March 22, 2007

What will become of Iraq's children?

US vets aren't the only ones with PSTD issues:
Mohsen says he hears similar stories every day. He treats up to 15 patients a day. Despite meager resources, he says, he doesn't get any government financing.

One of his patients is 16-year-old Zaman. She was kidnapped outside her school in the Sunni neighborhood of Al Mansour. She says she was held for nine days in a windowless room with 20 other girls.

When one girl's family didn't pay for her release, the abductors raped and killed her. Zaman says she was beaten and forced to sleep next to the girl's dead body. Zaman's family says it paid $20,000 for her release.

The 16-year-old now suffers from deep depression. She screams and cries in the middle of the night. Her nightmares are so intense she's too afraid to sleep.

Her mother begs Dr. Mohsen to help her daughter.

"It's OK. It's OK," he said. "Calm down."

But away from her, he confides that he believes this is a lost generation.

"They live in real tragedy. They have many psychological problems," he said. "What we can do to them is just try to help them by simple things. And so I think our children have big problems."

What does he make of it all for Iraq's youngest generation?

"I don't know what their future is," he said.


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