Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Monday, March 06, 2006
An Amazing Study
Given what these people have been through over the past few decades, and most accutely the last few years, it's a wonder anyone is functioning:
The Post fronts a look at the mental-health situation in Iraq—unsurprisingly, it's not good. A study in Baghdad found that more than 90 percent of residents surveyed suffered from psychological disorders such as insomnia, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. While the situation was bad enough before the 2003 U.S. invasion, another study showed that people have been exposed to dramatically more trauma since then. Compounding the problem is the exodus of educated Iraqis since 2003, which has left a total of 75 psychiatrists—including zero child psychiatrists—in the entire country.
These types of consequences to war are usually overlooked. Yet in the long run, the impact of chronic widespread post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety will inevitably lead to a chaotic society for generations. Iraq, very much like Vietnam since the U.S evacuation, will require a "strongman" to hold it all together for some time due to the fact that democracy only occurs in countries with relative prosperity, intellectual achievement, and the ability to delay self-gratification. In large measure, this study of Iraq is also applicable to much of the middle east, and why chronic instability and disruption are the norm.

It's also exactly why Bush, who wouldn't know quality mental health if it knocked him off his saddle, is so naive about the region.