Iraqi Children Suffer From PTSD
This month, Iraq will be opening its first clinic for children suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. While PTSD among troops is a growing problem in the United States, the children living in the war zone can be overlooked.
According to NPR, “Iraq children also have been the victims of kidnapping, torture and rape.” The Web site Iraqbodycount.org says that in 2007 alone about 650 children were killed in Iraq.
Dr. Haider Maliki, a psychiatrist, claims that about 15 percent of Iraqi children show signs of PTSD. Maliki asserts that these children could turn violent, lose interest in schoolwork or become involved with drugs and alcohol.
However, according to Maliki, many families do not seek help fearing humiliation or dishonor. “Especially in children, especially in the female, any psychological problem is a stigma,” Maliki says. “They deny the disease, but when we examine the child, we discover many problems.”
But Iraq doesn’t have the medical services to adequately deal with the number of child PTSD cases, according to Maliki. For example, even he lacks the proper training to serve as a child psychiatrist. NPR writes that, “Iraq’s notoriously inept and corrupt Ministry of Health has provided little help up until now, Maliki says.”
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Tags: Iraq War , Children , PTSD , Post-Traumatic Stress Dis , Maliki
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