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Russia Ukraine War and mental health: How does it affect people

July 5, 2022

6 min read

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Author : United We Care
Russia Ukraine War and mental health: How does it affect people

Introduction

Russia and Ukraine have faced tensions since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Due to countries’ independence from colonial rule, border security became a significant issue from the 1990s onwards. This tension rose to alarming heights when Ukraine voiced interest in becoming a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) member. It has caused some friction between Ukraine and Russia, resulting in the current war. 

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What are the Psychological Effects Of The Russia Ukraine War and mental health?

The Russia-Ukraine war and mental health issues resulting directly from this conflict have caused multiple psychological problems in both countries, including chronic diseases such as heart failure, high blood pressure, and diabetes. However, we already know after two World Wars that long after wars officially end, people continue to suffer from mental health issues for an entire lifetime, impacting their families and communities.

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Experts

Why is war terrible psychologically?

1. A war between countries takes a heavy toll on the public and private infrastructure, health, commodity supply and prices, leading to inflation and economic crisis.

2. Bombing and strikes cause people to abandon their homes and livelihood for survival. Mostly, civilians (adults and children) are killed or left physically disabled.
3. The deaths of earning members of families also have a devastating effect on the mental health of children and other dependents. Due to the ongoing conflict between friendly and hostile countries, they may or may not be taken as refugees by other countries.
4. If the countries accept refugees, they must re-establish themselves in the new communities and find sources of livelihood to survive.
5. Food is an essential item required for survival, but the import and export of essential commodities are hindered during wartime, affecting the general public. People have to wait in long queues for food, water, fuel, and shelter. There also is inflation in commodity prices, further affecting people.
Thus, war has a significant psychological impact on the people of warzone countries. Let’s further discuss the Russia-Ukraine War and mental health issues among the war-stricken people in these countries.

 

What is the impact of the Russia-Ukraine War and the mental health of children?

Russia Ukraine War
The Russia Ukraine War and its mental health issues have severely affected infants and children. Some of the most common mental health conditions are:

  1. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.): P.T.S.D. is a temporary mental health condition caused by trauma or stressful conditions and can potentially cause physical and, more commonly, psychological changes in an individual. Research suggests that children in warzones tend to suffer from P.T.S.D. They are separated from their families, stay in refugee shelters, and have to take up multiple responsibilities at an early age. 
  2. Malnutrition: The lack of food security during the war may lead to nutritional deficits, especially in children. Malnutrition can cause a decline in cognitive function and predispose them to mental health issues like anxiety, stress, difficulty in decision making, and the ability to withstand the pressure of war.
  1. Depression: Depression spreads uncontrollably among adults and children during wartime. Children feel sad, helpless, and alone and show no interest in their surroundings.
  2. Compromise in social development: War makes children lose out on years of schooling, giving them a lack of opportunities to socialise with peers and slowing down their intellectual growth. The circumstances also force children to lead a life of struggle regarding financial independence, lack of food security, and education. There may also be an increased crime rate, frequently involving minor children.

Therapy and counselling is a proven method to treat issues related to mental health and is a specialisation of United We Care, which houses a team of trained mental health professionals.

What are the effects of Russia Ukraine War and Mental Health?

The health conditions of people during the war is not good.
1. Apart from mental health issues, physical disorders and disabilities also impact people. War and conflict increase the likelihood of suffering from gunshot wounds, loss of limbs, paralysis due to spinal cord or brain injuries, and bone fractures, to name a few.
2. The medical costs associated with these physical conditions are tremendous.
3. While a country’s government supports its people in times of crisis, war can continue for an unknown period, making assistance from authorities diminish with time.
4. Wars leave people with permanent physical disabilities, and rehabilitation may take years.
5. In a few cases, it may even cause early death. Most people may not afford a caretaker, leaving them homebound and unable to care for themselves.
6.  The relationship between the mind and its environment is an area of expertise that United We Care carefully studies and applies to help people with mental health issues. We need peace; war is not for us.
7. Untreated physical and mental disorders may lead to chronic, life-threatening conditions like limb gangrene and suicidal tendencies.
8. Rapidly spreading infections during a war is devastating for the people.
9. World War I and II saw an outbreak of plague that wiped out a substantial number of the world population as deadly aftermath of the wars.
10. The lack of medical personnel and infrastructure in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic may add to the chronic disease crisis.
11. This war should end to prevent the worsening of health conditions, including mental health and chronic disease, among the war-stricken citizens of Ukraine.

Conclusion

The Russia-Ukraine war is considered one of the most important political events after World War II. The people of both Russia and Ukraine have suffered significant setbacks, including deaths, disabilities, becoming refugees, and, significantly, suffering from mental health issues. The most common mental health issues people are experiencing include anxiety, depression, suicide, and P.T.S.D. Children have borne the brunt of this conflict, with many P.T.S.D. Cases. The Russia Ukraine War and the mental health issues that have resulted from it are of great concern to people worldwide. 
Experts suggest that only diplomatic negotiation can help the countries of Russia and Ukraine return to their pre-conflict status. Ultimately, the people of the two countries need to feel safe regarding shelter and food security. 

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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