War, disaster affect People’s health

Namrata Devikar
Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Dhananjay Ashturkar, a city-based psychiatrist, said he received patients, who were traumatised and needed help, after the Uri attack. “There are many psychological repercussions of a violent attack. Many patients needed help after the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks. Many of them had anxiety issues. Even after Uri, two patients, who had anxiety issues and felt insured, had visited the clinic for help,” said Dr Ashturkar.

Pune: Many people wanted a war against terrorist forces following the Pulwama attack and the retaliation by Indian security forces. However, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), war and disasters have a deep impact on the mental health and psychological well-being of people. Also, the rate of mental disorders tends to double after such emergencies. On the occasion of World Health Day (April 7), city-based psychiatrists talk about trauma, stress and other challenges to mental wellbeing that people face after such violent interactions. 

Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Dhananjay Ashturkar, a city-based psychiatrist, said he received patients, who were traumatised and needed help, after the Uri attack. “There are many psychological repercussions of a violent attack. Many patients needed help after the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks. Many of them had anxiety issues. Even after Uri, two patients, who had anxiety issues and felt insured, had visited the clinic for help,” said Dr Ashturkar.

He said most people, who undergo a traumatic situation, develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“These patients feel anxious in stressful situations and need help. The indirect effect of such violent situation is that there is loads of insecurity in patients. After the Pulwama attack, the fear induced among citizens was virtual as there was a social media hype. But that resulted in inducing a lot of insecurity among people,” said Dr Ashturkar.

Speaking on the issue, Dr Shirisha Sathe, a psychologist, violent situations leave the victim hostile.

“They affect the psychology of a person. For them, violence becomes the new normal which leads to less sensitivity and more hostility towards each other. Many people also start understanding that every situation can have a simple solution, which is not the case,” added Dr Sathe.

She said those who have undergone a violent situation may become repulsive and reactive. 
“The normal understanding justifies violent reactions. The only way to bring a person out of this is to communicate,” added Dr Sathe.

She mentioned that communication and conversation should be done with the person under all circumstances. 

“The person should be made to understand that there can be multiple reactions to a single situation. And these responses depend on us and no response is accurate. Some problems can be complicated. So, the solution cannot be easier as well. If adults follow this in their life, children will follow them as well,” said Dr Sathe.

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