Survivors of killing spree get gory flashbacks
They Need Emotional Support: Experts
ARIF SHAFI WANI
Srinagar, Aug 21: Gun shots, blood drenched clothes and cries for help! This is what most of the youth and teenagers who were injured in firing by troopers and cops during the past over two months have been experiencing in nightmares and flashbacks.
Experts said the survivors are suffering from post traumatic stress and need immediate counselling and emotional support to help them to come out of the trauma.
Altaf Ahmad (name changed) from an Old City locality who received bullet injuries on chest and legs while he was protesting against the civilian killings, is also experiencing nightmares. “Though my injuries are healing fast, but I still experience flashbacks of the incident. I usually see troopers opening indiscriminate fire and find myself in a pool of blood and writhing in unbearable pain,” he said.
Another youth of Old City who was injured by a tear gas canister, has been seeing smoke and hearing deafening sounds in his nightmares. “He abruptly wakes up and cries for hours together. If he hears a loud noise, he starts to shiver and sweat,” the youth’s parents said.
Sasha Mathews, project coordinator of the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), an international humanitarian aid organization which has been undertaking counseling of the survivors, said they need emotional support.
Sasha said the MSF counselors met 42 persons who were recently injured in troopers and police firing. “Most of them have been experiencing nightmares about the incidents. Our experts have been counseling the survivors and educate them and their families about the symptoms. Our objective is to render emotional support to the victims and help them to come out of the trauma and lead a normal life,” Sasha told Greater Kashmir.
Sasha said those youth who have suffered disability or amputation of body parts due to hits by teargas shells or bullets will take a long time to recover emotionally.
“We make these patients realize that disability of their one of the body parts is not the end of world and they have to live for the sake of their families,” he added.
A Psychiatrist working with a Government hospital wishing not to be named, said the nightmares and flashbacks are the normal response to the traumatic incidents.
“It is usual for a person who has suffered trauma to see flashbacks, nightmares, feel intense fear, helplessness and alienated. In most of the cases, the person gets normal after receiving consolations from family members, relatives or friends. But in some cases, where they continue to feel agitated, counseling and medication is must,” he said.
However he said if the patients are left unattended, the problem is likely to be compounded and they will gradually suffer from major depression and even have suicidal tendencies in extreme cases.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 21 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 21 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 22 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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