Karachi: Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui, the renowned neurologist and specialist in neurological and epilepsy disorders, and President of the Pakistan Epilepsy Foundation, has stated that the suicide rate has increased 20 times in the past 10 years. She attributes this surge to rapidly changing global political and economic conditions, conflicts, oppression, life in exile, poverty, inflation, and lawlessness, coupled with the rising prevalence of mental illnesses.
On the occasion of “World Mental Health Day,” Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui pointed out that other significant factors contributing to the rise of mental illnesses include the death of merit, public distrust in the government and law enforcement agencies, misuse of social media, and a weakened family and social system.
She noted that when a disheartened individual is unable to share their feelings with someone, they begin to feel hopeless about their life. The case of Dr. Aafia is an example of this. Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui emphasized that denying Dr. Aafia her due protection and release, despite her innocence, can contribute to a lack of trust in the government and institutions among the nation’s daughters.
Dr. Siddiqui also highlighted the increasing incidence of mental disorders in children, which is particularly concerning. Young children are being distracted through mobile phones and television cartoon movies, which is leading to their isolation from others (social isolation), a condition known as “virtual autism.”
She advised that if a person experiences sadness, depression, lack of interest in work, frequent irritability, and an increased propensity for anger, they or their family should recognize the need for immediate psychological help. Otherwise, such individuals may be inclined towards self-harm or suicide.