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The Impact of Pakistan's Economic Crisis on Mental Health

The economic crisis in Pakistan has been an ongoing challenge for many years, with poverty and unemployment rates consistently high. However, the situation has worsened over the course of the past year, and affected nearly everyone due to high inflation, a devalued currency, and insufficient reserves of foreign currency that are needed to buy essentials such as food and fuel.

This crisis has not only affected the financial stability of individuals and families but has also had a profound impact on their mental health.

The stress and uncertainty of living in poverty can be overwhelming, causing individuals to feel trapped and helpless. The fear of being unable to provide for oneself or one’s family can lead to depression and anxiety, which can further exacerbate the economic crisis. Inflation and rising costs of living make it difficult for families to make ends meet, which can lead to financial stress and further affect mental health.

Furthermore, the economic crisis has led to an increase in the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health disorders. For example, individuals who have lost their jobs or businesses may experience feelings of hopelessness and despair, leading to an increased risk of suicide.

Stigma around mental health in Pakistan can also be a major barrier to accessing care. Many people in the country hold traditional values and beliefs, which may view mental health problems as a personal failing rather than a medical issue. This can lead to a lack of understanding and support from family and friends, further increasing the isolation and distress felt by those struggling with mental health issues.

Lack of access to education, health insurance, and healthcare exacerbate the problem. People living in poverty may not have the resources to access education or healthcare services, and even if they do, there may be significant barriers to receiving quality care. This lack of access to healthcare can lead to untreated mental health issues and further deteriorate the overall well-being of individuals.

Self-care and mindfulness practices can be effective in reducing the impact of economic crisis on mental health. People can take small steps to improve their mental health, such as practicing mindfulness, engaging in regular exercise, and maintaining social connections. Social safety nets and financial assistance programs can also provide relief and support for those in need.

Religious beliefs can also provide comfort and support during difficult times. Religious institutions can play a critical role in providing support and resources to those struggling with mental health issues.

In conclusion, the economic crisis in Pakistan has had a significant impact on mental health. Poverty, unemployment, stress, depression, inflation, and PTSD are just a few of the many issues that individuals may face. However, with increased awareness, improved access to mental health services, and support from social safety nets, it is possible to mitigate the impact of the economic crisis on mental health and overall well-being.

Co Authors: Fareeha Syeda Ziyan & Mehboob Muhammad Jamall

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