October 28, 2021

Early marriages – A burden on mental health

Shewa Ram Suthar

Depression and anxiety are more common in people of Pakistan, especially those living in poverty and low literacy areas.  One of the main reasons for the rising rate of mental illness in the majority of people has been identified as unawareness, lack of knowledge regarding mental health consequences.  If we talk about mental health conditions in Pakistan, about 20 million people (equivalent to 10% of the total population) suffer from various mental health problems. The population in the area is unaware of their mental health, and those who are knowledgeable are helpless in the face of the traditional social power structure. However, because of their population size and exposure to urban areas, they have since the floods of 2020, and COVID-19 started to exert themselves. 

The human’s unnecessary thoughts have a direct effect on social life when negative thinking takes place in the mind than he or she decides that the problem cannot be solved. Mental barriers become an insurmountable obstacle at every turn and every path of human life. 

The problem of unnecessary thoughts and not finding a suitable solution to a problem, such things make a person more and more depressed. Many educated and illiterate people in our country are both depressed. They just assume that these problems will continue for the whole life. Then they take a wrong step which is called mental illness. Women are more sensitive to what they think about and they tend to be more depressed and suffer from malnutrition, domestic conflicts, and mental illness. 

Early marriage (before the age of 18) is common and usually, women have 4 to 5 children by the age of 25. At a young age, she puts more pressure on her mind, and then it increases the responsibility that she cannot fulfill all her responsibilities. Then poverty, unplanned conflicts, and other problems make her worse. In rural areas, this practice is even more. Women suffer from more mental depression, anxiety, and stress than men because even after working all day, she gets abused and beaten by her husband. 

In our society, in particular villages in rural areas, we have seen many cases where people work very little. Most women work of agriculture in the field instead of men, They work day and night in harsh or extremely cold weather.  All the men of local areas spend all day either playing cards or watching TV or appearing in the landlord’s (Wadhera’s) Otaque. This is only the reason for huge worries and anxiety in their minds.  One of the main causes of depression is not working and spending all the time freely and in this way, conflicts grow in every home, resulting in mental illness. Most people suffer from various forms of depression and the root causes point us to some things like lack of resources, lack of planning, drug use, lack of family planning, domestic violence and borrowing money on credit, etc. 

The majority of the population is most at risk due to their mental health and many other problems and especially girls and women are most affected and they need proper knowledge about their health, proper attitude/behavior and Skills are not intended to be provided. And social difficulties in accessing the gate because they can handle matters at all levels to play a significant role in personal development and social development as well. And the second biggest problem of our Sindh is that if there are ten family members in a house, you will find only one earner. The rest of the people are a burden on one man.

On the one hand, in our country, early marriages lead to domestic disputes, then mental health is disturbed because of this, and secondly, there is no control over family planning,  A woman has two to three children before the age of 20 and then both husband and wife stay in trouble all-day. If they are given any awareness from the beginning. Then they can easily live their lives. But our society is different from other countries. We leave everything to fate and then we cry for it. 

In Sindh, especially in Umerkot and Thar, suicides are on the rise due to poverty, unemployment, and mental depression. One of the great tragedies of our country is that we do not share our worries with anyone.  There was a time when people helped each other, shared things, and even any vegetable was cooked in the house they shared with each other. Times are changing and the feeling of love is fading. The rural population needs to be educated and sensitized about the undeniable benefits of early marriages and the benefits of family planning. The third is that those who are free all day and do unnecessary things, If they spend all day hunting for bread and butter for their families, then these thoughts will not come to mind. If these three things are overcome, other common problems will be solved easily.

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