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    Children of Syria Will Have 'Irreversible Mental' Health Issues, NGO Warns

    Children of Syria Will Have 'Irreversible Mental' Health Issues, NGO Warns

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    A report by the charity Save the Children has found that a generations of young people in Syria are at risk of developing lifelong mental health problems after suffering nearly six years of a violent war.

    The report, titled Invisible Wounds: The impact of six years of war on the mental health of Syria's children, says that children are suffering from toxic stress, which may be irreversible.

    Save the Children surveyed 450 children, teenagers, parents and social workers across Syria. 50 percent of the children who were interviewed said that they had experienced regular or constant feelings of grief or extreme sadness, and 78 percent have these feelings at least some of the time, according to the report.

    ​Many children suffer from nightmares, have trouble sleeping from fear of not waking up, and experience bedwetting. One father told the researchers how his son was experiencing high levels of trauma and would wake up in the middle of the night screaming. 

    "My son wakes up afraid in the middle of the night. He wakes up screaming. This is how children have been affected. A child was slaughtered in front of him, so he started to dream that someone is coming to slaughter him. When a child witnesses a beheading, how could he not get afraid?" said Firas, the father of Saeed. 

    Such frequent exposure to traumatic events will likely lead to a long-term rise in mental health disorders, the report states, such as major depressive disorder, separation anxiety disorder, overanxious disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, after the war ends.

    ​The report also mentioned that regardless of the war, these children are still full of so much hope and dream of a better future. Also with the right counseling, breathing techniques and singing classes, these children can open up and begin to feel much more secure in themselves..

    "It is imperative, that the international community and the UN acknowledged the grievous harm that is being done to Syria's children and demand an end to the violence," the report said.

    Related:

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    Save the Children Calls for Immediate 48-Hour Ceasefire in Syria
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    Tags:
    mental health, children, Syrian conflict, war, health, Syrian crisis, Save the Chidren, Syria, Middle East
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