Story 2

 

 

 In order to maintain confidentiality, actual names and photos have been omitted.

Ms. “G” is a 50 year old female and she was referred to the FRC centre by a community volunteer (CV). She is married and her husband is 48 years old. She has 4 boys, who are 21, 18, 12 and 10 years of age, whom she currently lives with. She was engaged in agricultural activities with her husband prior to the conflict.

In 2009 she was displaced from her village with her children and according to her, many of her relations and friends died during that time. She explained how difficult it was to escape from her village and during their escape, her thigh, wrist, and fingers were wounded by the shell attacks. She was taken to the general hospital for treatment, and was then moved to an Internally Displaced People (IDP) camp with her family members. She has now resettled in her own village, but after that incident, her husband has become an alcoholic, violent, and abused her and the children physically.

When she came to FRC she presented the symptoms of inability to sleep, nightmare experiences, helplessness, flashbacks of trauma, inability to control her thoughts, tiredness, loneliness, suicidal thoughts, uselessness, difficulty in breathing, pain all over her body, and she also explained that she felt guilty because she was able to survive the war. While talking to the Psychosocial Worker (PSW), she started crying and disclosed how she feels tense, sad, and angry.

She explained how she sewed some parts of her wounds herself and the ordeal that she went through as a consequence. The recollection of these traumatic memories and the incidents make her uncomfortable, and when she described how she walked through the dead bodies with eyes closed, clutching her children’s hands, she almost lifted her feet off the ground; this depicted the psychological distress that she was undergoing. During the discussion it was difficult for her to explain her experience to the PSW as she was so afraid even to think about the incidents that she experienced.

The PSW, after discussing with the technical committee, started treatments with Ms. “G” for PTSD symptoms. She was referred for medical treatment and the PSW continued counselling treatment to help her lessen the trauma she was feeling. At the beginning she was reluctant to continue sessions, but due to the continuous support she received from the PSW and the CV, she attended sessions regularly.

She was also referred to the mental health unit at the general hospital for further treatment. Through the counselling sessions, she was given the opportunity to freely express her traumatic experience. Psycho education was given helping her to overcome her problems, and simple relaxation techniques were introduced to her with a hope of helping her to overcome her psychological distress. Opportunities for participation in social welfare programs through community workers, possibilities of getting help to improve family support were also presented and explained by the PSW in these sessions.

Ms. “G” was carefully observed by our CVs during home visits throughout, during which the CV found that the husband’s violent behaviour is affecting her and her children. This was in turn intervening with the counselling being provided by FRC. The PSW had discussed with her about action she could take in such situations, a safety plan for her and the children, and possible help for her husband through another organization working with people with addictions. Ms. “G” expresses how relaxed she is now and how much less disturbed she feels. She is actively participating in her daily work and participating in spiritual activities as well.