A woman looks at the flowers of an Almond tree in full bloom marking the arrival of spring in the Valley, in Pulwama, South Kashmir, Monday, March 13, 2023.

A lady appears at the flowers of an Almond tree in full bloom marking the arrival of spring in the Valley, in Pulwama, South Kashmir, Monday, March 13, 2023.
| Photo Credit: PTI

Spring is the solely season that Khalida Jan, 71, finds she will smile in. Her son disappeared after safety forces allegedly picked him up from north Kashmir in 1992, and life has by no means been the identical once more for her.

“Maybe the vibrant gentle of the solar, inexperienced cowl, and blooming flowers remind me of the completely happy occasions we lived in, earlier than 1992,” Ms. Jan mentioned.

As spring breaks, psychiatrists in Kashmir are capable of assist their sufferers who’re battling seasonal affective dysfunction (SAD) introduced on by the harsh whiteness of winter and decreased daylight, together with conflict-induced melancholy, transition out of antidepressant medicine.

It’s not simply the change of surroundings, it’s additionally a time when folks can start going out after the winter’s ice and snow. They are becoming a member of households and associates to get pleasure from the first flowering in the Valley’s gardens and parks, with almond, peach, cherry, and apricot blossom. This 12 months, the Tulip Garden expects to see the blooming of 1.5 million tulips in numerous colors. All this acts as psychological well being remedy, in line with Valley-based psychiatrists.

Zakir Mir, a resident of Pulwama, visited the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS), Srinagar, in the first week of March with some “excellent news” for his doctor. With gray and grim winter paving the means for a vibrant, sunny spring, Mr. Mir informed his psychiatrist that he was feeling higher and “prepared to surrender antidepressants”.

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“Spring gentle and hues begin elevating the temper,” mentioned Dr. Arshad Hussain, a professor at IMHANS-Kashmir, including that SAD sees a dip in mood-modulating hormones like dopamine and serotonin.

Around 45% of Kashmir’s grownup inhabitants (1.8 million) suffers from some type of psychological misery, in line with a examine performed by the Department of Psychiatry, Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial Hospital (JLNMH), Srinagar, in 2020. It additionally discovered that there was a excessive prevalence of trauma (47%), melancholy (41%), nervousness (26%), and post-traumatic stress dysfunction (19%).

Dr. Hussain mentioned, “Spring emerges as a major consider addressing the physiological features of melancholy.” These embody tiredness, sleep disturbances, urge for food adjustments, and plenty of extra.

A change is seen at the out-patient division (OPD) at the IMHANS too. “I’m prescribing fewer antidepressants for these battling seasonal melancholy, that’s induced by the adjustments that happen from autumn onwards. We ask these with melancholy to relive or think about moments that make them completely happy as a part of behavioural remedy,” he mentioned, including that it was simpler right now. “We encourage them to socialize and transfer round with associates to soak up the constructive change setting in,” Dr. Hussain mentioned. He sees equal variety of men and women at the OPD.

Most psychiatry hospitals in British colonies had massive gardens with crops that had references from the Koran and the Bible, in line with Dr. Hussian. “There was a perception that creating the setting of heaven might carry an individual again from psychological diseases,” he mentioned.

At Government Psychiatric Diseases Hospital, Srinagar, founding superintendent Dr. Erina Hoch, a Swiss psychiatrist, additionally targeted on plantations round the Valley’s first psychological well being facility.

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