The Mentally Ill Nation

Let us face the facts and do not dance around the bush. Pakistan is a mentally ill nation with a very high number of people who could be positively diagnosed with clinical depression of some degree. In many cases, the otherwise normal looking person displays all the signs of stress related illnesses.

In 2012, Pakistanis downed approximately 476 million anti-anxiety pills. This huge number itself is a sufficient indicator of how wide spread the problem is. The worst thing about the whole issue is that no one is ready to talk about it.

Mental illness carries a social stigma and the patient is either labeled a faker or worse completely relegated to a corner. As of 2008, there were only 478 qualified psychologists in the whole country. This severe lack of trained and experienced mental healthcare professionals is the core reason of lack of awareness of the problem.

The daily routine of the people has no place for relaxation and the concept of unwinding after work is practically unknown to the majority of the populace. For city dwellers, the daily hassle of commute with traffic jams and fuel shortages is just the start of the day. Add workplace misery and stress to the equation and the person is all but ready to explode.

The load shedding of electricity is another major factor of the high stress levels of the people all over the country. Electricity has become an essential requirement in the hot and humid conditions of the country. With power outages lasting for three to ten hours a day, it is easy to understand why the high rate of stress related disorders is cited as one of the rising concerns of international health organizations.

As a nation, we have no social mechanism of relieving stress. Since culture is heavily censored by religio-political elements, a person has few outlets for burring away the stress. If you are a woman, than the opportunities for having a few moments of peace slim down even further.

Before condemning Pakistanis as drug addicted junkies, perhaps it would be wiser to understand and rectify the causes of stress in the daily life of an average Pakistani. The rising Price of Living Index means that the average Pakistani faces considerable difficulty in making ends meet.

Yes, Pakistanis should not take drugs to drown their sorrows. But consider the alternative! Let us accept our faults…Let us start by admitting…yeah we have become a mentally ill nation….but we will fight it off….just like any other evil plaguing our society.

 

 

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