The female students of Nangarhar province are facing a growing epidemic of mental illnesses due to increasing restrictions placed upon them. The Taliban's recent reacquisition of power has caused a wide range of changes and pressures throughout Afghanistan, and women have felt the brunt of these changes. Many girls have been banned from attending school or finding work, resulting in a psychological crisis.
Samira, a resident of Jalalabad and final year journalism student, spoke of her experience. "We don't know anything about our future. I push myself to my imperfect dreams; I am suffering from mental illness, and the doctors tell me not to worry, but it is not easy to get rid of anxiety in such a situation." She claims that 80% of the girls she knows are suffering similarly, in a state of distress about their present and future.
Medical professionals specializing in mental health have also seen a significant increase in patients, particularly among women. Dr. Ajmal Ghayur, a qualified psychiatrist, confirms that "We are now treating more mental patients than before, and the number has increased among women." It is not yet clear when the restrictions placed on women will be lifted by the current government, adding to their growing anxiety and uncertainty.
The mental health crisis among women in Nangarhar province has become alarming, with girls struggling to cope with their increasingly limited prospects. As concerns grow, the government is being urged to take action to alleviate the pressures of these restrictions and work towards offering hope for women and improving their mental health.