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University of the Punjab

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Behavioral and psychiatric disorders should not be kept secret
Behavioral and psychiatric disorders should not be kept secret

LAHORE: (Thursday, October 24, 2019): Renowned Pakistani-American Adult / Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist Dr Rizwan Malik has said that behavioral and psychiatric disorders are as important to address as other medical illnesses and there is need to create maximum awareness about diagnosis and treatment of these disorders. Speaking at a seminar “A brief overview of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents” at Punjab University’s Center for Clinical Psychology (CCP) here on Thursday he further said in coming few years depression would be among the list of most widespread diseases of the world. Dr Rizwan Malik further said there was a severe shortage of qualified child psychiatrists in Pakistan and there was need to create awareness amongst people, including those in the medical field, to identify and work on various resources that could help thousands of children in the country who were not either properly diagnosed and/or they were subsequently placed on medications or treatments that might not be suitable for their particular presentation. He added this dearth of trained practitioners was also faced by the western world. He said for every 100,000 children facing behavioral and psychiatric disorders only one trained psychiatrist was available. Dr Rizwan Malik, Diplomate American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology, also said there was need to remove taboos attached with mental illnesses to save precious human lives and provide healthy living conditions to those suffering from different psychological disorders. He also said people suffering from behavioral and psychiatric disorders tended to keep such illnesses secret fearing family and social reaction which was quite unfortunate and dangerous for patients. This leads to more complex situation and add to the sufferings of those affected. He said psychiatrists and psychologists needed to work together to provide coping skills to those suffering by organizing constant therapy sessions besides prescription of medicines. Also an expert in treating autism in children, Dr Malik said it was his dream to initiate massive awareness of autism in Pakistan and added he planned to build an outpatient clinic and an inpatient facility/hospital in Lahore, Pakistan to treat children who have severe behavioral and psychiatric disorders. Dr Malik who has been the medical director of a 200 bed psychiatric hospital in Washington DC, further said federal and provincial governments in Pakistan and other institutions including universities, colleges and schools needed to make concerted efforts to fight the menace of rising drug abuse among youth. Punjab University’s Center for Clinical Psychology’s Assistant Professors Dr Aisha Sitwat and Humaira Naz, lecturer Rabia Dasti and a large number of students were present on the occasion. A question-answer session was also held in the end in which the students put pertinent questions to the guest speaker.