Latest study reveals conflict still a major cause of morbidity in Kashmir

Latest study reveals conflict still a major cause of morbidity in Kashmir

SRINAGAR: A study on Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) and Major Depressive Disorders (MDD) has revealed PTSD and MDD continue to be major mental health problems in Kashmir.
The study, by psychiatrist Mansoor Ahmad Dar, revealed an alarming rise in the number of patients suffering from mental disorders.
“Out of a sample of 3137 cases, 572 were found to have suffered trauma at the age of 5 to 17 years. Of the 572 cases, 500 were found to be suffering from mental health disorders because of the conflict in Kashmir,” the study revealed.
The study concluded that out of the sample population, 184 cases were found to have developed mental disorders caused by the loss of someone close to them; 64 people were found to have suffered major depressive disorders because of being hit by explosives; 8 cases of morbidity were found to have been caused by sexual violence; and rest of the cases were found to be the result of natural disasters and accidents.
“At least 42.6 per cent of the traumatised cases had DSMIV (disorder usually diagnosed in infancy, childhood or adolescence), 24.4 per cent of the adults have PTSD, and 15.3 per cent have MDD,” the study concluded.
“Post trauma morbidity is significantly chronic and long lasting. MDD and PTSD form the majority of the morbidities present. Both MDD and PTSD may develop very late after the traumatic event. People with trauma may need long-term psychiatric screening, care and help,” the study has suggested.
Both PTSD and MDD were seen 10 years after trauma and beyond.
It was found that women were more prone to mental disorders as compared to men.
“About 59 per cent of the males and 40 per cent of females were diagnosed with morbidity,” it concluded.
The study has been published in the ‘International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and Human Resilience’.
The study was conducted on people who have suffered trauma from 5-17 years of age.
Six districts of Kashmir were surveyed which included Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla, Pulwama, Budgam and Kupwara.
During the survey it was found that 28 per cent people had experienced trauma in childhood.
The morbidity was slightly higher in rural areas than in urban population.
“I chose the age group of 5-17. I wanted to see how people still suffer because of the trauma experienced in childhood. I found that people are still haunted by the horrible incidents they have suffered in childhood. And interestingly, 87 per cent of the people have not sought any psychiatric consultation so far,” Dr Mansoor said.
He cited a case of Kupwara woman who has not slept for eight years.
“She lost her three sons in an encounter eight years back and now she seems quite reluctant to come to terms with the reality,” he said. “She cooks food for them, makes their bed, and knocks at the door of their room every morning to wake them up. The irony is she has not sought psychiatric consultation so far,” he added.
A similar of study titled ‘Prevalence of traumatic experience during the lifetime of Kashmiris’ was carried out by the noted psychiatrist Dr Mushtaq Margoob in 2006. He had found that 58.69 percent of the people have developed mental health problems because of the conflict in Kashmir.