Depression and Insurgency In Kashmir

Dr. Sushil Rudra Ph.D

Depression, anxiety and panic attacks- all these mental disorders are interrelated with the advancement of society. It’s noticeable in all ages, in all societies. We have discussed depression in the characters of Ramayana and Mahabharata in my previous posts. (See here:https://kalpatarurudra.org) . Mental trauma perhaps didn’t occur to common folks.

grayscale photo of a woman sitting on sand
Photo: Pexels.com/Depression and insurgency in Kashmir

Before the modern era, the Indian common citizen was accustomed to simple living and high thinking.

But the scenario has changed. In this post, I will discuss the depression and insurgency in Kashmir.

Depression is the outcome of modern lifestyle and culture. Because modern people are running towards physical amusement and worldly longings.

They want to fetch limitless prosperity. Naturally, when it’s not possible to earn, they are going through mental trauma.

Especially Educated youths are in great trauma due to the unavailability of jobs. Moreover, the security of women, economically and socially, are diminishing.

Society is changing, is so the new generation. They are choosing their life partner. So if it’s up to the mark, then fine. But If not, it will be troublesome. Therefore, they have to face mental trauma.

Mental, physical and social health, are vital strands of life. These are closely interwoven and deeply interdependent. So mental disorders affect people of all countries and societies, individuals at all ages, women and men, the rich and the poor, from urban and rural environments.

Especially, Depression is more likely following particular classes of experience – those involving conflict, disruption, losses and experiences of humiliation or entrapment. Many people living amidst the rages of conflict suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Today, we shall try to find out the depression in the people of Kashmir where the people had to face a long term insurgency.

Depression in the Population of Kashmir:

To determine the characteristics of depression in the population in Kashmir, we have to find out the socio-economical, political and demographics problems. We know that a low-intensity-conflict has been going on for the last two decades.

Survey On Depression :

The non-combatant civilian population was surveyed. The Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale was used to measure symptoms of depression in community populations.

Kashmir Valley

Depression and Insurgency in Kashmir/ Photo: http://www.kalpatarurudra.org

The Horrible Results: Depression and Insurgency in Kashmir :

Due to continuing conflict in Kashmir during the last 2 decades, there has been a phenomenal increase in psychiatric morbidity.

The results reveal that the prevalence of depression is 55.72%. Especially, the prevalence is highest (66.67%) in the 15 to 25 years age group. And followed by 65.33% in the 26 to 35 years age group.

Beside, females have an overall prevalence of 60 per cent while as males have 51.34 per cent.

A significant difference in the prevalence of depression among males and females is in the age group of 36 to 45 years and 46 to 55 years. So it values of 0.005 and 0.013 respectively.

Females have a higher prevalence of depression in all the age groups than males and it is highest in the age group 26 to 35 years (68.66%).

Females in the age group of 15–25 years also have similar prevalence rate of depression (68.64%). In males prevalence of depression is highest in the age group of 15–25 years (64.61%) followed by 62.65% in the age group of 26 to 35 years (62.65%). 

Depression In Rural Areas:

Therefore, the difference in the prevalence of depression among males and females is significant.

Depression is much higher in rural areas (84.73%) as compared to urban areas (15.26%). In rural areas the prevalence of depression among females is higher (93.10 %) as compared to males (6.8%).

How To Control It?

Mental health is an integral part of overall health and quality of life. Effective evidence-based pogroms and policies are available to promote mental health, and to enhance resilience.

Then it will reduce risk factors, and increase protective factors. Moreover, it prevents mental and behavioural disorders.

In addition, there should introduce innovative community-based health programmes. These are culturally and gender appropriate and reaches out to all segments of the population.

So it needs to be developed. Then it’s possible to achieve substantial and sustainable improvements. It can be achieved only when a comprehensive strategy for mental health incorporates both prevention and care elements is adopted.

WHO/ Read more: “Depression In Mahabharata”/ DEPRESSION A SILENT PANDEMIC/ RabindranathTagore As A Doctor

World Health Organisation has ranked depression as the fourth among the list of the most urgent health problems worldwide. It has predicted it to become number two in terms of disease burden by 2020 overriding diabetes, cancer, arthritis etc.

The magnitude, suffering and burden in terms of disability and costs for individuals, families and societies are staggering .

So Mental disorders are universal. It affects people of all countries and societies, individuals at all ages, women and men, the rich and the poor, from urban and rural environments.

Mental functioning is fundamentally interconnected with physical and social functioning and health outcomes.

Moreover, mental health is influenced by displacement through conflict and war, stresses on families, and economic adversity.

For the many persons who face uncertain futures (including those by conflict or disasters), the burden of serious emotional and behavioural disorders afflicts their lives.

Many people living amidst the rages of conflict suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

At the dawn of a new millennium, communities and societies increasingly face situations of armed conflict. While this trend is apparent in different parts of the world, it is of particular concern to the South Asian region.

Violence is a phenomenon intrinsic to class-based societies. They are inherently unequal and oppressive.

So Violence here may take implicit forms in the manner of institutionalised oppression and inequality. Or a more explicit form of state oppression through the use of state-sanctioned institutions, such as the police, the military and courts.

It could even assume a more direct form, whereby civilians manage the task of a weakened state through militia groupings.

Large-scale violence may also take the form of mass uprisings against the oppression of dominant classes. Besides, civilians are increasingly being targeted in these episodes of contemporary violence.

Civilians of Kashmir have to reduce military casualties as protective shields . Torture, rape and executions are carried out to undermine morale and to eradicate the cultural links and self-esteem of the population.

However, most civilians witness war-related traumatic events. Shooting, killing, rape and loss of family members are the regular features of Kashmir.

The extent of psychosocial problems that results from this mass exposure to traumatic events can ultimately threaten the prospects for long-term stability in society.

Despite growing evidence over the past two decades of the terror – both of the physical and mental dimensions of war upon civilians – much of post-conflict activity tends to concentrate on physical reconstruction – roads, bridges and buildings.

Moreover, psychological and psychic injuries can have more damaging. Long-term consequences as other injuries from a situation of conflict, they remain undetected.

So they didn’t avail of any plans for rehabilitation. Partly this is because these injuries are difficult to fathom in terms of the enormity of scale.

Besides the delayed manifestation of symptoms sometimes take years to surface. However, physical violence may be easier to identify, name and quantify than psychic or symbolic violence.

Kashmir is the heaven on earth. Its splendid beauty and hospitable population is legendary. But over the past 2 decades Kashmir became associated with violence.

Hence, the objective of this study was to determine the characteristics of depression in the non-combatant civilian population of Kashmir.

Luckily, there a low-intensity conflict has been going on for more than 2 decades. Some researchers conducted a study during 2005–06.

Mainly security concerns are amongst the dominant themes in the minds of people living in Kashmir. Hence, this owes to the fact that death, injury, destruction of property is notable features of life. It’s due to conflict, disturbances and turmoil for the last 2 decades.

Besides, many have suffered tragic incidents of a war-like situation. By their nature, they are beyond the endurance of the common man. Many are witnesses to bloodshed. That is characteristic of such a situation.

Moreover, thousands of people have lost their lives or limbs. Unfortunately, thousands of orphans and widows have been rendered. Scores have disappeared. Colossal damage to property is evident.

Besides, numerous educational and healthcare institutions have suffered damages. It’s every day’s newspaper headlines that the people of Kashmir are not having a peaceful atmosphere for living there. Even those who have survived all this, continue to be reminded of their vulnerability.

Moreover, disruption of development works consequent upon the war-like situation. Ultimately, there are unemployment, poverty, etc.

Besides, a vicious circle of events has been created there. It comprises torture, disappearances, displacement, killings, ballistic trauma, etc.

And paralleled by a state of mind wherein grieving, insecurity, oppression, poverty, uncertainties of career and relationships etc. are the major themes.

Keywords: Depression, Insurgency, Kashmir, Mind

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DEPRESSION A SILENT PANDEMIC

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