War Trauma

We know that the wounds from war are not confined to the battle field. Refugees from conflict zones often continue to experience trauma from persecution, imprisonment, torture and resettlement for a long time. Thus, it is important to understand the challenges of refugee families and communities.2 This piece identifies some red flags for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) according to age, gender and culture, and provides some guiding principles for mental health workers in caring for refugees.*

Psychological distress from war is harmful to refugee children and adults regardless of racial or cultural background. Refugees may experience a sense of helplessness and despair. The most common mental health issue for refugees is post-traumatic stress disorder and related symptoms of depression, anxiety, inattention, sleeping difficulties, nightmares, and survival guilt.