SRINAGAR: Daily exposure to a variety of severe traumatic stresses has led to an escalation in mental ailments in Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar, according to a latest study.
The study states that the two-decade old conflict in Kashmir has resulted in emotional distortion, mental imbalance, feelings of insecurity, uncertainty and economic instability among the people.
Titled ‘Impact of conflict situation on mental health in Srinagar’, the empirical study has been conducted by the Department of Sociology, University of Kashmir. The study was conducted on 200 respondents, majority of them being women, who were randomly selected from various areas of the capital city.
The study reveals that the conflict has a wider and deeper impact and that it is compounded by lifelong social, economic and psychologically traumatic consequences.
It claims that mental disorders in both men and women have shown an alarming increase when compared to pre-conflict days in 1989.
“A lot of people suffer from stress (normal or related to traumatic event), high amounts of psychosocial problems (substance abuse, distrust) and disorders like anxiety, mood and post-traumatic disorders are mounting,” the study states.
It adds that the mode of death specifically due to violent act, which is unexpected and sudden, leads to various kinds of psychological problems (including mental health) in the survived family members of the victims.
“As an impact of conflict, 90.5 percent of the respondents agreed of having become fearful, with 87 per cent among them saying they suffer from sleeping disorders. 86 per cent of respondents experienced stress and depression, while 66 per cent respondents said they have lost interest in their life. 31.5 per cent respondents experienced nightmares, 38.5 per cent respondents have become aggressive in behavior while 27 per cent respondents were vulnerable to suicide,” the study says.
It says that the killings and murder of innocent people in conflict situation seem to be the most brutal and wild behavior, affecting all sections of society.
It was also found that the incidences of mental illness are more in females than in males. More women were found to be at the receiving end of the turmoil. “Women have lost their husbands, fathers, sons and brothers due to which they have to take charge as the head of the family also. Most of the women find it difficult to adjust and cope with this situation which has led to more stress related disorders among them,” the study adds.