The Mental Health Crisis Facing Europe's Refugees
Running head: THE MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS 1
THE MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS 6
The Mental Health Crisis Facing Europe’s Refugees
There have been many trying times that the world has confronted, but none as trying as the world that refugees have to face. In the article “The Mental Health Crisis Facing Europe’s Refugees” by Matteo Congregalli, a Kurdish man escaping from Iraq witnessed his friend being hung, with no reason other than he was Kurdish. In his words, “he could not run away from the unbearable burden of violence he had witnessed” (Congregalli, 2015). This is a normal occurrence refugees must face in countries like Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere.
More specifically, the German Chamber of Psychotherapists took in more than 70% of refugees that had witnessed violence and about 50% who had directly experienced violence. Even young children are forced to become refugees; as many as 40% of these children witnessed violence, while 25% of the children had to witness their family being attacked. (Congregalli, 2015).
Being a refugee, someone who is forced to leave their country due to extenuating circumstances, isn’t limited to just one place. Refugees escape different countries for many different reasons, such as escaping rape, being sold as a sex slave, persecution, and wars. About 1.6% of Syrian refugees in Jordan suffer from anxiety disorders and 8.5% suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Refugees who suffer from PTSD often suffer from nightmares and flashbacks. Many of the Syrian refugees are often escaping the horrors of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. ISIS has been capturing Christians and other people who don’t agree in their principles and have been burning them alive, beheading them, and torturing them (Congregalli, 2015).
Congregalli gives more examples of how men, women, and children have been escaping their homelands due to torture for their sexual orientation, dangerous gender limitations, and differences in religious beliefs. Many women are kidnapped, forced to be sex slaves, and even tortured.
Numerous people go through issues that put their physical and mental states at risk while fleeing their homelands to the promise of security in Europe. They often have to endure the traumatic obstacles of living in Syria during an outstanding war, such as being forced to leave their homes and often times their families. The end results lead them into traveling a dangerous journey to a new foreign country. A common psychological disorder found in many refugees is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which “develops through exposure to a traumatic event, a severely oppressive situation, cruel abuse, or a natural or an unnatural disaster” (King, 2014). They also suffer from severe anxiety disorders, and other trauma-related vulnerabilities. There is no limit to the tragedies refugees have faced; they find it hard to recount the tragedies they’ve endured.