Pakistan’s population continues to grow rapidly in an unabated manner outpacing the national as well as families’ resources, particularly of the people in middle and lower segments of society. Prevailing continuously increasing prices of essential daily-use articles are not only making people’s lives difficult but also causing many health problems.
An Increasing number of people including women and children are suffering from mental health disorders and psychological problems. The country’s population has already crossed the figure of 220 million but, quite unfortunately, has the poorest mental health indicators as the existing number of psychologists and psychiatrists are very much on the low side This acute paucity of mental health professionals are causing a big gap among the mentally sick people and the health specialists availability for their treatment.
Psychological problems in the country were somehow pretty widespread. There was no accurate data available from either official sources or private organizations. However, according to a rough estimate around 50 million of all ages and genders were suffering from mental disorders.
A wide range of psychiatric problems which were generally being reported in both urban and rural areas of the country due to varying reasons and factors, were depression, substance abuse and excessive alcohol use, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders and post -traumatic stress disorder. According to another available estimate, the pretty high ratio of 36 percent of people in the country were suffering from anxiety and depression what was generally caused by. strained family and friendship relations, feelings of somehow being unfit in the society, the continuous unstable economic and political situations in the country which were adversely contributing to the increasing ratio of unemployment and poverty.
Bipolar disorder is a mental health problem which causes extreme, unusual and unexpected shifts in mood, energy and activity levels of the sufferers.
There is an acute shortage of clinical psychologists and psychiatrists in Pakistan. However, it was good to note that people, particularly young women, were now opting for studying and specialising in clinical psychology for treating their fellow countrymen of all ages and genders suffering from psychological and psychiatric problems and issues.
While it was socially acceptable to go to the health professionals for some physical problem, seeking help for psychological disorders was somehow rather problematic in the country. By and large, the families, irrespective of their social status, often hide mental illness cases so as to save the suffering patients from adverse stereotyping.
As briefly stated above, there is an acute shortage of clinical psychologists and psychiatrists in Pakistan. However, it was good to note that people, particularly young women, were now opting for studying and specialising in clinical psychology for treating their fellow countrymen of all ages and genders suffering from psychological and psychiatric problems and issues.
One such young woman was Zunaira Qayyum Khan who hailed from Gujranwala and was currently busy completing her higher studies in Clinical Psychology in the University of Lahore for accomplishing her childhood dream of becoming a well-known figure in the medical profession as a qualified clinical psychologist in the country. One of her maternal aunts was somehow abnormal. As a child she used to look after her and this only further strengthened her desire to become a clinical psychologist.
It was generally said and believed that if a doctor just listened attentively to his patient, almost half of his or her ailments were gone before taking any formal medication. Both psychologists and psychiatrists, as a matter of fact, were trained to identify mental disorders, problems and issues. A psychologist may help the patients in addressing symptoms through therapy whereas a psychiatrist prescribes medication to treat such a patient.
Claiming herself to be a good listener, which somehow is a rare quality among the medical professionals, Zunaira Qayyum Khan said that she really wanted to alleviate her countrymen’s sorrows and spend her time in serving the people of Pakistan, and every day she was praying to the Almighty to grant her courage to become a better person and a successful clinical psychologist for the people who were suffering from any illness, and she will spend all her life working for better health of kids and adults suffering from one or the other mental health problems. She said that she would be telling all the people, irrespective of sex and age, who come to her, to remember that no matter how difficult life is, there is always hope and there is always help.
She already has to her credit working with the adult patients at the Punjab Institute e of Mental Health and with autistic children at an international institute in Gulberg in Lahore. .
She emphatically stated that her mission in life was not money but to make the people feel better and that people who were having some sort of great stress in life should come to her and she would help them overcome their problems.
Reiterating her dedication and commitment to serve the people as a clinical psychologist, Zunaira Qayyum Khan concluded by saying, ” It has always been my dream to help people who are having issues with the stress of life. Everyone has problems. My message is simple: please help the people. Talk with people who look sad,lonely or depressed. Talking with kindness costs nothing. If we want a secure and healthy societY, then we must develop a sense of caring for one another”.
Please join this scribe in praying for the success and achieving her life long dream of becoming a successful clinical psychologist for Zunaira Qayyyum Khan and other young men and women who have similar good ideas, thinkings and commitment of serving the people selflessly, dedicatedly with determination and goodness at heart.