Psy­chi­atric well­ness’ so­cial ac­cep­tance on rise in Kuwait

More than 200,000 suf­fer de­pres­sion-re­lated disor­ders

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

KUWAIT:

Life is rarely with­out its chal­lenges; how­ever, there are some is­sues that can be so over­bear­ing that it seems im­pos­si­ble to move on. Whether it is the death of a loved one or over­whelm­ing feel­ings of anx­i­ety, it is im­por­tant for the af­fected peo­ple to know that help is avail­able for every prob­lem life throws in your way.

Peo­ple seek psy­chi­atric help for many rea­sons. The prob­lems can be sud­den, such as a panic at­tack, fright­en­ing hal­lu­ci­na­tions, thoughts of sui­cide, or hearing ‘voices.’ Or they may be more long-term, such as feel­ings of sad­ness, hope­less­ness, or anx­ious­ness that never seem to lift or prob­lems func­tion­ing, caus­ing ev­ery­day life to feel dis­torted or out of con­trol.

Talk­ing re­la­tion­ship

Psy­chother­apy, some­times called talk ther­apy, is a treat­ment that in­volves a talk­ing re­la­tion­ship between a ther­a­pist and the pa­tient. It can be used to treat a broad va­ri­ety of men­tal disor­ders and emo­tional dif­fi­cul­ties.

The goal of psy­chother­apy is to elim­i­nate or con­trol dis­abling or trou­bling symp­toms so the pa­tient can func­tion bet­ter. De­pend­ing on the ex­tent of the prob­lem, treat­ment may take just a few ses­sions over a week or two or may take many ses­sions over a pe­riod of years. Psy­chother­apy can be done in­di­vid­u­ally, as a cou­ple, with a fam­ily, or in a group. Psy­chi­a­trists use a va­ri­ety of treat­ments in­clud­ing var­i­ous forms of psy­chother­apy, med­i­ca­tions, psy­choso­cial in­ter­ven­tions and other treat­ments (such as elec­tro­con­vul­sive ther­apy), de­pend­ing on the needs of each pa­tient.

There are many forms of psy­chother­apy. There are psy­chother­a­pies that help pa­tients change be­hav­iors or thought pat­terns, psy­chother­a­pies that help pa­tients ex­plore the ef­fect of past re­la­tion­ships and ex­pe­ri­ences on present be­hav­iors, and psy­chother­a­pies that are tai­lored to help solve other prob­lems in spe­cific ways.

Large num­ber

More than 200,000 peo­ple in Kuwait suf­fer disor­ders re­lated to de­pres­sion, a large num­ber com­pared to the coun­try’s pop­u­la­tion of nearly four mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial statis­tics re­lease by the Min­istry of Health ahead of the World Health Day last April 7th. The of­fi­cial statis­tics seem to in­di­cate that nearly 5-9 per­cent of Kuwait’s pop­u­la­tion suf­fer de­pres­sion, which is a very high rate com­pared to other coun­tries, ac­cord­ing to a se­nior psy­chi­a­try con­sul­tant in Kuwait.

“The per­cent­age drops be­low four per­cent in Scan­di­na­vian coun­tries and be­low 4.5 per­cent in coun­tries like Australia, In­dia and Canada ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study pub­lished by the Univer­sity of Queens­land in Australia,” said Dr Ab­dul­lah Al-Ha­madi, the head of the foren­sic unit at the Kuwait Cen­ter for Men­tal Health.

So­cial per­cep­tion

Com­ment­ing on the issue of many pa­tients not seek­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal treat­ment, Dr Faisal Al-Ajmi, a Psy­cho­log­i­cal and Ed­u­ca­tional Con­sul­tant at Na­ja­hat Psy­cho­log­i­cal and So­cial Cen­ter said that in the past, pa­tients used to be hes­i­tant to seek this type of treat­ment due to the per­cep­tion of the so­ci­ety for those seek­ing psy­chi­atric help, be­sides their mis­con­cep­tion and lack of knowl­edge over the dif­fer­ence between the men­tal disor­der and psy­cho­log­i­cal ill­ness. He said that the men­tal disor­der can­not be treated whereas the psy­cho­log­i­cal ill­ness can be treated by a psy­chi­a­trist.

He added that the me­dia some­how played a role in de­fam­ing the role of the psy­chi­a­trist and per­ceiv­ing him as a “doc­tor for in­sane peo­ple only,” prais­ing the role of the psy­chi­a­trist in re­solv­ing many so­cial and psy­cho­log­i­cal is­sues with no prej­u­dice. He noted that with the in­creas­ing pres­sures and prob­lems sur­round­ing peo­ple, the psy­chi­a­trist can play an es­sen­tial role in giv­ing ad­vice on how to deal with such wor­ries.

Ajmi said that nowa­days, peo­ple are ac­cept­ing the psy­chi­a­trist with the youth cat­e­gory hav­ing the lion’s share. He added that el­derly also have be­come more tol­er­ant to­wards seek­ing psy­chi­atric help com­pared with the old gen­er­a­tion, say­ing that the emer­gence of tech­nol­ogy has played a pos­i­tive role in high­light­ing the role of psy­chi­a­trists in re­solv­ing many of the daily life’s com­plex is­sues.

Not ad­dic­tive

Ajmi stressed that not every medicine pre­scribed by the psy­chol­o­gist can be ad­dic­tive, say­ing that many peo­ple gen­er­al­ize that all psy­cho­log­i­cal-re­lated medicines are ad­dic­tive. He re­called many cases where pa­tients di­ag­nosed with de­pres­sion or ob­ses­sive com­pul­sive disor­der do not take their medicines lead­ing to Schizophre­nia which is the most se­vere stages of men­tal ill­ness.

He also as­serted the im­por­tance of pay­ing at­ten­tion to one’s be­hav­iors, say­ing that many women ne­glect the hor­mone as­pect, thus, lead­ing to many psy­cho­log­i­cal ill­nesses. From the bi­o­log­i­cal per­spec­tive, dif­fer­ent stud­ies have found that be­ing re­li­gious in­creases pa­tients’ sat­is­fac­tion and ad­her­ence to treat­ment. This can be ap­plied to Is­lam in the way it helps with drug ad­her­ence through en­cour­ag­ing Mus­lims to look af­ter their health by seek­ing ad­vice and re­ceiv­ing treat­ment as health is con­sid­ered a gift from God, which should be cher­ished. — KUNA

De­spite the many ben­e­fits of psy­chother­apy for peo­ple suf­fer­ing from men­tal is­sues, the neg­a­tive so­cial per­cep­tion as­so­ci­ated with it re­mains a de­ter­rent fac­tor for seek­ing help.

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