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Hong Kong Residents Prone To PTSD Amidst Unsettling Circumstances

32 % were registered to show symptoms of PTSD in the past few months, anxiety disorder prevails after one goes through extreme traumatic circumstances.

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A recent study has found that people from Hong Kong are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after the prolonged unrest in the metropolitan.

The research has been published in The Lancet Medical Journal on Friday. A team from the University of Hong Kong conducted a survey on 18,000 people from 2009 to 2019. The researcher said that it could be said as the world's longest and largest research study to unveil the impact of social unrest on the population's mental health.

Of the ones who underwent the survey, 32 per cent were registered to show symptoms of PTSD in the past few months.
The anxiety disorder prevails after one goes through extreme traumatic circumstances. As a result, people suffer from sleeplessness, horrifying nightmares and always lingering irritability.

Protests broke out in the city which drove to scraping an extradition bill which would allow probable suspects to be deported to the Chinese mainland. The population have since called for a liberal and accountable police pro-democracy movement.

While the protests went on, people's outburst happened more aggressively and as a result, people lost their lives. Two protesters were shot, a man was set on fire, and another lost his life after being hit with a brick during clashes.

Around 16,000 rounds of tear gas have been released by local police forces and about 7,000 people arrested in horrifying scenarios.

Among Hong Kong's 7.5 million residents, the count of the adult is 6.3 million. As compared to the time when the research began, the study found there are now an estimated 1.9 million more adults in the city with PTSD symptoms and 590,000 more with the probability of depression.

"Hong Kong is under-resourced to deal with this excess mental health burden," Professor Gabriel Leung from the University of Hong Kong, who co-led the research, said in a statement.

Gabriel also shared, "With only around half the per-capita psychiatry capacity of the UK, and pre-existing average public sector outpatient waiting times of up to 64 weeks, it is important that we enhance mental health and social care provisions so that all those in need are able to access high-quality services."

The study reveals that the symptoms of the mental health issue amongst the adult population was six times higher in 2019 than after the city's so-called Umbrella.

The researchers acknowledged that their study provides observation relating to rather than highlight any cause and effect. They have also raised the concern that their findings may underestimate the extent of mental health problems because they did not include individuals younger than 18, a substantial proportion of protesters. 


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