Two out of Three Young Gazans Suffer from PTSD

Israel's attack on Gaza caused material losses and mental illness to Palestinians. Reportedly, 2 out of 3 teenagers in Gaza suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Palestinian youths
Illustration. Many Palestinian youths have mental health problems because of the Israeli occupation. (Photo. AFP/Mahmud Hams)

ACTNews, GAZA – The Israeli occupation does not only cause material losses but also has an impact on the psychology of Palestinians, especially children, and teenagers. 2 out of 3 adolescents in Gaza suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and some young children cannot sleep due to nightmares. 

PTSD is known to be a mental disorder that arises after a person experiences or witnesses a terrible event. This mental illness makes people often feel anxious, restless, and have nightmares.

This condition can last for months or years with triggers that can bring back memories of the trauma accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions.

Maryam, one of the teenagers in Gaza, is one of those who experience PTSD. She recounted, when the Zionist Israel attacked Gaza, her best friend became one of the victims. To this day, she still thinks about her best friend.

“The most painful thing is to experience losing someone. This painful experience happened to me in the recent bombing of Gaza. I could not control myself, and I had a kind of nervous breakdown for days, and I was crying all the time. It is hard to lose someone close to your heart”, says 20-year-old Maryam from Gaza, describing how she painfully lost one of her closest friends.

“I was afraid of the bombing, but when I saw the picture of my friend and the scene of her death, I could not control myself. I always wondered when the bombing stopped if we would come out alive or dead.

“Most of the places we used to go out to entertain ourselves were damaged, even the towers in which the educational centers used to be were destroyed. That was where we used to go for our courses and training,” said Maryam.[]