An Afghan man with mental health problems shields his face from the camera as he is chained to a wall of a room at the Mia Ali Baba shrine, in line with a traditional belief that spending 40 days chained in isolation at the shrine can cure the illness, in Jalalabad July 9, 2012.
Afghanistan is struggling to fight the mental health problems that afflict some of the population after decades of violence, according to Abdul Rasool, an official from the health department of Jalalabad province. REUTERS/Parwiz
Many people will look at this and recoil in terror at how “backwards” it is. Meanwhile, solitary confinement is a common practice in the American prison system.
That fact is important to add. It’s also important to mention that Afghanistan’s mental health institutions have effectively been destroyed since the war began and with the great number of people who are suffering from the United States’ prolonged occupation, the entire system is massively overloaded. In many cases, one never fully recovers from PTSD but instead, they’re forced to learn how to cope with it for the rest of their lives. How do you get an entire country back up on its feet after over a decade of war and violence?