We know that the wounds from war are not confined to the battle field. Refugees from conflict zones often continue to experience trauma from persecution, imprisonment, torture and resettlement for a long time. Thus, it is important to understand the challenges of refugee families and communities.2 This piece identifies some red flags for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) according to age, gender and culture, and provides some guiding principles for mental health workers in caring for refugees.*
Psychological distress from war is harmful to refugee children and adults regardless of racial or cultural background. Refugees may experience a sense of helplessness and despair. The most common mental health issue for refugees is post-traumatic stress disorder and related symptoms of depression, anxiety, inattention, sleeping difficulties, nightmares, and survival guilt.