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President Alvi urges psychiatrists to focus on ‘some MNAs’ among 20mn mental patients

LAHORE: President Dr Arif Alvi urged psychiatrists to first focus on treating ‘some members of the National Assembly’ among other 20 million mental patients in the country.

Speaking at the conference organised by the Pakistan Psychiatric Society, Dr Alvi said, he could point out a considerable number of politicians in Pakistan who needed psychiatric treatment.

Referring to a presentation of a professor regarding the percentage of psychiatric patients, he said “I understand that this huge number of 20 million are not constant patients, but includes those suffering from mental stress during certain phases of their lives.”

He said, it was unfortunate that mental problems were deemed a stigma in the society, “Being a doctor, I know the hardships faced by people suffering from mental illnesses,” he added.

Refusing to seek qualified treatment for their mental illness, people end up visiting faith healers and pirs, he lamented and said, “The exploitation of the ignorant by the ignorant is a serious issue.”

President Alvi shared one of his personal accounts from the time when he was contesting 2002 elections, “People told me that I should go to a pir who will help me get all the votes”, adding that he was ignorant so went to one in Baldia Town. “The pir assured me that I would win, but I ended up losing with a big margin,” he told.

 

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