Ayman’s continuous screams reflect the magnitude of the severe psychological effects generated by the sounds of continuous shelling that many neighborhoods in Khartoum suffered, especially the eastern neighborhoods where Ayman’s family lived.
Tragically, Amira, Ayman’s mother, told Sky News Arabia: “Since the fighting started, people in the neighborhood lived in great terror. He was running around us… We tried to our best to calm him down, but he was terribly scared.” “After 20 days we were able to leave Khartoum and travel north, but Ayman’s fears did not change and his condition turned into a heartbreaking night cry,” she added.
Not only were the children touched by the horror of the battle; Even the adults, including those who managed to escape, were psychologically drained. This is expressed by university professor Youssef Hamida, who tweeted: “Today I have completed a full month since I left Sudan with only a dress, a turban, a laptop and a mobile phone, and my mood was low every day… Although I joined my family in London, the nightmare of war never left me, especially what I witnessed during the days at the University of Khartoum.
In effect; More than 60% of the inhabitants of the combat zones in Khartoum live in a state of stress and psychological instability due to the fighting, which has forced them to leave their homes and belongings. The psychiatrist believes the percentage could be much higher than that, especially since the war has taken civilians by surprise, canceled social events and transformed marriage and marriage programs that were supposed to be held during Eid al-Fitr , which preceded the war, in open programs. condolences in all places without mourners, because the incessant fighting did not allow the population to exchange condolences. With their neighbors, she even came to bury the bodies in the courtyards of the houses.
In this context, Yasin Al-Qadal, consultant psychiatrist, highlights the great psychological difficulties that result from the loss of relatives, friends and property. He explains: “Some of the symptoms of severe and complex grief over loss are exaggerated sadness, pain, thoughts of losing things and loved ones, lack of feeling, distrust of others. others and a suspicion of people.”
Al-Qadal adds that the risk is greater when the loss is accompanied by extreme or sudden violence, and in a way that has endangered your life or that of a loved one. The symptoms mentioned below are accompanied by complications such as depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, worsening heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes; Significant difficulty performing normal daily routines, isolating oneself from others, and withdrawing from social activities.
According to a report published by Agence France-Presse, cases of mental illness in Sudan have increased significantly in the recent period. The case escalated further after “Al-Tijani Al-Mahi” hospital, the main hospital dedicated to the care of psychiatric patients in Khartoum, was put out of action after the attack and the withdrawal of all patients who were there. In addition to destroying its equipment, laboratories and pharmacies. Before its destruction, the hospital received around 40 patients a day, mostly young men under the age of thirty.
In light of the growing psychological pressures on the population as a result of the war; Community organizations have been active in providing psychological assistance to those affected, through specialized psychiatric teams. These teams are currently making regular visits to neighborhoods and shelters where affected people have taken refuge in relatively safe towns.
These teams work in coordination with international organizations and civil society organizations to provide psychological support to needy groups, particularly from the state of Khartoum. It also prepares questionnaires to help detect cases of trauma that may occur in light of war conditions and human rights abuses such as theft, house entry and extortion.
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