Health in Pakistan is associated with you experiencing pain in a part of your body. Being diagnosed with a disease that will kill you eventually.
Your physical state is the only part of health that the population is at ease talking about. The other aspect, that is the mental state, is still considered as an insult. We are not recognizing the fact that it is just as serious to be looked after and does not mean that you need to be locked in a mental asylum. Sometimes the mental problem you might be experiencing is because you isolate yourself and the only way to cure it is to hang out with people. It so you can divert your mind and get some peace. It is time that mental health is also taken as seriously as the physical aspect. If the mind is not at peace it can also cause physical health problems.
Stress is a major reason why otherwise healthy people are suffering from diabetes. They can also be facing:
- Blood pressure
- Heart diseases
- Chest pain
- Sleep problems
There can be many other underlying problems that you may not be aware of. So when someone with a healthy lifestyle goes to the doctor and is diagnosed with any of these problems. They should also have their mental analysis done. Sometimes you are suffering from very high levels of stress and that may be the root cause of all physical problems.
Many people in Pakistan consider mental health problems in Pakistan to be associated with black magic or some sort of being possessing the affected person. This leads to many families locking up the patient to save themselves from the “embarrassment”. This isolation and no proper treatment makes matters worse for the patient. The major problem for this attitude is that we pay more attention to physical health. We also have a taboo where we do not want to be portrayed as “weak”. Hence, anything to do with mental issues brings a stain on our social status.
Mental Health in Pakistan At least 34% of Pakistan’s population suffers from some form of mental disorder 90% of depression cases ending in suicide
The negative attitude of the society affects the patients and they end up implementing self-harming and dangerous coping mechanisms.
We as a nation need to acknowledge mental health as a medical problem and need to raise awareness among the masses. Especially those residing in the lesser privileged areas. We also need to vigorously implement the law, Mental Health Ordinance for Pakistan, 2001. According to this law, all rights of a mentally disabled person must be protected and they should be guarded with safety and security. Till the laws don’t properly recognize mental health problems and support them till then there will always be a stigma attached to it. Many popular figures have come out in the open and discussed their battles with depression. This is to help facilitate awareness and open discussions. In the early 1990’s the most loved person on the planet Princess Diana also battled with mental issues. She discussed the issue in secret recordings that she sent to Andrew Morton for his book. She also supported many mental health charities. Her children and their families also do the same.
Many celebrities in Pakistan have opened up about their mental health issues.
- Singer Momina Mustehsan was candid about her battle with depression.
- Actress Hina Altaf also shared her mentally disturbed past and how she fought back for her mental peace.
There are many others who have shared their share of mental problems. These celebrities had the realization that if they do not acknowledge this than many others would also not be able to accept what is wrong with them.
Instead of locking out the idea of mental illness we should talk about. This does not make you weak it actually helps you get stronger. Bottling up your feelings just make it worse. Some disorders are also passed genetically hence even depression can be passed down through generations. It is believed that 40% of depression can be related to hereditary reasons. Acknowledge this mental illness as an illness before it is too late. Health education is very important. Mental health should be included in it. Needing a psychiatrist should be as normal as needing a cardiologist.
“There is no Health without Mental Health”- David Satcher