Young Ukrainians Share Struggles Amid War

Young Ukrainians Share Struggles Amid War – Many Ukrainian youths have taken to Instagram to express their feelings as Russian troops continue to invade the country.

The political tensions between Ukraine and Russia have a long history, but this is the first major conflict in the region since 2014.

Recalling childhood stories from previous conflicts with Russia, one common sentiment between millennials and Gen-Z Ukraine on social media is, “I have always feared war,” and, “How can this be in the 21st century?”

Expressing these thoughts and feelings online is a great way for young people to help manage the fears, anxieties, and other negative emotions they may have, says Shari Botwin, a licensed clinical social worker and author of the book Thriving After Trauma: Stories of Living and Healing. .

Focusing on creating physical and emotional security is also important.

“Be on the phone, FaceTiming, talk, write,” Botwin said.

“I think it’s very important right now to reach out and talk to people, especially young people out there [in Ukraine] who can use things like social media,” he said.

“This is one of those situations where we have no control over what happens, but I think being able to talk and talk and communicate with other people about these feelings can actually make the situation more manageable.”

Asya, 36, originally from central Ukraine, is currently in California.

“To be honest I just cried all day. I feel powerless, and I am terrified of my family and the people of Ukraine. ”

“My friends react differently, some are calm and ready to fight, some are scared and try to escape the country. My cousin lives through the turmoil, and the only thing he tells me is, ‘Don’t worry, everything will be all right,’ while I am still shocked. ”

It is important for young people in Ukraine to understand that what they are hearing right now is normal and logical, says Botwin.

He says: “Any emotion that may be attached to PTSD is a feeling they will have. “I think some of them heard this even before 48 hours ago, during the bombing. As soon as there was an imminent threat of an attack by the Russians, I thought the PTSD was already well under way. ”

Tanya, 28, from eastern Ukraine, currently in the U.K.

“No one should wake up and hear the words ‘war has started,’ especially the sound of gunfire or bombs. I now live far away from Ukraine, but even I tremble in the morning. I can’t imagine my friends and family being there right now. I don’t know what to say to people in this situation. And you might as well not get it. But now that we’re here, boys, don’t panic and have a clear plan of action. ”

Young Ukrainians Share Struggles Amid War.

“They can’t stop you, but they can protest, say how they feel, and do what they can to take action,” he said. “I think anything about expressing your feelings and trying to find a way to take a bigger position than we do, and I feel like they can get some control over that situation.”

Keep Talking About It
It is important that the people of Ukraine continue to talk about their feelings even after things have gone well, because these kinds of feelings will not go away, Botwin said.

In fact, these feelings may grow.

“Some people will feel war as the churches go on,” Botwin said.

“Only then will you see how bad everything you have been or what you have seen or how bad it is. Therefore, it is probably very important that you sometimes say to people, ‘Even if you can’t talk all this time, you will still have to talk about it even more when things start to go awry.’ ”

Continuing to exclude all experiences – not just those that occur during an attack – will be a great way to help prevent chronic posttraumatic stress disorder, deep depression, or future anxiety disorders, Botwin said.

Talking to a mental health professional will be a great help, but talking to others who have been through the same experience can encourage “that feeling of connection” and “you may not feel crazy or isolated in your emotions.”

“When people go through these things – even though they know other people have gone through them – without talking to other people, they will still feel trapped in them,” Botwin said.

Then they can share ideas and resources, and they can encourage one another. ”

Young Ukrainians Share Struggles Amid War

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