“There is a need of one psychiatrist out of one lakh people but we have one in four lakhs. In Madhya Pradesh, there are only 75 experts,” said psychiatrist Dr Pawan Rathi at a conference held in Indore on Thursday.
Speaking with reference to World Mental Health Day observed on October 10, Dr Rathi narrated a case he had worked on to buttress the fact that mental well-being is still to get desired attention in the society.
“A patient named Ankur Thakur (name changed) locked his family in his house for close to 15 years as he feared that somebody will come and harm them,” said Dr Rathi.
The doctor said Ankur had shouldered responsibilities of his family early in life but had started to show odd behaviour after his marriage as he stopped his wife from stepping outside his house and would confine himself too. After his first child was born, Ankur cut off power connection to his house, thinking the family’s conversation would get leaked and that somebody would harm them.
“Superstitious, Ankur’s mother initially thought he could have been a victim of black magic but got desperate in seeking medical help when Ankur and his wife were expecting another child. She then approached us. I along with a team of Childline rescued the family,” said Dr Rathi.
To make matters worse, preliminary counselling revealed that each member of Ankur’s family had contracted schizophrenia. Children would scribble their fears on a wall with crayons. The treatment of the family continued for two years.