Mental illness on Rise in JK, over 1 lakh Treated Since 2008

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Srinagar: There has been an upsurge in the number of Mental Health Patients (MHP) in the Kashmir division. Since 2008, more than one lakh MHP patients have been treated in the valley which has 20 doctors specialising in the area.

Two decades of violence during which thousands were killed, injured, kidnapped, disappeared and tortured has been attributed as a major cause for depression by experts. “Doctors, trained for three months to one year, are now running Mental Health Clinics in district, sub-districts and Public Health Centres in all the nine districts of Kashmir and Ladakh regions,” Assistant Director Health Dr G A Wani said here on the world mental health day today. Mr Wani, also the nodal officer mental health in Kashmir, said the number of people suffering from depression has increased from 6,368 last year to 15,800 during the first nine months of this year. 

Similarly, the number of patients suffering from psychotic disorder was 2,600 in 2011 and 4,410 this year till September, anxiety disorder increased from 7,800 to 8,305, substance abuse disorder 1,960 to 4,205, headaches 405 to 2,501, epilepsy 231 to 603, mental retardation 225 to 241, organic brain syndromes 251 to 381, dementias 253 to 281, psychosexual disorder 200 to 300 and others 629 in 2011 to 646 patients this year till September. However, the number of post traumatic stress disorder patients has come down considerably from 841 in 2011 to 411 this September. Directorate of health, Kashmir had organised eight camps for these patients till September against five in 2011 in the valley, Mr Wani informed.

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