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Women, children also lose nerves to conflict in Kashmir
10/17/2019 10:10:28 PM

Early Times Report

Srinagar, Oct 17: Data furnished by Psychiatric Disease Hospital reflects the deteriorating mental health of women and children across Kashmir.
According to the data, the consumption of anti-depressants by women has increased manifold. A number of women, data reveals, have fallen prey to drugs. The conflict has affected the children in a different manner. A leading mental expert said that children who lose their parent (s) to conflict assume the role of the head of the family. "This causes hormonal changes in them. They grow abnormally which is not good for their mental and physical health." He compared such children to a balloon inflated beyond capacity that withholds the pressure for some time but ultimately bursts. According to him such children ultimately take drugs for `solace'. The United Nations International Drug Control Program has also painted a grim picture of the situation in Kashmir.
A survey conducted by it, a few years ago, says there were about 70,000 people comprising 26 per cent women and a number of children in Kashmir using drugs which include hashish and brown sugar.
The number, it is believed, has gone up at an alarming rate. Experts ascribe the reason to on-going conflict, domestic violence and other issues ranging from unemployment to failure in a love affair. The increased number of women patients visiting the psychiatric disease hospital is enough to bust the myth that Kashmiri women are well placed and healthy.
The experts have suggested counselling sessions for thousands of women and children. However, dearth of counsellors has been a major impediment.
An international NGO said the counselors can be trained in a short span of time. "The government can engage them to do the much needed counseling in remote areas where the problem has assumed alarming proportions," she said. Besides counselling, she said, the patients need to be imparted vocational training to supplement the treatment.
"Similarly, the children who have lost their nerves due to conflict or for other reasons also need special attention," she said.
Pertinently people are not comfortable taking their women and children to psychiatric hospital due to social stigma. The authorities, however, have made arrangements in SMHS hospital where such patients are examined twice a week.
The experts have sought similar facilities in every district hospital.
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