Besides existing psychological disorders in the general population, there are now torture victims, child soldiers, combatants with post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), mistreated migrant workers, and lately earthquake survivors who had narrow escapes or lost family members.
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Arun Bhattarai was lying down for a nap that Saturday three years ago when a deep underground rumble followed by a big jolt woke him up. His house in Dhading collapsed, and his family became earthquake refugees in Kathmandu. Bhattarai, now 46, suffered from insomnia and anxiety attacks for months afterwards. The trauma drove him to drink, but today after treatment he has beaten his alcoholism.
“A lot of people suffered from anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression following trauma and bereavement during the earthquake, some even attempted suicide,” says mental health specialist Kapil Dev Upadhyay. “The disaster aggravated the psychosocial condition of many patients who were already recovering.”