Mental Health and Bahrain, the psychological impact of conflict

Below is a doctor’s report on my mental health condition last year. If I suffered this through what I experienced, what must the mental health of the rest of Bahrain be like, those who have suffered worse for longer?

Yesterday I posted the University of Bahrain’s 22nd June 2011 letter to me, rejecting my resignation letter of the previous May, arguing that I was in breech of contract due to my allegedly “political” and “sectarian” Internet activity, and unauthorized absence.

The letter upbraided me for relying on information supplied by “foreign parties” (i.e. the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office) rather than following the “rules and regulations of the University of Bahrain” in my decision not to return to Bahrain.

My doctor’s note from the UK National Health Service was also rejected, as I had been expected to present myself to the Bahrain Ministry of Health at a time when the MoH was complicit in the detention and torture of  dissidents. Since the UoB had already branded me a dissident, I’d hardly be likely to have done that.

The doctor’s report below explains in detail the nature of the condition I was suffering from last year.

It is my contention that the whole of Bahrain has been similarly psychologically scarred by the regime’s crackdown on dissent during 2011, EVERYONE, pro- and anti-government people, Bahrainis of every sect, and expats.

Although not much has been said about it to-date, I am convinced that the long-term damage to the mental health of Bahrainis will prove to have been very serious, and this in turn will damage the economy, education, and family life on the island.

It is therefore urgent that REAL REFORM begins to happen now, with a real, externally monitored TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION process, not just BICI, which at best is merely a beginning.

Experience from similar conflicts across the globe has shown that this is the only way the mental health and psychological effects of conflict can be effectively addressed. Denial just makes things worse.

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