Mental health crisis has taken shape of an epidemic in IIOJK


Killing of youth on daily basis, nocturnal raids, cordon and search operations and arrests have taken a toll on mental health of young and old alike in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

A report released by Kashmir Media Service in connection with the World Mental Health Day observed on October 10, every year, citing the findings of France-based international humanitarian medical non-governmental organization, Doctors Without Borders, said that nearly 1.8 million Kashmiris or nearly half of all adults, have some form of mental disorder.

Doctors Without Borders estimated after surveying 5,600 households in 2015 while the number is believed to be much higher after months of siege imposed after August 2019 coupled with back-to-back cordon and search operations in the occupied territory.

Doctors Without Borders survey found that “45% of IIOJK’s total population show significant symptoms of mental distress. Kashmir, the report said, is witnessing a massive rise in symptoms of psychological distress due to brutal Indian militarization.

A survey by Geneva-based Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Srinagar-based Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS) said, mental health crisis has reached the proportions of an epidemic in IIOJK. As per KMS report, Kashmir is witnessing an alarming increase in instances of depression, anxiety and psychotic disorders since 5 Aug 2019. Majority of Kashmiris who are pellet victims are suffering from depressive and panic disorders.

The only way to lessen the physical as well as mental pain of the Kashmiris is to find a just resolution of the Kashmir dispute, the report suggested.

The experts, mostly psychiatrists, while talking to media persons in Srinagar said, the sieges and search and cordon and search operations have instilled fear psychosis among most of the residents, especially women and children.—KMS


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