Braid Chopping: Mental health experts suggest ‘reaching out’ to victims

Srinagar: With already more than 100 cases of braid copping reported so far in Kashmir, mental health experts Saturday said that instead of waiting for the victims to come out and seek counseling the authorities should try to reach them and provide medical aid besides counseling to them.

“Why can’t the authorities start a campaign of reaching out to all such traumatized victims and provide them whatever medical, especially, psychiatric help they need to come out of the trauma,” Dr. Zaid Wani, Associate Professor Department of Psychiatry GMC, said.

Pertinently, the mystery of braid chopping continues in the Valley and mental health experts have warned outbreak of possible mental disorders among the victims who are not coming out to seek any help.

 “We have to understand that they are traumatized. Let us, then, take the first step,” Dr. Wani added. 

Mental health experts are saying that these victims would already be in a state of trauma and in such situations expecting them to come out for counselling is beyond comprehension, with others are of opinion that such a campaign should have been started in the beginning, knowing the ramifications of such incidents.

“A team comprising of experts including members from Psychiatry should have been formed at the earliest, in order to counsel all such victims and to spread an assuring message, which would have prevented such incidents from transforming into a ‘hysteria’,” a psychologist said.

“Braid is an essential part of a female’s over all persona, and when it is chopped off they would feel as if they are incomplete which ultimately would add to their trauma, with all other factors associated to it,” said Dr. Muhammad Maqbool Dar, HoD Department of Psychiatry.

“Such victims can experience recurrence of such events, they may experience that their braid is chopped off all over again, especially in dreams, that can add to their anxiety level, therefore these victims are in dire need of counselling at this point of time,” he added.

Experts had also warned earlier that if such victims are not addressed in proper time frame, the situation may turn to be worse. Psychological complications may take deep roots especially within females who are the immediate targets.

Earlier, Director Health services Kashmir Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman had said that the Directorate has formed committees at the district level to look into the issue. If the victims want any counselling from their part, they would be ready to help.

As per officials, so far, hospitals across Kashmir have not received even a single braid chopping victim for counselling to date, which is making it difficult for the authorities to take any step further.

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