As many as two-thirds of those injured in the Northeast Delhi riots, who are admitted to GTB Hospital, are suffering from acute stress disorder. To offer them counselling, doctors from the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) have been visiting the hospital’s ward over the last one-and-a-half weeks.
The institute too has seen many patients seeking psychological help.
Psychologists at IHBAS have offered treatment to over 35 people who were traumatised after they witnessed the clashes last month, which left 53 dead and over 300 injured.
“A woman who sustained injuries told us she still wakes up in the middle of the night, shouting and crying as she remembers the incident. She said she saw groups of men carrying sticks, stones, and guns in their hands… she cannot forget the scenes. We have advised her to take a few medicines and to return for a follow-up,” said Dr Nimesh Desai, director, IHBAS.
Doctors also recalled the case of a 30-year-old man, who was on his way to work when he saw people burning houses in Shiv Vihar.
“He was crying when he came to us, and even medication did not seem to help. Psychologists spoke to him in detail and he said he had heard some children crying inside the house. That shattered him completely,” added Dr Desai.
On Sunday, the institute held a meeting with NGOs, school officials and other officers to find out ways to provide treatment to such patients.
“The idea is to provide treatment to as many riot-affected patients as possible. Once students start going to school, teachers can counsel them; similarly, we are planning to rope in health professionals to counsel those coming to health centres. It has to be a collaborative effort,” he said.
As many as 297 injured persons have visited GTB hospital over the last two weeks. Over 170 people sustained assault and burn injuries, 67 suffered gunshot and firearm injuries and 30 suffered minor injuries. Among the injured are 291 men and six women.
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