The Impact Of Armed Conflict On Mental Health In Afghanistan

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Afghanistan has experienced close to 40 years of war and instability. Attacks against the Afghan government began in 1978 and seized the capital city of Kabul in 1992. Different rival factions fought for control for the capital till the Taliban group arose in 1994 to take control of the country. In 2002, a U.S coalition invaded Afghanistan and brought down the Taliban from power. Since then, the conflict has only intensified and spread. Roughly one-third of the Afghan population is displaced. To add to that, Afghanistan’s child mortality rates are one of the worst in the world, with children under five dying at a rate of 191 for every 1000 live births (United Nations 2007). The impact of trauma during war conflict is damaging to children’s mental health. Rebel groups began attacks on the Afghan government in…show more content…
Children who experienced conflict‐related trauma and met criteria for post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an anxiety disorder that develops after exposure to psychological trauma, were often associated with poor school achievement and memory impairments (Elbert and Schauer, 2009). Indirect effects of armed conflict, such as losing caregivers and support networks are also damaging to a child’s well‐being and healthy development (Betancourt and Khan, 2008). Conflict often destroys informal social networks for children and disrupts community structures, and children may be forced to be self‐ sufficient (UNICEF April 2009). Children physically disabled through armed conflict may have health and educational concerns that will decrease ability to thrive and live healthy lives (Miller,

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