Srinagar, Nov 29: Asim Shabbir, a 14-year-old boy from Bemina is fond of cricket. For the last eight months he has not moved out of his home in view of the spread of coronavirus pandemic. Sitting idle the whole day inside four walls has caused him distress and anxiety.
“We don’t have a yard, where my children could at least move a few steps. The lives of people are paralyzed.” his father, Shabir Ahmad told news agency KINS.
The ubiquitous outbreak of COVID-19 across the continents has pushed billions of people to the confinement of their houses. While this harsh and probably only preventive measure known as of now, to contain the spread of COVID-19, can have severe repercussions in the form of stress and anxiety among people across the world, Kashmir depicts an altogether distinct and dangerous rundown.
With already a huge chunk of Kashmir’s population struggling with various mental health issues because of decades of turmoil which got exacerbated since August 5, 2019, this virus has come as a strong blow to the mental health of Kashmiris especially children.
“My son gets easily irritated over small things. The schools are closed but at least my son used to go out in vicinity to play with his friends. Now, due to the fear of coronavirus we don’t allow him to step out of the house. This makes him more aggressive,” said, Mohammad Sharif, of Batamaloo.
The educational institutions being closed for about nine months with small respite of few days in the months of February and March have triggered immense anxiety among children exasperating violent behavioral disorders in them.
A doctor at Srinagar’s SMHS Hospital said the ongoing crisis has taken a toll on the mental health in Kashmir. “During such situations, people face depressions and also develop post traumatic mental disorder,” the doctor said, “PTSD is a condition that develops after an individual goes through a terrifying ordeal that involves physical harm or the threat of physical harm. Symptoms may include disturbing thoughts, feelings, or dreams related to the events, mental or physical distress to trauma-related cues, attempts to avoid trauma-related cues, alterations in how a person thinks and feels, and increased arousal.”