Mental illness casts shadow over Afghans struggling to cope with decades of war
Some 10 million Afghans - nearly a third of the population - who are facing mental health problems, according to the country's health minister.
Decades of conflict, suicide bombings, displacement, poverty and unemployment have taken a huge toll on Afghans, and left a health system that is under-funded and ill-equipped to provide care to citizens, health experts say.
Insecurity and a lack of funds have prevented a nationwide study of mental health issues but a 2013 report by the World Health Organization (WHO) said surveys had indicated consistently high levels of mental distress in the population.
Substance abuse has been on the rise since 2000, it said.
"No one knows what is going on and what is going to happen to them, and it makes them anxious and depressed," said Eklil Hayat, a doctor in the capital Kabul.
"Perhaps the most obvious signs of mental health problems are that the people have become less tolerant and more impatient," Eklil told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone. - Read More