Published:  12:07 AM, 14 November 2017

Women fall prey to depression and other psychological disorders

Pihu (not real name) sometimes feels to kill her father being furious. Pihu's mother died of cancer in 2007. Since then, she has been staying with her father.  A few days ago, Pihu left her father's house and stayed at a separate house. After that, her father convinced her to return home. Though Pihu came back to home, but she cannot tolerate her father in anyway.

Pihu said her parents had disturbed conjugal life. They got divorced when Pihu was only 13-year-old. After their divorce, Pihu used to live with her mother with her grandfather's house till her mother's death. After the death, Pihu's aunt did not allow her to stay at their house and forced her to go back to her father's house over property which caused a deep frustration in her. Moreover, Pihu's father back-to-back marriages also made her life like a hell, although her father is now single after several divorces.

Sadia (also not actual name) is now staying with her brothers and their families. She got divorced a few years ago just three months after her marriage. Her parents died a decade ago. Sadia claimed that her parents advised what to do or what not. She also claimed that she senses danger.

According to a recent WHO study titled "Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders, WHO - 2017", it is estimated that in Bangladesh, 4.1% of the population (total cases 6391760) has depression, and 4.4% (total cases 6900212) has anxiety disorder. Common mental disorders lead to considerable losses in health and functioning. Depression and anxiety account for 7.1% and 4.0% respectively of the total years of life lived with disability in Bangladesh.

In reply to a question why women of Bangladesh become victims of depression, Umme Kawser, a lecturer and assistant educational psychologist of the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology at Dhaka University, said in Bangladesh when it comes to domestic violence, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse by an intimate partner can have a profound effect on mental well-being.

"The abuse can even trigger clinical depression as well. It's obvious that being the victim of violence plays a role in a woman's mental well-being," she said.Dr Farah Deeba, an associate professor of the Department of Clinical Psychology at Dhaka University, said in Bangladesh country girls are socialized in a way so that they are to make others happy in any circumstances.

"So, they learn to ignore their own needs from very childhood and develop this as a habit till the end of their life. Unfortunately most of us don't know that pushing personal needs continuously away makes a person develop a personality with low-self esteem, that essentially assist to develop depression," she said. Dr Deeba said until women of Bangladesh don't unlearn this practice of making everyone happy except themselves, 'eradicating depression in women' won't be any easy task for anyone.

-BSS, Dhaka

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