Increasing Mental Health Problems affecting Nepalese women
I think women are mostly sufferer of mental health problems such as
neurosis, hysteria, depression, etc in Nepal that might be relating to
gender-based violence prevailing in our society. Isn't that shameful
for our society to hear this and how badly gender-based discrimination
has prevail in Nepal? The root cause of gender-based discrimination in
Nepal and India is due to the Law of Manu (Manusmriti) that has been
imprinted in our belief and socio-cultural practices.
Nepal is diverse in its socio-cultural structure (101 caste/ethnicity with 93 local dialects as per the Census 2001) as well as geo-ecologically (Mountain, Hill and Terai) so I wonder which group of population in terms of caste/ethnicity and
religion wise are mostly affected by mental health problems.
Interesting to read this below article about the mental health problems in Nepal which is very sadly in increasing in trend and killing our innocent women who are the victim of the Law of Manu.
"In 2009, suicide
became the No. 1 cause of death for women of reproductive age, which
may be related to the lack of power they feel in their lives and the
high incidence of gender-based violence here, according to the plan. As
such, the government is recognizing mental health as an important
element of safe motherhood and adding mental services to the Essential
Health Care Services package."
An increasing number of women
in rural areas report suffering from mental illness. Experts attribute
this to poverty, illiteracy, gender injustice, civil war and neglect.
Doctors cite a lack of facilities, knowledgeable personnel and
government support in treating these women. Government officials say
policies are in place, but they just need to be executed.
Nepal, there has been a gradual increase in awareness of mental health
in the general population and the number of people seeking treatment,
according to a 2006 World Health Organization, WHO, report. There is a
national mental health policy, and psychotropic drugs are now widely
But Nepal has only one official psychiatric
hospital, and mental health services are scarce in remote and rural
areas, according to the WHO. Recent statistics on mental illness and
effective health legislation are also lacking. Financial constraints
complicate care, as the majority of Nepalis live in extreme poverty. To
date, the government has allocated little of the budget to mental
Mental health experts say that these women suffer
from “general neurosis mental condition” caused by stress and sadness,
a state in which the patients know what they’re going through. People
suffering from higher levels of mental illness don’t realize their
condition and often tend to sleep on the streets and go without
sufficient clothing and food for days.
..."Rajesj Jha, a
counselor for the Center for Mental Health and Counseling-Nepal,
CMC-Nepal, a nongovernmental organization that works on preventative
and curative aspects of mental health, says that about 80 percent of
families in Humla, Jumla, Salyan and Rolpa, rural districts in Nepal’s
Midwestern Region, have women with mental illnesses."
working in this field say that poverty, illiteracy, gender biasness,
domestic violence, migration of men and the decade-long Maoist
insurgency have contributed to the rising number of women in rural
areas suffering from psychiatric problems.
“Mental health of women in rural Nepal isn’t positive,” Jha says. “They need more counseling and also treatment.”
Most of the women with mental illness tend to be bound by their love
for their children, says Tara Chaulagain, who has been a mason at
Ashadeep for 10 years.
“Even while suffering their mental
conditions, I see them breastfeeding their babies,” Chaulagain says.
“Women are always bound by their responsibilities even when they lose
their sanity. And this is a big difference between male and female
Ram Lal Shrestha, director of CMC-Nepal, says the
government hasn’t focused on producing more doctors, nurses,
psychologists, social workers and counselors despite the increase in
“The increase in the number of people with
psychological [issues] isn’t just a social problem,” he says. “It will
affect the country in the long run.”