Feb 18, 2009

'Kashmiris suffer permenant psychological injuries' Experts

-‘For over 15% population life will never be normal even if normalcy returns to Kashmir’ -Amid official unconcern PTSD silently preys on Kashmiri victims
Zeenat Zeeshan Fazil Srinagar: Loud political rhetoric of normalcy returning to Kashmir Valley notwithstanding, for a vast chunk of population here the life will never be normal again!Experts say even it “normalcy” returns to the valley, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) patients will never return to the normal life. They say political turmoil in Kashmir has caused devastating psychological injuries a huge population with over 15 percent people falling prey to various manifestations of PTSD."Almost 96 percent of the Kashmiris are suffering from one or other kind of mental ailment and out of this 15 percent suffers from PTSD,” says Dr. Mushtaq Margoob, a leading psychiatrist of Kashmir. He says before the inception of militancy, only three persons reported to the Valley’s only Psychiatric Diseases Hospital on an average daily. But this figure has recorded manifold increase, and on an average, over 300 patients visit the hospital each day now, without even bothering about the social stigma attached to visiting this hospital. “These details clearly show that in the past couple of decades the psychiatric problems in the Valley have assumed alarming dimensions," Margoob says. He says both men and women suffer from chronic ailments of depression which often result in serious personality disorders or PTSD. “Sometimes a violent incident leaves a scar in the mind of the person in such a way that the whole perception of the world and self gets stuck with that event. The person experiences such event again and again and it is impossible for the PTSD victims to return to the normal life.”Even if the normalcy returns to the Valley, says Margoob, PSTD will not go away. According to him, there is a “denial mode” at work - so strong that "sometimes the patient will not be able to register events which have a resemblance to the one which set the trauma off in the first place.”For instance, explains Margoob, if a patient has witnessed blood oozing out, then they may not be able to register the red color. Not being able to forget and not being able to remember is a particularly distressing situation for many PTSD patients. “On the whole, this extreme distress leads to symptoms like forgetfulness and numbness."When the events repeat themselves, the condition which was dormant can get reactivated and the patient again starts showing the same symptoms. If such a condition becomes chronic, it not only affects social existence, but will have a psychological impact on the brain, adds Margoob. In Kashmir, more than two decades of violence have exposed all age-groups to scenes of cross-firing, homes being destroyed and loved one’s being killed. One of the most vulnerable of these groups is children.Sometimes PTSD gives rise to suicidal tendencies also. Margoob says need of the hour is psychological education and counseling for the victims as "the moral code of conduct doesn't exist anywhere now, people have become too materialistic.”

No comments:

Post a Comment