Published on Aug 5, 2012 by PressTVGlobalNews
Stress-related and mental health disorders are on the increase in the Gaza Strip, according to a recent report by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the near east (UNRWA). A combination of internal and external influences; including forced displacement, dispossession and occupation – have exacerbated the already high rate of mental health problems. “Feelings of powerlessness and helplessness are the main causes for depression among Gazans,” says Zeyada. “Men, who in eastern culture are the powerful figures in the family, are particularly affected. After having been able to care for their families, overnight they become nothing. I come across many people looking for ways to finish their lives”.
“Naima’s family is one of thousands who became poor overnight as a result of the blockade,” says Karl Schembri, Oxfam spokesman in Gaza. “It makes it next to impossible for such families to recover their economic losses. Depression is rife. Oxfam offers temporary jobs for people like Naima in sewing workshops, but the crisis of dignity gripping her husband and so many other men we meet is hard to tackle.” “After the 2009 military operation against Gaza, the number of children who were clearly traumatised was so visible,” he says. “Children are less attentive in school. Two-thirds fear more war and a high percentage want revenge.