Prof.Dr. Saad Bashir Malik says the society is no more lending a helping hand to persons suffering from depressive illness
Sorting out psychological problems is still a taboo in this society and people like to stay away from consultants even when they are facing serious situations – ultimately leading them to criminal indulgences. We need to figure out the mental malaise to avoid future problems. Saad Bashir Malik, Head of Psychiatry Department at Jinnah Hospital, considers that apathy of the society and its neglect for mental health are primarily the reasons for presenting dismal state of affairs where people are killing their own children. He says:-
"There is no process for assessing the mental health of criminals. People are suffering silently under the huge social and economic burdens. Depressive illness is the commonest disease and is far more serious than our understanding. One who suffers from depressive illness develops severe depressions, which lead to grave actions.
"The risk of depression is about 30 percent. When one is faced with gloom and hopelessness, judgement and insight are compromised. Consequently, their acts are, more or less, not their own. The tragedy is that we never see depression as a serious disease. Short of that, nothing is done and people with this malaise reach the final stage. One can feel sense of hopelessness all around us. In the absence of the support system of the society, let-me-die idea seems to be the only viable option for certain individuals. This is the gravity of the situation.
"When the mood stoops to a certain level, it can be mended, but beyond some degree, it needs a lot of time and effort. The society must wake up and do something for such people. We all have an area of influence where we can certainly bring a change. Those who have nothing with them, they can come up with some good changes in themselves.
"As far as killing of one’s own children is concerned, it seems to be done out of ‘compassion’ in a few cases. They believe that they are doing the best because the society at large is not lending a helping hand to them. A man, who is unable to sustain his family in his life, he strongly believes that he must cut not only his own lifeline, rather he should kill his dependants as well. Prior to this heinous crime, the society’s support system should be there to help him out of his crisis.
"Remember! Poverty is not a recent phenomenon. It has been there since long, but during those days, the society used to be part of every man’s life. Now, if one is withdrawn, he is made to draw further away from other human beings. He is like an alien among his fellow beings. Strong family system used to act a shock absorber, which is also eroding with the passage of time. On the same lines, the community system is also in recession. This society seems to be individual-oriented, that is, individuals are more important than the society itself. We are neither independent emotionally nor mentally geared up to act without any support. Moreover, our faith in God has diminished though quite a large number of people seem to be more religious.
"We all believe that we are all good husbands and wives, which is altogether a wrong notion. This misconception is augmented by the fact that most of the married couples produce quite a few kids on the assumption that they properly raise their children. This is like jumping-from-jumbo-without-parachute situation.
"One must maintain a healthy relationship with fellow beings to eliminate negative emotions. Moreover, we must have a strong sense of fulfilment, which can be achieved by the actualisation of even petty dreams. We all have a responsibility to the society and we need to wake up before our children become a target of apathy."