Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The Future of Peace and Development in Yemen in Light of the Trap of Psychological Disorders (1) | Dr. Muhammad al-Maithami

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A husband sticks a cigarette in his wife's eyes. Inadequate shelter. She then commits suicide, and by doing so will provide them with comfort, peace and tranquility at home. The rehabilitation she does not see is in this world, where a brother murders both of his brothers without his knowledge. And without any emotion or guilt. These are just a few examples, and while some of them may seem extreme, the victims of psychological distress in Yemen today are many and in the millions.

For example, the marriage of girls under the age of seven is no longer what it used to be in the past, as it is a traditional practice followed by some families and local communities, rather, it has become a frequent means of escaping loneliness. – Families who are presided over by family burdens that they cannot bear in light of the deteriorating and increasingly dire economic and social conditions. Domestic and communal violence has become more commonplace than ever seen throughout Yemen's long history, with criminal records and the eyes of passers-by repeatedly witnessing violent incidents and attacks ending in death and disability.

One of the girls who experienced the horrors of domestic violence by her father who suffered from depression, mental illness, frequent doubts and delusions as an expression of mental distress, said, “I sought family development and guidance foundation for therapy and psychological support to free me from the hell I was living. When the psychologists from this leading institute called my father, treated him and gave him free medicines, I did it. and guidance. The whole house was freed from this nightmare and we breathed a sigh of relief.

One million Yemenis suffer from psychological disorders in a country with a total population of 35 million

The Mental Health Scale (MHQ) measures a comprehensive set of emotional, social, and cognitive characteristics that include both mental health problems and symptoms as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). In addition to positive mental traits, the guide places members of any community on a broad scale from miserable to thriving in terms of overall well-being and mental health. The negative end of the scale indicates levels of well-being and mental health that leave their mark on the ability, risks and challenges to work at a clinical level.

Six functional dimensions of disposition and expectations, social self, motivation and motivation, adaptability and flexibility, cognition, and mind-body connection are also measured. Additionally, the evidence captures changing demographics, lifestyle factors, friend and family dynamics, and trauma and distress, providing a rich context for understanding key drivers of mental disorder risk and challenges facing any community.

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All these key indicators related to mental health were handled by the Family Development and Guidance Foundation, which is the largest leading institution in Yemen and has high capacity and high national responsibility and high professional experience to face the most challenging and dangerous. Events for peace and development in Yemen, however, have been shortened by the decline of the community's mental health.

According to its statistics, the agency has received more than 260,000 cases in the past three years, and 100 cases are turned away from its doors every day due to lack of funds.
When we know that there are more than one hundred and two hundred thousand government employees supporting more than seven million people who have not received their salary for more than seven years, we realize how much psychological stress these people are under.

Today, at least 22 million Yemenis out of 35 million are waiting for humanitarian assistance to continue their minimum survival. Also, according to international reports, about 70 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, and four lakh children under the age of five are at risk of starvation this year.

International, regional and local reports reveal only a few of such tragedies, which are only within their purview. In fact, tens of thousands of people, apart from all mentioned above, are under violent stress from lack of clean water, electricity, petroleum and diesel and spread of epidemics under various names like cholera, dengue etc. Fever, malaria and others, claim thousands of lives from their families.

These are some examples of the magnitude and strength of pressures that undermine the psychological balance of members of society. Mental diseases, unlike physical diseases, do not affect the behavior and condition of the sick person, but rather affect all members of his family and social environment.

Indeed, Yemen today is not ready to achieve the goals of sustainable development and peace solutions. The United Nations has described Yemen as the greatest humanitarian disaster of the twenty-first century. International and local reports shock us with information, numbers, data and facts.

The war is one of the bloodiest and most destructive wars Yemen has ever seen. Yemen has been embroiled in civil war for ten years as of this moment. The war has been classified as the most severe war in Yemen's history and the most widespread geographically and socially.

With its ferocity and brutality, it etched deep and bloody scars on the face of Yemen, tearing apart the social fabric in an arrogant and absurd manner and spreading death, hunger, terror and disease throughout Yemen. It affected all aspects of life. The World Bank estimated its cost at around 127 billion dollars. There isn't a Yemeni family or individual that hasn't been touched by this war or has not been economically, socially and psychologically affected.

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Some early studies on the history of this war indicate that one in every 5 Yemenis suffers from some form of severe psychological disorder (Family Development and Guidance Foundation, 2017), indicating the continuation of this war and its vertical and horizontal expansion and intensity. Because of its ferocity and damage to the population, the same source estimates that today one in three Yemenis suffers from a psychological disorder that upsets their balance and destabilizes them.

According to population projections, today we are talking about 11 million men and women, children and youth suffering from psychological disorders in a country with a population of over 35 million, the largest country by population. Gulf and Arabian Peninsula.

The extent, depth and scale of the psychological disturbances that have afflicted Yemenis as a result of this war, among all generations, all ages and genders, are poised to shatter the structure of the Yemeni personality, the social self, and the way they see themselves. The behavior they adopt in forming and maintaining themselves, their ability to hold and maintain relationships with others.

The generation of the current war in Yemen is many times less likely to create balanced family relationships characterized by warmth, love and tenderness compared to the pre-war generation. “Those with poor family relationships and no close friends are ten times more likely to develop serious mental disorders than those with many family relationships and friendships.” (World Mental Health Report 2022).

The report ranked Yemen very poorly in terms of mental health status. The report also indicates that 24.4 percent of Yemenis are experiencing difficulties due to the stresses of life in Yemen. However, the indicators based on the quantitative reporting of mental health deterioration or prosperity in the countries under study did not take into account the extensive factors of the model such as the Corona epidemic, lack of family stability, love and warmth, and the ongoing war in Yemen and its impact on mental health deterioration under experimental and field evaluation. And Medicine. Relying on this report to describe the mental health situation in Yemen is incomplete.

The impact of this severe war is visible to the naked eye in Yemen, in terms of the number of dead, more than half a million died, a similar number of wounded, as well as displaced and displaced from their homes , and refugees at home and abroad, more than six million people and the percentage of children out of school represents half. School-aged people, civil servants who have not been paid for more than 7 years, more than two million employees, the unemployed and the beggars who fill the streets of the cities, all symbolize the level, intensity and scope of the psychological pressures that the majority of Yemenis suffer from.

“At the beginning of the war, a field study of a portion of displaced children in public schools in Sana'a showed a high degree of suffering for these children. Persistent memories of trauma, fatigue disorders, emotional stress and weakness, the ability to express feelings of sadness and happiness, as well as concentration and academic achievement. , sleep disturbances, disturbing dreams and avoidance of associated places and things are traumatic situations” (FR24).

The mercenaries of war have etched the faces and souls of Yemenis: their children and their old men, their women and their men, their young men and their old men, with colors of suffering and poverty, depression and despair. About 3 million of the seven million school-age children dropped out of education, while others were forced to join the fighting fronts.

Adults lost their jobs and sources of income, plunged into poverty and hunger, and became beggars on dark city streets and lonely roads. Women lost their breadwinners, brothers and sons who were killed or displaced in various ways, leaving them without family or support. Rights to express themselves and mourn what they have lost in this accursed war.

Lost, helpless, frustrated youths, engaged in anger and revenge, bombarded with extremist ideologies and doctrines and various rants that incite hatred against all meanings of co-existence, social peace, friendship and love.

The war has turned some of them into vicious, predatory monsters who prey on everything in their path without mercy or compassion. Their behavior and actions no longer differ from those of reptiles who devour their young alive.

The serious weakness of health institutions in this field worsens the situation as there are only many health centers that do not exceed the fingers of both hands and lack of specialized personnel in the field of psychology. For every 600 thousand people.

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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