October 2018 News

Substance Abuse Major Cause Of Mental Disorders In Kashmir

5 October 2018
Rising Kashmir
Mansoor Peer

Srinagar: Psychiatrists of Kashmir region Friday said that 'increasing substance abuse' was a major cause of mental disorders among youth. Noted psychiatrist, Dr Arshad Hussain, Professor at Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (IMHANS), Government Medical College Srinagar, said people were resilient in coping up many problems including trauma but they have succumbed to curb drug addiction. 'Any young person we admit currently, 90% of the times they have substance abuse as a problem for mental disorders. This is the impact of drug addiction on young people,' he said during a workshop-cum awareness program in Srinagar titled Let's Talk 'Youth Mental Health in Kashmir.' The event was jointly organized by PGM Charitable Trust and Kashmir Rabab Academy at Ambrosia Café, Rajbagh. Dr Hussain said people in Kashmir region were living in a totally different way-which has affected their mental health. 'Now children are away from playgrounds. They don't go to play and share their time their peers. They have no idea about the comradeship. They lack the instincts sharing and acknowledging their peers. These all issues in the long run take a heavy toll on their mental health.' Dr Hussain said stress and strain starts among kids at the very young age. 'Children spent more time with television, electronic gadgets and do less activity which is a problem.' 'Playgrounds and home is gone what is left is school. Most of the inventions have come from people who had bad schooling. We are following dominant world cultures,' he said. Expressing serious concern over the inactive lifestyle the doctor said there no focus on the overall development of kids. 'I feel distressed when I see children of fifth and six standards coming to hospitals with mental illnesses,' he said. Dr Hussain also lamented that mental care in Kashmir region has faced neglect for a long. 'It is good that people are coming up. There is no longer that stigma or resistance about consulting a doctor,' he said. The doctor said people have created problems for themselves and have made themselves susceptible to mental illnesses particularly in Kashmir. When asked what immediate measures should be taken if people are suffering mental illnesses he said people should go for diagnosis and counseling at right time. 'Rehabilitation at the community level is very important to help people to live a normal life.' Pertinently mental disorders comprise a broad range of problems, with different symptoms. However, they are generally characterized by some combination of abnormal thoughts, emotions, behaviour and relationships with others. Doctors say that most of the disorders including Schizophrenia, depression, intellectual disabilities and disorders due to drug abuse can be successfully treated. The young psychiatrists at the event pitched to cure mental illnesses by using knowledge. On the occasion, young psychiatrist, Dr Syed Bushra, department of psychiatry, GMC urged people to treat mental problems like other diseases. 'Knowledge is more important at first stage. Depression is more dangerous than denial to treatment. People must reach out to psychiatrists and it is curable,' she said. Another young psychiatrist, Dr Mehvish Yaver of GMC reiterated that the stigma behind mental illness has ended. 'What is seen is that there is a lack of confidence among victims. Negativity at the family side and poor academic excellence are also reasons,' she said Activist and founder, Arnimaal-NGO working on children, women and medical aid-Kalpana Tikku, said most of the people were suffering from any type of mental disorder and many do not realize they are ill. 'People have started talking about mental illnesses. They should take it seriously. Parents also need to be conscious and understand if a child is suffering from mental illness,' she said. Tikku said communication with the person suffering from any type of disorder is important. 'We should believe that it is a problem,' she said. In his welcome address, president PGM Charitable Trust, Feroz Hussian, said the programme was organized with an aim to generate awareness among people about mental disorders. 'It is need of the hour to talk about mental issues among youth. We have to do our bit to benefit the community,' he said. At the event, Dr Masood Rashid said he was happy that female students are coming up and were applying for the psychiatry department in the Government Medical College, Srinagar. 'Now GMC produces around eight psychiatrists and clinical psychologists in a year,' he said. Journalist and music enthusiast, Nazir Ganaie also spoke on the occasion. He said that Health sector in restive Kashmir haven't yet sufficiently responded to the burden of mental disorders. As a consequence, the gap between the need for treatment and its provision is wide across the region. He said a further compounding problem is the poor quality of care for many of those who do receive treatment. Ganaie later mesmerized audience with his solo Rabab performance.