KARACHI - Every second person in Pakistan is suffering from psychological stress and strain due to upheavals in the country. Severe economic crisis, lawlessness and terrorism are deteriorating the mental health. Resistant depression has become a challenge for clinicians. It is important to recognise this problem as it carries a huge morbidity. Dr Amin A Gadith expressed these views while delivering a lecture at PMA House, organised by Pakistan Medical Association(PMA). Dr Gadith, who is Professor of Psychiatry, Memorial University of New Foundland, Canada, was out here in Pakistan for six weeks. His tour is capitalised by making him to speak on Terrorism and Mental Health with special focus on Pakistan. He said that the incidents of violence and terrorism were taking its toll on the mental health of the nation as a whole. We do not have national figures on the mental health morbidity in Pakistan as such there is no data on the psychological effects on terrorism on the general population. Global studies have shown that the direct victims of terrorism develop acute stress disorder, their risk of serious mental illness increases, development of post traumatic stress disorder up to the range of 12-16 percent as per report from a Meta analysis and substance abuse is another complication. Children being more vulnerable, may develop anxiety and depressive disorders. There is also an upsurge of physical illnesses because of the stress related hormones that affect different body systems especially the cardiac system. Among the adult population in Pakistan, there is likely possibility of development of post traumatic stress disorder, depression and even psychosis. The most vulnerable are with prior history of mental illness, family history and adverse social circumstances. Resiliency factors can be developed by enhancing social support, periodic screening for mental health and availability of efficient mental health services. The government should take measures to control terrorism, increase mental health budget and priorities mental health in its policies, he said. PMA General Secretary (Karachi Chapter) Dr Samrina Hashmi said that Pakistan Medical Association always remained in the front line to impart the very ongoing developments in the medical field. It strives to keep the doctors up-to-date by calling the western physicians to speak of their experience and knowledge, she said.