight to political and social strife, some psychiatrists warn the numbers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders and anxiety-induced depression will climb. VOA's Jamie Dettmer has more from Cairo.
The violent aftermath of the Arab Spring in Egypt is taking a toll on the mental health of ordinary Egyptians. And with no end in sight to political and social strife, some psychiatrists warn the numbers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders and anxiety-induced depression will climb.
 
Egypt has been through months of political turmoil since the army toppled President Mohamed Morsi in June with more than 1,000 killed and 20,000 detained in the country's prisons. Psychiatrists say the violence and uncertainty about the future is affecting the mental health of ordinary Egyptians as well as activists.

"I've seen people shot at, with live ammunition," said accountant Mohamed Abaza. The father of three daughters said he is still struggling to overcome the depression that struck him last year when the violence erupted.

"I didn't want to do anything. I didn't even want to search for a job because I needed one, but I was not in the mood to have some interviews and to take the stress of being interviewed and accepted or not accepted by someone. I didn't want to do anything. I shut down the television because I felt it exacerbated my mood," he said.

Psychiatrist Ahmed Abdellah said he has seen a change in his practice. He said the political turmoil and Egypt's economic deterioration are causing depression, severe anxiety and traumatic stress disorders. There are no reliable numbers of those struggling with mental health problems, however, and he thinks many people are suffering without help.
 
"The problem is that the majority of people who are suffering, they don't go to receive care," said Abdellah. He said the lack of treatment can have serious long-term consequences.
 
"Generally speaking, when you are stressed or under oppression, some of the oppressed they go to suicide, some of them are into more violence, to be armed, to have something like armed resistance for the regime. And some just, maybe the majority, are withdrawn and isolated and just dead with their life," he said.

Accountant Mohamed Abaza worries that his eldest daughter, Gehad, also is in the grip of depression, and he said she is no longer the carefree girl she once was.

"I feel depressed, but I also feel so, like, I feel so guilty about what is happening to people, because of what is happening to me is obviously not as bad as to what is happening to my friends. You know, I have friends whose husbands are like in prison, and, like, whose brother died," she said.

Neither father nor daughter has sought therapy - Arab culture sometimes frowns on counseling.

With many Egyptians suffering without therapy, three years of revolution and counter-revolution are exacting a heavy price on Egypt's mental health.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
February 26, 2014 9:42 PM
Nice reports. I guess childrens are suffering PTSD as well as adults.
In Response

by: BARB from: USA
February 27, 2014 4:50 PM
feb 27 2014

Be Very Careful and fight for your Mental health. If not, you may end up like to many Blacks/Africans and take out your depressions and fustrations on Others! Weaking your people!
ANOTHER THING WHY IS EGYPT(KEMIT) ALWAYS referred as bing IN MIDEASTERN? EGYPT IS IN AFRICA! EGYPT NOW HAS AN ISLAMIC AND ARABIC CULTURE, but it's still in AFRICA!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More