Emotional trauma: Families of missing people suffer from mental disorders, says study

Speakers lament lack of govt attention towards such families


Our Correspondent December 03, 2016
Imperfect understanding of mental illness is but one of systemic faults in justice system that requires an overhaul. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The unexplained disappearance of a loved one can lead to depression, anxiety, hysteria and other psychological disorders among the family members  of a missing person, especially the women.

This has been claimed by a study, ‘Grief Untold’, which was launched at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) on Friday.  Islamabad-based rights group Defence of Human Rights (DHR) interviewed and studied 100 female family members of people who had gone missing in the country and the impact this life-altering event had on them.

With most of the study subjects belonging to Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the research offers insight into the different problems faced by the women who are closely related to missing persons, including the socio-economic, medical, and emotional toll that the disappearances took on them.

DHR Chairperson Amna Masood Janjua said that during their conversations with the affected families, an overwhelmingly majority of the women, nearly 90 per cent, were suffering from economic deprivation in addition to exhibiting signs of extreme emotional hardship.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 4th, 2016.

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