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2016-07-20 10:51:19

Kashmir: Firing survivors now run the risk of mental trauma

The firing survivors admitted in various hospitals of Kashmir are at the risk of developing serious mental disorders as they have been left with long-term physical disabilities, psychiatrists have warned.
According to psychiatrists and psychologists, the injured youth who have faced physical hurt due to bullets and pellets fired by police and paramilitary CRPF are four times more likely to suffer psychological distress than average.
They said some of the injured youth have already started showing up symptoms of psychological distress “which may lead to serious mental illness and suicidal tendencies as well”.
“A serious trend is emerging in some victims because their physical disability due to bullets and pellets is manifesting itself into psycho-social disorders. There is a greater possibility that things may get worsened when they will be discharged from hospital and rendered bedridden,” said Javid Jeelani, a Mental Health Counselor working in the associated hospitals of Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar.
Although the psychiatrists have started early crisis intervention with the injured youth given the emerging trend and past experiences, but they are highly apprehensive the manifestation may worsen.
“If the injured won’t get societal support their usual distress and anxiety may turn into serious psychiatric illnesses. We need to talk to the injured persons and find adaptive processes and parameters by which they will start living normal life,” said noted psychiatrist, Dr Arshad Hussain.
He stressed on the need to rehabilitate the affected people immediately “before the arrival of serious thoughts”.
“Everyone including government and non-governmental organizations should focus on rehabilitation of these people to prevent any serious trend arising as far as psychiatric diseases are concerned,” he added.
According to doctors, nearly 20 injured persons have been identified in two associated hospitals of GMC Srinagar by an expert team for close monitoring and psychiatric intervention.
While 10 injured persons were put on psychiatric intervention at Bone and Joint Hospital, 9 youth have shown up symptoms of psychological illness at SMHS hospital so far, according to doctors.
“Till now we have seen around 41 pellet injury patients in the Ophthalmology Ward out which 9 have symptoms of psychiatric illness ranging from anxiety to severe depression. Five of them needed rigorous psychological and medicinal therapies to contain their psychological alterations following the physical injuries. We have started the treatment and hope for better results,” said Dr Tajamul Hussain, In-charge Psychiatrist, Crisis Intervention Mental Health Team.
The team was constituted by Principal GMC, Dr Kaiser Ahmad after the medical emergency was declared in all hospitals due to huge influx of firing victims.
Dr Tajamul said some of the youth are in a serious condition as they are showing up symptoms of severe depression and panic.
Similarly, the team has started their intervention at Bone and Joint Hospital in Barzulla where they have identified 10 people to be put on psychological and psychiatric treatment.
“We have interacted with 22 firing victims at the Bone and Joint Hospital so far. While most of them need moral boosting because of suffering and pain they are going through, ten of them have been put on psychological treatment due to severe symptoms they are showing,” said Jeelani.
Psychologists said the trauma victims would show up various illnesses like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and psychosis and would need long term treatment. So they suggest that we need to change PTSD into a positive aftermath Post Traumatic Growth (PTG).
“There would be a sudden surge in the number of mental patients after some months. During such tough times, people suffer from trauma, depression, and other psychological disorders may swell in the hospital and private clinics. So we have to be well-equipped to deal with such patients,” they said.

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