Which mental health disorders impact refugees?
Studies confirm that refugees are at substantially higher risk than the general population for a variety of specific psychiatric disorders. These disorders include:
- Major depression
- Generalized anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Adjustment disorder
- Somatization (Medical symptoms that have no known cause but can be linked to stress)
- Chemical changes in the brain
- Multigenerational trauma
Exposure to torture is the strongest predictor of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder among refugees.
(Kirmayer, L. J., Narasiah, L., Munoz, M., Rashid, M., Ryder, A. G., Guzder, J., Hassan, G., Rousseau, C., Pottie, K., & Canadian Collaboration for Immigrant and Refugee Health (CCIRH) (2011). Common mental health problems in immigrants and refugees: general approach in primary care. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l'Association medicale canadienne, 183(12), E959–E967. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.0...)
Refugee voices on mental health
Humanitarian aid workers report on what they see in Hope Hospital in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh: