15 pc of women in Gulf suffer from depression

ABU DHABI — Around 15 per cent of women in the Gulf countries suffer from depression as a result of men’s unrefined behaviour towards them, unveiled a senior GCC health official.

By Nada S.mussallam

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Published: Thu 7 Sep 2006, 9:40 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:19 PM

“Statistics have shown that around 15 per cent of Gulf women suffer neurotic depression and one of the major causes was found to be unrefined ways most men preferred to treat women with. The figure constitutes the highest prevalence rate of psychiatric morbidity in the GCC countries,” said Dr Saleh Ali Ghanm, Director of the National Programme on Mental Health in Yemen and Member of the GCC Committee on Mental Health.

In an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times, Dr Ghanm revealed that the rate of prevalence of mental health problems in the GCC communities is 30 to 35 per cent.

Dr Ghanm is on a short visit to the country to participate in the GCC Committee’s regular meeting organised in the capital. “The second major psychiatric disorder that is common in the Gulf communities is Schizophrenia, probably the most distressing and disabling mental disorder. This mental illness is common among males than females,” said Dr Ghanm.

He noted this mental condition which causes people to suffer problems with their thought processes is mainly attributed to poor living conditions as it is most common in low-income group. Schizophrenia was also attributed to some factors related to the environment as well as inherited agents, added Dr Ghanm.

About the level of awareness about mental illness in the Gulf countries, Dr Ghanm said mental problems are still associated with social stigma that bar many from seeking help of psychiatrists. “Awareness could be considered as nil. Mental problems could be prevalent among women as sorcerers appeal to the attention of most women for treatment,” he lamented.

About the obstacles to mental health within the primary health care in the GCC, Dr Ghanm said budgetary constraints and lack of decision-makers’ awareness about the importance of mental health were the two main hurdles.

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