Post Traumatic Stress

I lived a normal life with my family, like any other family I know, until the hurricane hit our country Syria. Everyday came with new challenges and hardships; my son changed and started reacting to events in ways he was unlikely to. Whenever I asked him to do something he would ignore me and not listen to anything I say; his compassion turned to roughness. As for my daughters, they had nightmares every day as a result of the continuous gunshots they hear every day. On top of all that, my husband’s fatigue in trying to comprehend what is happening to our family and support us. The everyday raids and arrests, scenes of people killed, the sounds of funeral processions, calls for blood donations to hospitals, cutting off of water and electricity, polluted drinking water, lack of bread and medicine, seeing armed men on the roofs of buildings, and armed men entering houses and committing unspeakable crimes.

I couldn’t but get affected with all that was happening around me; my psychological state started to deteriorate. I suffered from shortness of breath, quickening heartbeats, shaking, dryness in my throat, and continuous stress. I slept less and less and had nightmares often. Not only that, but I became depressed and started having dark thoughts and wanted to end my life. One night my family woke up to the sounds of my screams, they tried to calm me down and took me to the doctor the next day. What he told me is that what I’m suffering from happens to 60-70% of people who are living under war. Then he told me that he will give a medicine that will make me ‘forget my name.’ I took my medication regularly but it only helped temporarily until I became worse again. The doctor then prescribed me a relaxant and it me helped sleep deeply, but this didn’t last long and as I got worse so did my father in law. After that we took the decision to leave to Jordan, and it was exactly what I was hoping for to help save my family and myself.

The second my feet touched ground in Jordan I knelt and thanked God, my eyes welling up with tears; leaving behind all my pain and worries. For when the reason of my suffering was gone, the pain itself was gone. I learnt that whatever challenges I shall face after that, I have to be patient and endure because no matter how difficult the situation is, it won’t be anywhere close to what I had faced in Syria.

-Aisha

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