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 And some just, maybe the majority, are withdrawn and isolated and just dead with their life," he said.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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid