• Users Online: 823
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 95-96

Mental health issues in Kashmir valley: An overview

1 Research scholar, Department of Psychology, AMU, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, AMU, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication31-Dec-2018

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Rizwan Hassan Bhat
Department of Psychology, AMU, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/AMH.AMH_9_18

Rights and Permissions

Most mental health researchers believe that there is a variety of contributing factors to the onset of mental health issues. Studies have found that there are physical, social, environmental, and psychological causes. This paper highlights some of the mental health issues that are prevailing in Kashmir. The research so far conducted in the valley has pointed social, environmental, and psychological issues prevailing in general in the Kashmir Valley. The prevailing disturbances in the valley from the past two decades of turmoil in Kashmir were cited by most researchers as the main reasons for mental health problems. Apart from this, the changing political parties, ethics to divide, and rule resulting economic dynamics of inhabitants are also responsible for this menace. Depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, stress, and anxiety are diagnosed in general to cause mental trauma, and illness.

Keywords: Conflict, Kashmir valley, mental health

How to cite this article:
Bhat RH, Khan SM. Mental health issues in Kashmir valley: An overview. Arch Ment Health 2018;19:95-6

How to cite this URL:
Bhat RH, Khan SM. Mental health issues in Kashmir valley: An overview. Arch Ment Health [serial online] 2018 [cited 2023 May 28];19:95-6. Available from: https://www.amhonline.org/text.asp?2018/19/2/95/248897

  Introduction Top

Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can contribute to her or his community.[1] According to the World Health Organization,[2] also mental health includes “subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, inter-generational dependence, and self-actualization of one's intellectual and emotional potential, among others.”

From the more comprehensive view, treatment of, and attitude toward mental health disorders in the Kashmir is an unending journey as it has been in the rest of the world. There is a dearth of research appertaining to the psychological and mental health needs of people living in Kashmir. The ongoing conflict has taken a heavy toll in Kashmir. Many people have become victims of mental trauma, stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses[3] stated that one of the major consequences of this prolonged turmoil is the impact on the mental health of people in Kashmir. This is actually a matter of the fact that the prevalence related to mental health issues do have significantly raised since the political violence began.

Indian Occupied Kashmir consists of three regions, i.e., Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, and Ladakh. Around nearly three decades resistance to the established government began the ongoing conflict, restrictions, strikes, and curfews do have an impact on destabilizing mental health. Due to the political turmoil, people in Kashmir are in the perplexing situation. The unpredictable future of Kashmir has given rise to mental illness.

In Kashmir, where, brutality and weapon battles have been a piece of regular day-to-day existence throughout recent decades. People in the valley are attempting to keep their rational soundness. Indeed, people in Kashmir are living in a persistent condition of dread and that has prompt an ascent in patients of sadness, uneasiness, and different conditions identified with psychological well-being. Regardless of how quick we think we are moving toward peace and advancement, there is consistently a threat of being arrested, or being gotten in a check-in time, or being focused by a mob, or hit by the police.

Meds Sans Frontiers (MSF),[4] the nongovernment organization asserts that one out of five grown-ups in Kashmir is living with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Besides, they additionally stated that the prevalence of psychological distress is higher among women. MSF stated, “50 for every woman and 37 for each of man have likely to be diagnosed depressed, 36 for each and every woman and 21 for each man have an anxiety disorder, and 22 for every woman and 18 for every man have PTSD.” The investigation was directed by MSF, in a joint effort with the University of Kashmir and the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, from October to December 2015 out of 399 villages in the valley.[5]

Hussian, A. (2016) summarized that in recent decades, the number of individuals seeking mental help has soared in the challenged district. Mental wellbeing in Kashmir is declining at an alarming pace and has treated many young patients who created depression after the uprisings. According to him, young fellows have a consistent dread of getting arrested again, “he stated, including that long haul imprisonment has been connected to posthorrible anxiety issue.” “We have more youthful individuals coming to look for offer assistance. We have a scourge of emotional wellness issues, especially sadness.” Hussain at that point stated that anxiety or depression influences the valley the way cholera did.[6]

The decrease in mental wellbeing has prompted an expansion in substance abuse and suicide in Kashmir. Throughout the years, the number of patients seeking help at the only psychiatric hospital in the region has expanded quickly. As per specialists, around 1700 patients went to the hospital in 1989, contrasted with more than 100,000 a year ago. Private facilities and locale clinic focuses have likewise opened to help patients out.

In 2009, a study was conducted to see the relationship between conflict and depression in Kashmir authorized by the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Srinagar and they found that the pervasiveness of depression in the area is >55%. In addition, it was found that individuals in provincial regions, women, and youngsters were especially influenced.

There are many reasons for mental distress, Hussain said, yet ongoing political turmoil is a noteworthy one. “It was believed to be a sickness of moderately-aged individuals; however, now a vast number of individuals are in the vicinity of 18 and 35 years of age.”[6]

  Conclusion Top

Mental health issues are consistently increasing with an alarming sign. Keeping in consideration the above research reviews, there is a dire increase in the number of people suffering from different mental disorders, which are quite alarming compared with other states of India. Government spending on mental health services in Kashmir is far less than is needed. More services should be provided to meet the treatment and support inhabitants to a large extent. It is the need of the hour to enhance the mental health services in Kashmir so that it can reduce disability, the risk of several mental illnesses, and control premature death.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

WHO. Mental Health: A State of Well-Being; 2014. Available from: http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/mental_health/en/. [Last accessed on 2018 May 07].  Back to cited text no. 1
WHO. The World Health Report 2001-Mental Health: New Understanding, New Hope; 2001. Available from: http://www.who.int/whr/2001/en/whr01_en.pdf?ua=1. [Last accessed on 2018 May 07].  Back to cited text no. 2
Naik AR. Impact of conflict on mental health with special reference to Kashmir Valley. Int J Indian Psychol 2016;4:76.  Back to cited text no. 3
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the University of Kashmir, Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS), 2016. Muntazar: Kashmir Mental Health Survey Report; 2015.   Back to cited text no. 4
Rafiqi B. How Violence in the Valley is Taking a Huge Toll on the Mental Health of its Women. Youth Ki Awaaz; 2016.  Back to cited text no. 5
Shah F. For youth in Kashmir, mental health declines as conflict simmers. Aljazeera America; 2016.  Back to cited text no. 6

This article has been cited by
1 Psychological Distress among Young Adults Exposed to Armed Conflict in Kashmir
Aehsan Ahmad Dar,Sibnath Deb
Children and Youth Services Review. 2020; : 105460
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Mental Health in the Face of Armed Conflict: Experience from Young Adults of Kashmir
Aehsan Ahmad Dar,Sibnath Deb
Journal of Loss and Trauma. 2020; : 1
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Hope and Hurt of Kashmiri Healthcare
Akshay Anand
Annals of Neurosciences. 2019; 26(3-4): 5
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded588    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 3    

Recommend this journal