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Invitation to join Special TWEET CONFERENCE (Topic: FGM/C and Mental Health : The Links and Call to Action)

FGM/C and Mental Health: The links and the Call to Action

                          (for more info on FGM/C visit www.endcuttinggirls.org)

Kindly join us today to commemorate  the 2017 WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY... in a brief 1hour tweet conference.  It is part of the contribution of the Organization (Adolescent Support and Health Advancement in Nigeria) which I am volunteering with...


“The alarmingly high rates of psychiatric disturbance among this group of  women who have undergone FGM/C provide important evidence that researchers, as well as clinicians, have an obligation to focus more attention on the urgent needs of FGM/C survivors” the researchers state.

Undoubtedly, the issue of mental health and FGM/C have a lot in common.
Thank you for your anticipated support this night by 10pm -11pm.  See our small e-poster for more information.

Please we need your contribution(if any).

 Please quickly read this: 
Christina - not her real name - is 42 and lives in west London. She was circumcised in Eritrea, east Africa, when she was six.
She was called into a room after being told her grandmother had come to visit.
"I went in and I was held down by four ladies and that's when they did it," she said.
"I was screaming for my mother but she wasn't there.
"My father didn't even know about it."
Christina has been having counselling sessions with healthcare professionals and now paints to try to help deal with the impact of the experience.
"I'd say right now, more than the physical part, it's the mental part I find difficult," she said.
"I started having flashbacks, it was a shock. It felt like it had happened now and not 36 years ago."

Mental health in the workplace is the theme of World Mental Health Day 2017. World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues and mobilizing efforts in support of better mental health.

Female genital mutilation and other harmful practices

Health consequences of female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation may cause mental health problems

The WHO pilot study investigated the mental health of women following genital mutilation .  A number of experts have in the past assumed that women undergoing genital mutilation would be more likely to develop psychiatric illnesses than women in the general population but there has been little research to confirm this belief.
The psychological impact of genital mutilation was assessed in 23 Senegalese women in Dakar who had undergone FGM, with 24 uncircumcised Senegalese women serving as comparison subjects. All participants were between the ages of 15 and 40 years, and they had an average length of education of 11.5 years. Twenty-one per cent of the subjects were married and 79% were single. The two groups of circumcised and uncircumcised women did not differ significantly in terms of age, education, marital status, or traumatic life experiences.
A neuropsychiatric interview and other questionnaires were used to assess the traumatization experienced and psychiatric illnesses. More than 80% of the entire group had already faced traumatic life experiences (usually the sudden death of a friend or family member). The age at which the circumcised women experienced FGM ranged between 5 and 14 years (the mean was 8.2 years). In no cases had local analgesics or narcotics been used.
All but one participant remembered the day of her circumcision as “extremely appalling and traumatizing”, the researchers say. More than 90% of the women described feelings of “intense fear, helplessness, horror, and severe pain” and over 80% were said to be “still suffering from intrusive re-experiences of their circumcision”. For 78% of the subjects, FGM was performed unexpectedly and without any preliminary explanation.
The psychiatric diagnoses showed that almost 80% of the women who had undergone FGM met criteria for affective or anxiety disorders, with a high rate (30.4%) of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), while only one of the uncircumcised women fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for an affective disorder.
The researchers conclude that female genital mutilation is “likely to cause various emotional disturbances, forging the way to psychiatric disorders, especially PTSD”. They state that the high rate of PTSD of more than 30% in the FGM group compares to the rate of PTSD of early childhood abuse (which ranges between 30% and 50%).
Although FGM is part of the participants’ ethnic background, the researchers add, “the results imply that cultural embedment does not protect against the development of PTSD and other psychiatric disorders”. Those other psychiatric disorders are said to include “memory dysfunction” which other studies have shown to be present in traumatized persons.

During the conference:
You would have open opportunity to ask questions on FGM/C as related to world mental health day.


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