Srinagar, Feb 21: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today said the inappropriate prescribing of psychiatric drugs for mental health problems are causing serious harm to patients.
Raising concern, the DAK president, Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan said the unnecessary use of psychiatric medications are putting patients at risk of serious adverse effects. “You go to a doctor with a sleeping issue or unhappiness; you will walk away with a prescription for psychiatric drugs,” he said.
The DAK president said while most of the mental health issues can be effectively treated by “psychotherapy”, doctors in Kashmir continue to dole out psychotropic drugs. “This is because most of the primary care doctors and non-psychiatrists are not aware of this non-drug treatment path. Even the psychiatrists, more often than not, rely solely on prescribing drugs to patients,” he said.
“These drugs have addictive potential which is responsible for the menace of drug abuse in Kashmir that has reached to unprecedented levels. Prescribing drugs can have negative effects on the person’s ability to self-regulate and self-help. Medications do not provide the same benefits and coping skills as psychotherapy,” he said.
With 1.8 million people having mental distress in Kashmir and most of them on drugs, there is a psychiatric drug epidemic in the valley, the doctors’ body president said. He said the practice has led to medicalization of perfectly normal emotional processes.