Approximately one in three adults in Hong Kong have described symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the months since large-scale protests began last June, according to a study published in the Lancet medical journal Jan. 9.
One in five has stated likely suspected PTSD and depression, a level similar to people experiencing large-scale tragedy, terrorist strikes, and armed struggles.
The conclusions are the outcome of a decade-long longitudinal study led by experts from the University of Hong Kong, and they reflect major mental health stress undergone by hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of residents.
What 2009 and 2019’s research shows?
The investigation, which was conducted between 2009 and 2019, represents baseline studies of more than 18,000 Hong Kong citizens, which were followed up with seven surveys of random subsets of these grown-ups.
Months of severe fights distinguished by violence from both police and protesters have shredded at the social stuff and frayed familial bonds. In contrast, what several perceive as an increasingly severe political environment has increased people’s sense of anxiety, violence, and weakness.
Those who use more than two hours a day controlling local socio-political news on social media were wholly connected with likely depression and suspected PTSD, according to the research.
The current protests’ mental health effects are much more explicit than from the 2014 Umbrella Movement, also called Occupy Central, the ultimate extreme pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong.
The generality of PTSD signs is now more six times higher than following the 2014 protests, increasing from 5% to 32%.
The mental health crisis will require substantial developments
The mental health emergency will require substantial developments in service surge capacity in both social sectors and the health, and in real-time, according to the research.
Still, they annoy that those who require help most would not get it, as some than half of the affected people told they would look for professional care.
That could be worsened by individuals’ new care of the public health system; especially the following police detained numerous protesters as they were in hospital getting medical treatment, increasing suspicions that the Hospital Authority was leaking data to law enforcement deputies—an allegation that the government has refused.
Numerous protesters have instead sought natural treatment by a private network of psychiatrists, doctors, and traditional Chinese medical trainers.