Pakistan 2018 A developing country striving for its place amongst the developed

Pakistan, 2018. A developing country striving for its place amongst the developed nations of the rest: extensive road development nationally’ city skyscrapers rivalling the Empire State Building; media and culture increasingly obsessed with celebrity icons. This all sounds impressive, doesn’t it? Yet, if we peer more closely beneath the surface of the seemingly modern country, we would find a stark contrast in the welfare and wellbeing of its people. Unfortunately, Pakistan is so infatuated with the vision of modernity, but it’s treatment for people suffering from mental health is positively archaic. Down to culture; health services and social history, Pakistan whilst leading the way to economic stability, is completely neglecting its people. I believe that Pakistan should focus less on the way it looks and more on the mental wellbeing of its citizens.As there are many negatives within this topic, there possibly may be some positives in the way Pakistan deals with mental health. When suffering from a mental illness it is challenging to help, it isn’t something you can cover with a cast or plaster, take it off and it has healed, it is more complex. When diagnosed with a mental illness, some people deny the advice given by the doctors, whether this is treatment or medication. If this is the case, why are we then spending more time and money on unnecessary mental health services when other illnesses, such as, diabetes, obesity and heart disease are on the rise. Maybe we should be taking a leaf out of Pakistan’s book and focusing less on mental health and more on the illnesses which can be diagnosed more clearly? Mental health is very important for everyone, is should not be treated with lightly, it has drastic effects on the people suffering and also the people around them.There are many differences between the UK and Pakistan but one big controversy is getting professional help with an illness like mental health. This is a sore subject when used to talk about people suffering, with its wide range of types of mental health. Males and females suffer from depression or any other sort of mental health issue, and people actually don’t believe that. One big difference is getting the professional help but actually putting it into action, because of the stigmas attached around the topic. In the UK, people are open to get help, but in Pakistan they are not as open to the idea of getting professional help, which is due to the stigmas accompanying the matter; in fact, it is more embarrassing for the family than the individual afflicted. The social views on mental health in Pakistan are very draconian. In the way that wen people find out about someone having a mental health issue, one widespread statement heard is “he/she is possessed by the Devil” to describe the community’s way of characterising victims. Is that anyway to treat a human being? Everywhere you go, has the question “what will people think?” which causes chaos with people’s mind on top of everything else. Would it really harm people to be more respectful towards others?Furthermore, another key difference between the UK and Pakistan is the number of mental health services available in Pakistan. Hospitals, medication and treatments were invented to help and cure people with anything from a broken leg to a chronic illness. There are trained professionals to help people with physical and as well as mental illnesses. Psychiatrists, Psychologists, mental health nurses and psychiatric nurses. In England, there are estimated to be 168 hospitals all managed by the NHS, this is a predicted number in England alone; imagine the total sum of the entire United Kingdom. In 2017, in the whole of Pakistan, there are 1167 hospitals recorded. Most patients when diagnosed with a mental health issue, their first point of contact would be a religious healer, despite the amount of hospitals. In regions of small towns, mental health hospitals are referred to as ‘Mad Houses’ this is a direct translation of the phrase, I feel that this is what drives people away from actually getting help when they need it most, imagine being in the shoes of an individual suffering and not being able to cry for help. According to statistics, in 2015, a measly two percent was given to the mental health service budget whilst 2.4 percent went to the general health services out of Pakistan’s annual expenditure budget, “it is one of lowest patient-to-doctor ratios in the WORLD” according to recent information. Due to facts and figures this may be the reason why most people go to religious healers, who use spiritual cures, who “exorcise evil spirits”, “experiment with herbal cures” and “recite verses from the Holy Qur’an.” To get away from the stigmas people will believe that a religious healer will be able to make them better. I feel that this prediction people have in Pakistan is very false and the mind set should change significantly. As there are trained professionals who have a degree in this, whereas “religious healers” have no medical degree what so ever and have no proof they are benefitting anyone, these types of false expectations can overwhelm people’s mind.In the UK, social media has increased its importance in regard to raising more awareness about mental health. Celebrities are hugely influential on young people’s lives, and especially in this day and age of Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook. Celebrities have become better at social media platforms to promote positive messages about mental health. For example, the YouTube star, Zoe Sugg famously known as “Zoella”, has talked openly about her mental health, which has encouraged people to be more open about their problems. Sugg has had anxiety and depression for a few years now, which includes panic and anxiety attacks which have eased by undertaking different forms of exercise, which have helped control her panic attacks. Sugg explained in her blog that her experience when going to a professional, did not benefit her as they merely put her on Kalms medication which is used for anxiety and low mood. She had “stressed” in her blog was that she had constrained herself from going to the doctor, but ultimately, she felt the need to seek medical help to find a cure for her issues. She was also supported online by her fans who follow her and this also helped her feel more positive about discussing mental health. Comparing this to Pakistan, there are no positive discussions which take place with regard to mental health and is not seen as an illness but more as an excuse for a person’s bad behaviour and low mood, as peoples mind set is very different and think that a person who may be financially secure and have luxuries, cannot be depressed. Following on from this, Pakistan’s political party’s chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari suffers from Bipolar disorder. This man has a very important role in the political world of Pakistan and was labelled a ‘psychopath’ and ‘only fit for the mad house’ when it was revealed by an anonymous source to the media about his mental health. This created problems for his career as a politician as he was deemed unstable and would not be considered for prime minister of Pakistan by the public. If this is how people react to a public figure who is successful and educated, can you imagine how difficult it may be for an ordinary individual would be treated and how confident would they feel to seek treatment for their mental health.All in all, I feel very strongly that Pakistan should come up to the same standards as the UK where mental health is concerned. There are many aspects of mental health which are different and similar in both countries, however it is dealt with differently. No matter what gender or social class a person may be, depression affects everybody. Doctors are professionals and are trained to deal with these situations, and advise things which are beneficial to patients. Pakistan however is not at the same point as the UK, and still needs to change the way mental health is perceived. A rise in depression and mental health could be a factor of social media, which can cause stress, insecurities and sometimes lead to suicide. Therefore, I strongly believe that Pakistan needs to raise awareness and change how they view mental health.

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