Psychological disorders on the rise


The number of people suffering from psychological disorders in the capital is increasing at an alarming rate,as 50 to 60 patients suffering from mental disorders visit the out patient department (OPD) of the Capital Hospital on a daily basis. The number of people suffering from psychological disorders in the rest of the country is also on the rise as a Human Right Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) report revealed that 34 percent of the country’s population suffered from some form of mental illness.
Capital Hospital’s Chief Psychiatrist Dr Anwar told Pakistan Today that 20 percent of the world’s population suffered from psychological disorders. “But the most alarming thing is that the number of patients with mental illness is increasing rapidly in Pakistan; 50 patients with psychological complaints visit the OPD in our hospital daily and about 10 to 12 patients visit me daily at my private practice on the same account,” he said. Dr Anwar also said that most patients suffer from depression and stress, and the ratio of females suffering from such problems was twice that of men.
While talking about the causes behind this upsurge in mental disorders, he said, “In a prioritised list of human needs, the most basic need is physical security, after that is the need for safety, then the need for social affiliation and lastly, the need for aesthetic satisfaction. Unfortunately in Pakistan people are worried about getting their daily meal, and in absence of other facilities like electricity, they are unable to fulfill even their basic physical needs. Further, due to the security situation, people are robbed of their sense of security and safety as well. With these basic needs remaining unfulfilled, a large part of our population has become susceptible to psychological disorders.” Dr Anwar further said that although the word “depression” had come to be associated with regular ups and downs in peoples’ moods and a normal reaction to life’s setbacks, clinical depression was much more than that. He explained that clinical depression was like “living in a black hole” or continually suffering from “a feeling of impending doom”. Moreover, he said that many depressed people did not feel sad at all, instead, they felt lifeless, empty, and apathetic.
“Symptoms often vary from person to person but depression is very different from normal sadness in that it engulfs ones day-to-day life, and interferes with ones ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and unrelenting” said Dr Anwar. According to the annual HRCP report, more women and children suffer from psychological disorders as compared to men. Health experts are of the opinion that apart from poverty and unemployment, a correlation could also be found between rising instances of psychological disorders and the growing deterioration in the law and order and safety situation.


  1. Sarah Nasir, you need to re-read the article again. it says, Human Right Commission of Pakistan report revealed that 34% of Pakistani's are suffering from mental illness..

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