Landscape of Stress

Ihsan Malik

Ihsan Malik

The seemingly interminable ferment that Kashmir has been enduring for the last two decades has, without doubt, had an extremely pernicious effect on the mental and psychological health of the masses. What is more irksome is that a positive turn of events that could have been a panacea for all troubles doesn’t seem to be taking place very soon. This implies that the psychological stress is a problem that we will, in all probability, have to contend with for a long time to come. Precisely because of that, it is imperative to set-up a stress-management system in the valley.

Strangely enough, while projects, which are apparently of no immediate interest to the general populace, have become the centre of attention, the exigent problem of stress management remains unaddressed. A reason for this may be that the problem doesn’t appear to be of the magnitude of which it actually is. The repercussions, however, are evident. These days, the maladies of stress and psychological fatigue have afflicted almost every part of the world. Ironically, we, more often than not, seea strong stress-management system in place wherever it is required yet the place which needs it the most is, through and through, devoid of it.

Although, of late, the situation in the valley hasn’t been as bloody and violent as it was some time back, yet obliterating the painful memories of the past is a tall order for the masses. As a result, things like fear psychosis and clinical depression continue to bother them. The fear of being hurt physically or emotionally is now deeply ingrained in the Kashmiri minds and an uncanny sense of fright has become an integral part of a Kashmiri’s mental make-up.

Some surveys conducted by organisations like Medicines Sans Frontieres have revealed that a large percentage of the valley’s rural populace is suffering from a nagging sense of insecurity. Part of the reason for this is that most of the rural Kashmiri families have been, in one way or the other, hit by the two-decade-long spell of gruesome violence. Same is true of a lot of urban families as well.

An essential condition for the overall upliftment and amelioration of a society is the psychological health of its masses. Unfortunately, talking of psychological health with respect to the situation in the valley, leaves a lot to be desired. After having witnessed the most harrowing scenes of human misery, hankering for psychological health seems unthinkable. Sucked into the maelstrom of ceaseless violence the Kashmiris definitely feel a bit unhinged and effete.

This enervation, in turn has left them incapable of realising that there is another deleterious ailment that is silently affecting them – the psychological debilitation. The psychological, cardiac and cerebral problems that people often keep complaining of are, as a matter of fact, repercussions of the prolonged phase of mental-stress.

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