Reality of depression beyond statistics
That a large segment of population in Valley suffer from depression is
stating the obvious. Besides, by now the settled nature of this
reality has made us look at it as a fact of life, something that we
have not only learnt to live with but also be forgetful about. But it
is only when one comes across the individual cases of severe
depression across the length and breadth of Valley that the massive
scale of the tragedy shocks you.
Haleema of village Muqam in Baramulla district wants to kill herself
by any means. She cries a lot. Her husband Muhammad Yaseen Khan is
missing since 2006 and her 20 year old son Shameen Ahmad Khan was
killed gunmen in 2002. She now lives with her two daughters and a son.
She is on a regular medicine to reduce the level of depression. But
there has been little redeeming difference. Instead her daughter
Jameela has also fallen victim to depression.
Similarly, Shameema of Kawhar village, also in Baramulla district,
suffers from sleep disturbance, hopelessness and suicidal tendencies.
Her husband Nazir Ahmad Rather was killed by unidentified gunmen in
2000 following which she perforce had to marry her brother-in-law. She
says she is not happy with her new life.
There are thousands of such cases across the Valley. In the course of
my work in Baramulla district, I came across a large number of cases
where a family tragedy, most of them the outcome of the ongoing
political conflict, have left families reeling in trauma and
depression. Often, the effect of the depression has been compounded by
the abject poverty.
Ghulam Hassan Mir of village Kalantra was an able-bodied, hard-working
man. But he fell into severe depression after his son Ashiq Ahmad Mir
was arrested by the police two and a half years before. The son is
still in jail. Mir sits at one place and hardly ever goes out of his
house. He is also on a regular psychiatric medicine. While Mir is on
the rebound, his wife and daughter have also started feeling depressed
requiring urgent medical attention.
Almost any village you visit has cases of depression, and most of them
lack proper medical and psychiatric attention. This in turn has ruined
many a family. As Dr Mushtaq Margoob has pointed out in his studies,
about 19 per cent Kashmiris suffer from depression. This, in turn, has
bred suicidal tendencies, with an increase of 26 fold in suicide
rates, according to the psychiatrist Dr Arshad Hussain.
What has compounded the problem is that most of the families with
depressed members are too poor to take care of them. It is often some
non-governmental organizations which step in to provide some medical
and psychiatric relief. Though the help goes some way to ameliorate
their lot, it doesn’t often prove enough. There is an urgent need for
some form of community support. And of course, government also needs
to step in. It is a humanitarian crisis. These families, if no
sustained help is offered to them, stare at a bleak future.
(Jabeen Wani is a student of department of psychology, Kashmir University)
Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Jul 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Jul 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 19 Jul 2013 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM OPINION
Srinagar, July 18: Sheikh Ghulam Nabi, father of Sheikh Farhat, who was awarded life imprisonment by Kolkatta Court earlier this week, on Thursday said he would approach the higher court to seek justice More
- Srinagar City
SYED IMRAN ALI HAMDANI
Srinagar, July 18: While there was a spontaneous shutdown in the Srinagar markets Thursday against the killing of people in Gool, Ramban area of Jammu province, the traders’ fraternity in this summer Capital More
Jammu, July 18: Jammu and Kashmir government has proposed 16 vital road projects before the Union government under the centrally sponsored scheme, Central Road Fund (CRF) for 2013-14. Official sources More
Muzaffarabad, July 18: The Chairman of United Jihad Council Syed Salah-ud-din on Thursday alleged that Hizb militant Shakeel Kasana was subjected to custodial killing. “Those involved in this heinous More
- South Asia
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Dhaka, July 18: Bangladeshi prosecutors today slapped six war crime charges, including genocide, against a senior leader Jamaat-e-Islami, a day after the party's second-highest ranked official was sentenced More
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
London, July 18: British Prime Minister David Cameron has said India and Pakistan can play a "crucial role" to bring peace to Afghanistan through their resumed bilateral dialogue process. “India and More