Relentless Afghan conflict leaves traumatized generation

Nov 16 2012, 18:42 IST
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SummaryOn a low bed in a quiet, all-female hospital ward, a depressed Afghan teenager huddles silently under blankets, her mother close by.

family members are not well and cannot serve each other properly, said Taiba Alkazai, a psychologist at the hospital.

In the same way, if there is fighting in a country then its people won't be happy.

The fear of suicide bomb attacks, roadside bombs, and the overall level of violence in Afghanistan - of which civilians bear the brunt, with the number killed rising in 2011 for the fifth straight year to more than 3,000, according to the United Nations - can lead to anxiety, panic and obsession.

The physical aspects of war (last) for a limited time, but the psychological aspects of the war extend for many years. Day by day the mental health problems caused by the war are increasing, said consultant psychiatrist Said Najib Jawed.

Just as socially damaging is the risk of a generation for whom violence has become the norm.

One of the examples I always give is that when you talk to an Afghan boy, you can easily get into a physical fight because they just wait for it, they don't know any other ways of dealing with a problem than fighting, Rajabi said.

All these things will lead to a generation of people who are not very healthy mentally, and this will affect everything in the country: education, relationships, families, generally the development of the country.

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