Ukrainians are trying to heal the trauma of war at a mental health clinic

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After Russia invaded Ukraine, Yuri Makeyev realized she was homeless and unemployed. It’s a combination of situations that put him on the brink of memory weakness.

Escaping from his war-torn eastern home, the 48-year-old believes he can return to normal life thanks to the special psychological rehabilitation he receives at Kieu’s clinic.

At least 5,000 civilians have been killed and many injured since Russia’s President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to be sent to Ukraine on February 24, according to the latest UN statistics.

But even more people survived devastating artillery all over the country, causing mental wounds, Trauma..

According to psychologists, weeks of bomb shelter, unemployment, or being driven out of the house can lead to stress and frustration that you can’t handle yourself.

“After the war broke out, I lost my home and work at the same time,” said Makeev, who worked as an editor for a Kieu-based magazine.

His trials began in 2014 and were forced to leave Donetsk, his hometown of eastern Ukraine, after being seized by Russian-backed separatists.

“I’ve already seen what’s happening in and around Kyiv in Donetsk. I didn’t want to experience it again, but I did,” he said.

Last month, a Russian missile strike struck a residential building in Kieu, killing one person.

After Russia invaded Ukraine, the Makeyev press was closed and he lost his job.

The hostel where he lived was also closed Financial difficulties He meant he couldn’t afford to rent elsewhere.

“Several factors evolved into one continuous stress, and we had to do something urgently to deal with it,” he said.

“Demand from society”

Makeev sat on a bench in the quiet courtyard of a psychological rehabilitation clinic called Social Therapy and told AFP his story.

“There are so many people with post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD,” says Denys Starkov, a psychologist at the Crisis Center that opened last month.

“There is a social demand (for the clinic). Psychologists are full of such clients, so this idea came to me,” Starkov said of the facility.

He offers a special three-week course focused primarily on group sessions for people suffering from anxiety, Panic attack Also Hard memories..

Some, like Makeyev, come directly to the clinic, while others call the helpline and talk to an expert. Experts will determine if they are suitable for treatment.

Treatment is free. This course includes 15 thematic sessions aimed at understanding and coping with the traumatic experience.

This course is currently only available to civilians. Currently, neither soldiers nor children are inpatients.

“If it (PTSD) isn’t treated on time, it takes a tougher form,” Starkov said. they.

The three-story building on the outskirts of the city is filled with alcohol Drug addict Before Russia invades.

Currently, a team of seven psychologists hold sessions with patients several times a day, in groups and individually, with Oleg Olishevsky, the director of the treatment program.

He added that 10 patients are currently taking the course and the center plans to increase this number to 30.

“This will be the main area of ​​work for the next 10 to 15 years, as all the inhabitants of our country are experiencing this traumatic situation,” he told AFP.

Nevertheless, Olishevsky and his team are optimistic.

“We are already seeing the results. People here can feel they are safe and they are being taken care of,” he says.

Patient Makeev seems ready to agree, even after just four days at the clinic.

“I was inspired here. I was given the hope that I was already defeated,” he said wearing bright blue trousers and a white T-shirt that sounded confident.

After finishing treatment, the first thing he’s trying to do is look for a job, says Makeev.

“I expect from here to be authentic and emotionally balanced. I’m not even afraid of the word” happiness “,” says Makeev.

Many Ukrainians face a future of permanent psychological trauma from the Russian invasion

© 2022 AFP

Quote: Ukrainians are trying to heal the trauma of war at the Mental Health Clinic (July 5, 2022).

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