‘Psychiatry need of hour’
‘Psychiatry need of hour’
Musaib MehrajSrinagar, Apr 16:
Psychiatrists on Monday said three out of five Kashmiris are suffering from mental illness and the best way to tackle the disease is to open and let ourselves talk freely about the issue.
Talking about mental issues in Kashmir during an event ‘Beadarr’, they said depression has always been on the rise in Kashmir and the only way to minimize the trauma is to speak about it. A panel of doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists emphasized on how modern era shows non-seriousness about the mental issue and end up falling into its prey.
Dr. Arif Maghribi Khan, a Medical doctor working in community psychiatry said the cause of the ever-growing mental issue in the state is lack of proper infrastructure and nurturing.
“According to reports of an Organization ‘Doctors without Borders’ three out of five Kashmiris are suffering from mental trauma and people hiding it is a serious concern,” Khan said.
He said the state lacks proper management when it comes to mental issues and the government should take note of it as this is a real concern. “There is only one psychiatric hospital in Kashmir, there are 60 qualified psychiatrists, 16 therapists but the patients are over a million,” he said.
Kashmiri Pandits have also been affected by these growing mental issues. According to a survey about Kashmiri Pandits who have migrated, 21% of Kashmiri Pandits are suffering from major depressive episodes, 13% have anxiety disorders and 6.8% have post acceptance disorder.
Experts believe that increase in psychiatric ailments has been on the rise after 1989. Factors like the blockade of traditional customs, lessening of spiritual attachments have also added to its cause.
Mudasir Aziz, Psychotherapists, In-charge Drug de-addiction Centre, Anantnag said we need to understand that brain is the main part of our body and it needs to be dealt carefully.
She also said how social networking addiction is becoming a huge factor in increasing mental disorders thus making us uncivilized.
“There are 70 to 80% women who are suffering from acute depression and 15% women undergo trauma and stress. Women at homes also continuously suffer from psychological pain and we need to understand that,” Aziz said.
Questioning the government’s ‘mismanagement’ she said child psychiatric centers should be established a large number of children are suffering from attention seeking syndrome.
“Parents should also take a stand and we need to take initiatives for parenting, child-related issues,” she said.
She further added that state is lacking women specified centers and government should establish centers only then people will come forward.
Tabinda Noor, a counselor said that the severity of stigma about the mental issue is much more and for people talking about it is a kind of a shame.
“People who are suffering mentally are continuously living under a threat that society won’t accept them. They also live in a fear that mental problems never go away completely that is wrong,” Noor said.
She said that self-blame is a thing that prevails here that adds to people’s miseries. People should talk to their parents, psychiatrists, friends, colleagues but at least they should talk.
Ashfaq Ahmad Mattoo, Executive Director JK Association of Social Workers said people should understand the scale of the problem. Mattoo revealed some data about how many people are suffering mentally in the world, India, and Kashmir in particular.
“According to WHO, 350 to 450 million people suffer from some kind of mental issue that makes it about 5% to 6% of world population. In India the number ranges from 50 to 100 million and in Kashmir above 10 lakhs who have faced or are facing mental issues,” he said.
Mattoo stated that lack of professionals in the state also adds to the cause of it as one psychiatrist treats two to three lakh people.
“We have fewer professionals here, how is the problem going to end when we have only little professionals to cure such a huge number,” he said.
He added that mental issues need professional mental intervention.
Further, he added that 775 people visited OPD in 1985 but the number today has increased to 1, 30,000.
Adding to it he said that government should take a note and develop centers across whole Kashmir only then change will prevail.
Zoya Mir, Counselling Psychologist Gold Medalist, Internationally Accredited SFBT and EMDR Practitioner said mindset should change and we need to train our children in initial years.
Mir said that self-medication and self-treatment are on the rise nowadays and psychoeducation is a big zero.
“I want to request everyone to talk at least one person about the issues and we should not wait for the government to do so,” she said.
She said that we are not justifying our roles and zero acceptance, self-application are the things that make people illiterates here.
“We should take a stand, take it as a challenge and discuss each and everything with at least someone that will help to a greater cause,” she said.
Beadarr is an initiative by Ittifaaq to create awareness about mental health by changing the perception that consulting psychiatric help may well earn a label of being lunatic.