KARACHI- Some new types of mental illness have begun to emerge during the coronavirus outbreak, with some people experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, besides a new type of depression and excessive use of medicine was also experienced. These views were expressed by prominent psychologists in an international conference on “World Mental Health Day 2020”, at Jinnah Post-graduate Medical Centre. The conference was organised by the Pakistan Psychiatric Association and the Department of Psychiatry of Jinnah Hospital Karachi at the Najam-ud-Din Auditorium of Jinnah Hospital.

President of World Psychiatric Association, Dr Afzal Javed, eminent psychiatrist of Pakistan, Prof Haroon Ahmed, chairman of British Pakistani psychiatric association Dr Qaiser Abbas, British psychiatrist and forensic secretary Dr Lindsay Thompson, former Pakistan cricketer Younis Khan, president Pakistan psychiatric association Prof Iqbal Afridi, Prof Aniza Niaz and other experts addressed the event.

They said that the mental illnesses which emerged during the coronavirus situation also involved fear and anxiety in many people. The tendency to have no physical contact with people was also seen to be unhealthy, they observed. 

They said that the lifestyle of the people had changed as a result of which mental problems were increasing and now the rate of mental illnesses was increasing all over the world including Pakistan. 

The mental problems are increasing particularly in the countries like Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and to some extent Pakistan, which have been affected by the wars or economic crisis, they observed. 

They advised that the people and governments need to invest more in mental health, which means governments need to provide more resources in mental health while people should give more time for their mental health so that they and their families be protected from mental problems.