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Relentless Afghan conflict leaves traumatized generation

Adnan Abidi / Reuters

Patients sit inside their ward at a mental hospital in Kabul on November 11, 2012. The war in Afghanistan is creating a generation of people mentally damaged by their exposure to incessant conflict, a buildup of problems which could undermine the country's reconstruction and development efforts.

Reuters reports — On a low bed in a quiet, all-female hospital ward, a depressed Afghan teenager huddles silently under blankets, her mother close by. In a nearby room are men suffering from schizophrenia, delusions of persecution and power, anxiety and panic disorders.

As Taliban regroup, victims battle for 'free' Afghanistan

Among them are some of the unseen victims of the war in Afghanistan: a generation of people mentally damaged by their exposure to incessant conflict.

Adnan Abidi / Reuters

Ghazia Sadid, 26, a patient suffering from depression, speaks during an interview with Reuters at a mental hospital in Kabul on November 14, 2012.

Aref Karimi / AFP - Getty Images

More than ten years after the beginning of the war, Afghanistan faces external pressure to reform as well as ongoing internal conflicts.

Ghazia Sadid, a 26-year-old mother, endured depression for years after a family member was killed in a bomb attack, and she fled her home in fear of more violence.

"I still hear the sounds of explosions. I still remember the fighting, but since I have come here my behavior has changed," she said, speaking at the Kabul Mental Health Hospital, a green-walled building on the outskirts of the city.

"I was totally lost and my life was over. After two years of treatment, now I love my children," she said. "I loved them then too, but in my imagination I had done something wrong." Read the full story.

When the war comes home: Watch a video about U.S. soldiers' struggles with PTSD and other mental issues after returning from Afghanistan

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Adnan Abidi / Reuters

A patient scribbles on his hand as he sits inside his ward at a mental hospital in Kabul on November 11, 2012.

Adnan Abidi / Reuters

Patients sit inside their ward at a mental hospital in Kabul on November 11, 2012.