Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, October 17th, 2019

Mental Abnormality, Something Normal in Afghanistan

Based on the figures from organizations working in the health sector – Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and World Health Organization (WHO) - around 60 percent of Afghans, mostly women, are suffering from severe psychosocial problems or mental disorders. The three decades of war have resulted in high numbers of widows, orphans and disabled people whose suffering has become manifold with the passage of the time due to lack of attention from government. Hopelessness and disappointments are conceived major reasons for the more people to grow mental problems.

Instability persists in the country as the security condition continues to remain highly deteriorated. Taliban leave no stone unturned to ruin peace and calm from the life of people. The presence of around 150,000 international troops and more than 270,000 Afghan police and army are failing to counter growing insurgency. Bad news reaches the people every moment. Then why should not one grow psychological problems?

The vicious circle of poverty can be deemed another prominent cause for high rate of mental diseases in the country. According to a report of U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights released last year, nine million Afghans or 36 percent of the population are believed to live in absolute poverty and a further 37 percent live only slightly above the poverty line, despite more than $35 billion of outside aid sent to the country since 2001. The situation in the last one year has become further concerning.

Poverty can be directly linked to low employment rate in the country. According to figures from Ministry of Labor, the number of unemployed people in the country is now above two millions. This is alarming but the government seems to have turned a deaf to it. Unemployment is causing the Afghans to illegally travel to other countries of the world at the risk of their lives, join insurgency, and commit social crimes or even suicides. The economy of Afghanistan which is largely dependent on the international aids is falling short to create job opportunities causing the talent and abilities of our youth go in vain.

Living in country where you are pressurized from all angles, growing psychological problem is something normal. The number of people with mental diseases is subject to rise, as they are living in a condition where future is completely vague.