‘No sense of safety’: how the Beirut blast created a mental health crisis

6 August, 2021 | NEWS
‘No sense of safety’: how the Beirut blast created a mental health crisis
A year on from the devastating explosion, people are struggling to sleep and PTSD is widespread – amid economic chaos

Rayan Khatoun has been dreading 4 August. She has been constantly on edge as the anniversary of the port explosion in Beirut approached.

The blast threw Khatoun into a wall as she came home from work and left her with a head injury, a fractured cheekbone and torn tendons. Since then, she has suffered from recurring nightmares, insomnia and anxiety attacks.

“For months after, I was too scared to be anywhere near glass,” she says. “Sometimes, I experienced a sudden fear of open spaces as if I had nowhere to hide if something happened.”

Khatoun’s children are in constant fear of something happening to her, after seeing how badly she was hurt. “We have lost our sense of safety completely,” she says.

With the country in meltdown, failed by the political class, its people are in the grip of a mental health crisis without adequate resources to deal with it.
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