Migrants and Refugees Face an Invisible Trauma

While countries debate annual refugee caps, or if they should be repealed and whether to welcome Haitian and Afghan refugees, each day migrants experience the trauma of instability. This additional trauma — often ignored because of other acute, pressing issues — has lasting physical and psychological health effects that we document in our refugee and migrant patients for decades.

As a result of the instability and vicarious trauma, immigrants of all legal statuses experience weathering, a term used in medicine to describe the physiological wear and tear of stress that can result in advanced aging, elevated blood pressure and heart attacks. Like the shock experiments with rats, uncertainty and instability can be as harmful as the outcomes themselves.

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Martizaabdel

Martizaabdel

Bringing you the day’s biggest stories from the Middle East and around the world, stories that deserve your attention with insightful analysis.

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