Pakistan Ill-Equipped to Deal with Disease of the Mind

Part A: Reflection of Personal Experience

I can still recall how it all happened so fast. I was in our car with my dad. Suddenly I burst out in tears. There was so much sadness. We were having a normal conversation but I just had this sudden profound urge to cry my lungs out. I wanted to scream as the tears rolled down my eyes but soon I realized I had lost my voice. I could barely speak because I was gasping for air. Air! I wanted to breathe but I couldn’t. My chest hurt while I took shallow breaths that barely reached the depths of my lungs. I thought maybe I was having an asthma attack. I wanted to vomit. I felt so nauseated. The entire place was spinning. I couldn’t see properly or hear anything or breathe anymore. There was only pain.

As I continued to take shallow breaths my dad drove me to PIMS. I couldn’t talk or breathe. I had no idea where my dad was taking me. Yet at the back of my mind I knew I was in the hospital. I could see and hear and understand but my response was so delayed and slow. The doctor asked me questions and I could barely speak with all the tears. She looked angrily at me. I was grown up woman crying like a little baby and was unable to describe the simple symptoms I was experiencing.

They gave me an oxygen mask and made me sit there for fifteen minutes. Then a nurse struggled with my hands to insert gravinate in my veins which she was unable to do so three times. My hands swell and then I vomited. It took me over an hour to normalize but I was so worn out and tired by then. They made me go through a lot of tests which I recognize is important to help in eliminating the obvious causes of this attack. It included ECG, Chest X-rays, blood tests and what not. Everything was clear. So they sent me home without diagnosis.

It happened again. But this time I was able to evade the situation I was in locked myself in a room and started breathing heavily. I was able to control another panic attack. They had happened before too but because I was alone and was able to escape the situations causing the attack I was able to normalize faster. Sometimes these attacks just happen for no reason. That is when one feels overwhelmed and chest starts hurting.

You must be wondering why I am mentioning such a detailed account of what happened. It’s because I was not the only person who had a psychological issue and ended up in the hospital and the medical doctors did not diagnose the disease as they were not prepared to do so. Anxiety disorders and panic attacks aren’t that difficult to deal with, once someone knows what they are dealing with and what approach they should take to manage the problem.

Read Part B: The Neglected Special Needs Children here.

Read Part C: Problems and Solutions here

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