IOK’S blackout exacerbates mental health challenges

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IOK’S blackout exacerbates mental health challenges

August 26, 2019

Srinagar, August 26, 2019 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, hundreds of patients have been affected by the clampdown and communication blackout that has been in place in the Kashmir Valley. Over 40 percent of patients have shown signs of mental illnesses due to the recent turmoil, said a psychologist Dr Aijaz in Srinagar. The Kashmir Valley has witnessed restrictions, and communication systems have been suspended for the past 22 days.

Dr Aijaz said that restrictions such as those presently in place in Kashmir affect people’s routines, and lead to anxiety. A 16-year-old Mohammad Adil, after watching television, went unconscious in Pulwama when the Indian Home Minister, Amit Shah, argue about the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and since then been suffering from dissociative episodes, according to Dr Aijaz. “He has been suffering from depression since that time. He does not speak much either. He doesn’t interact with his parents, and gets extremely angry over small things,” said Dr Aijaz.

Adil is among hundreds of patients affected by the clampdown and communication blackout and house raids of Indian forces that have been in place in the Kashmir Valley. According to Aijaz, over 40 percent of his patients have shown signs of mental illnesses due to the recent turmoil. “There are people who are not being able to talk to their relatives. Some are anxious after not being able to talk to parents or children living outside the Valley,” he explained.

“Patients from all parts of Kashmir, to avoid restrictions, arrive as early as 6 in the morning to Srinagar’s Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital,” said Nazir Ahmad, an employee who checks patient cards. Meanwhile, the occupied Kashmir valley is facing a severe shortage of medicines as curfew and restrictions on public movement and blockade of internet, mobile phone services continue. While the situation is grim in rural areas where at several places, chemists have shut their shops.

Our phone lines are dead and we are unable to contact our distributors in Srinagar to replenish our stocks. “There is panic among the patients. They are stocking medicines for months,” said Bilal Baba, owner of Medicare in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Phone: +92-51-4435548, +92-51-4435549
Fax: +92-51-4861736
Email: info@kmsnews.org
Website: www.kmsnews.org

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