Abdul Karim, 48, is a father of four. After experiencing a traumatic event, he lost his ability to work and support his family and isolated himself. He started to suffer from extreme fear and anxiety.
“I started to question everyone around me. I couldn’t trust anyone,” he said. “I was lost and felt that life wasn’t worth living anymore.” “When I discovered that MSF provides mental health care in Hajjah, I started coming to the clinic every month and I have been going there for the past two years,” he said.
“We receive patients suffering from various mental health disorders,” said Aura Ramírez, MSF’s mental health activity manager, “with symptoms ranging from mild to severe, such as anxiety, depressive episodes, post-traumatic stress disorder, and behavioral problems—and we provide them with psychosocial care.
However, most patients arrive with severe conditions, such as major depression, psychosis, and bipolar disorder that require psychiatric treatment in addition to psychological care. These cases account for 70-80 percent of our patients.”
Fatima*, a 33-year-old mother of five, suffered from severe hallucinations and constantly heard voices that made her cry, scream, and act violently with her children. Sometimes, she couldn't even recognize them.
She and her husband divorced due to her mental health condition and she moved from Sana’a to her parents' house in Hajjah.
“I was a hopeless case. No one accepted me,” said Fatima. “I sat in the dark most of the time, and it was an absolute headache for my family. I turned their joy into sorrow on any occasion.”