The Psychological Impact of War and Abduction on Children in Northern Uganda: A Review

  • Citation: Dokkedahl, Sarah, Henry Oboke, Emilio Ovuga, and Ask Elklit. “The Psychological Impact of War and Abduction on Children in Northern Uganda: A Review.” International Journal of Mental Health Psychiatry 1, no. 3 (2015).
    • Topics:
    • Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding
    • Keywords:
    • Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Uganda
    • trauma
    • war
    • PTSD
    • anxiety
    • depression
    • children

In more than two decades northern Uganda was affected by the war between the government and the LRA. Children were abducted and affected during the war, but what is the psychological and social impact of war on the children? In this study we reviewed 40 epidemiological trauma studies conducted in Uganda from 2004-2014 using databases. The psychological impact was found in many different domains ranging from mental health problems like PTSD, depression, anxiety, and psychosis to suicidal ideation, alcohol abuse, partner violence, child abuse, and feelings of guilt and revenge, furthermore, many experienced problems when returning to their home communities. Uganda only has few mental health workers, few clinical facilities and lack medication to treat mental health problems. We therefore conclude that the prevalence of mental health problems continue to be high to this day, despite the war ending in 2007.

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