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Kashmir reports surge in psychiatric problems; most of patients are youngsters says HOD Psychiatry GMC

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SRINAGAR: As a serious concern, the number of people affected with depression and anxiety is increasing in Kashmir with most of them being youngsters including children and women.

Head of the Department (HOD), Psychiatry, Government Medical College Srinagar, Dr Muhammad Maqbool Dar said that psychiatric problems increase with the development, unemployment, educational pressure, nuclear families and others.

“At a time when I started my career in around 1989, only 20-30 patients would visit the hospital for checkup and most of them were mentally challenged. The situation has changed as nearly 200 patients visit the hospital for checkup every day and most of them are youngsters including the children,” he said.

“The mental health awareness is certainly one among the reasons behind the rise in the number of patients, but people mostly sufferings from depression, anxiety disorder and panic disorder are visiting the doctors every day,” he said, adding that female patients are almost double than men as the females are going through various issues like dependency, sensitive nature, hormonal changes during pregnancy and especially the domestic violence.

He added that the stress level among the youngsters is such that they opt to take drugs as they look for an immediate solution to come out of the stress.

“We are witnessing patients of different age groups, but most among them are the youth and the children,” he said.

Furthermore, he said that the stress level among the people has increased post Covid as the virus is a multi system disease and it can involve any organ. “There was a time when almost no children with psychiatric issues would visit the hospital, but the time has changed as even the institute has now kept a separate unit for the children in the hospital with the increase in the number of little patients,” he said.

Among the children, he said there are many reasons for psychiatric issues, which include nuclear families, educational burden, imbibing western cultures, excessive use of social media and others. “If we cannot prevent the excessive use of social media, the consequences would be dangerous in the coming years,” he said.

The prominent psychiatrist further added that during the recent research conducted by him, Dr Shabir, Dr Naveed Nazir and others about Covid patient psychiatric problems have found three major issues among them including post traumatic disorder, obsessiveness and depression.

Appealing to parents to give enough time to their children, he said that they should not remain liberal or orthodox with their wards. He also appealed to lessen the excessive use of social media and ensure a friendly environment at home. “These steps would help in reducing the psychiatric issues,” he said.

He also appealed the females to ensure better relationship with their daughter-in-laws, saying that it has been found that domestic violence cases also lead to the psychiatric issues among the women.


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