Valley women struggle to hold on to sanity

Baseera Rafiqi
Posted October 16, 2016 from India

Zahida Bano, 62, lives with her ailing husband in a far off village in Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir. After mechanically going through the day's chores she sits at the window sill of her small home in the mountains for the remainder of the day with her hands on her face. It was way back in 1993 that her eldest son Mohamad Asim, 27 at the time, had left home and he hasn't come back since. She believes he will return and that is why she keeps up her daily vigil at the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of him. "Asim will come," she remarks, her eyes welling. Doctors believe that Zahida is otherwise okay, it's just her grief that is making her sick.

http://www.kashmirtimes.in/newsdet.aspx?q=58658

Comments 6

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Sister Zeph
Oct 17, 2016
Oct 17, 2016

Life is very difficult some times; we cannot find ways to get out of this

Baseera Rafiqi
Oct 17, 2016
Oct 17, 2016

Yes indeed 

Natasha L
Oct 22, 2016
Oct 22, 2016

Hello Baseera -  Your article in the Kashmir Times, "Valley Women Struggle to Hold on To Sanity," is compelling eye-opening.  Your writing motivated me to do search on the internet to learn about the Kashmir conflict going back more than 50 years.  Thank you for sharing this important topic so that we can learn in order to be in solidarity with you.

In your article, there were many informative facts, statistics, and examples.  The one that stood out the most for me is:

Dr Hassan says, "Many women who lose their loved ones in a conflict do experience PTSD but, in time, they make their peace with the incident. It's the ones whose relatives have disappeared who are the most difficult to reach out to. We can't come up with a solution or an explanation for them to hold on to. I had couple of patients whom I was unable to help because there wasn't any tangible resolution to offer. There is an endless stress that keeps on mounting on the patient. Professionally, we refer to them as undefined syndromes. It is grief but it is of a very complicated kind and their illnesses are much more severe."

Baseera, what do you suppose can and needs to be done to help the relatives of those who have disappeared?  Have you seen any initiatives being offered to address this socio-political mental health problem?

PTSD, depression, and anxiety are very serious mental health problems.  May there be the political will (and government funding) in your region to make a difference for those who are suffering.

Your article brings awareness to this very important and tragic issue.  Thank you for your thoughtful and careful writing.

Baseera Rafiqi
Oct 23, 2016
Oct 23, 2016

Thank-you Natasha, there are so many things that go in any given in any given conflict and women suffering from depression , anxiety disorders is one among them.I have been a witness to all this , that compelled me to write on the subject. There are trauma cells, human right associations working to provide a healing touch to these people.But to me these people need an official redressal of their problems, if they come to know where abouts of their disappeared family members, they will recover in days. I wish they find peace. 

Chinyere Okoh
Oct 23, 2016
Oct 23, 2016

Thank you dear...very revealing

Baseera Rafiqi
Oct 24, 2016
Oct 24, 2016

Thank-you for those comments Chinyere

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