MENTAL HEALTH IN JUMLA, NEPAL: A QUALITATIVE STUDY EXAMINING THE EFFECTS OF WAR ON MENTAL HEALTH Open Access

Patel, Anita (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/v979v320v?locale=en
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Abstract

Mental Health in Jumla, Nepal: A Qualitative Study Examining the Effects of War on
Mental Health


(Under the Direction of Brandon Kohrt)

The effects of war on mental health in the remote population of Jumla, Nepal,
have been examined through previous quantitative research. These studies have
demonstrated high rates of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
and suicide. In order to better understand the cause of these high rates of mental health
disorders, and to understand the effects of the recently ended war, a qualitative study was
conducted among a population of women. This study is a follow up to previous studies
conducted in this population in 2000 and 2007.
A quantitative survey was used to measure the current rates of depression,
anxiety, PTSD, and resiliency in a population of 99 women. From the depression scores
obtained from this survey, women were interviewed if they had steadily
increasing/decreasing BDI scores since 2000, or had changes of greater than 8 points in
depression since 2007.
Qualitative results indicate that women in this society face many chronic stressors
including partner use of alcohol, domestic abuse/gender-based violence, financial
difficulties, and lack of educational opportunities among other factors. When women
were asked about the role of the war in their mental health outcomes, they insisted that
the war had little to no effect on them. Additionally, women discussed a latent paranoia
in the community, suggesting a lack of social support and indicating feelings of isolation
of interview participants.
Therefore, this qualitative study suggests that post-conflict mental health
programming must be more purposeful in examining factors related to high prevalence of
depression, anxiety, PTSD and other mood and conversion disorders. Frequently,
researchers suggest that conflict causes high rates of mental health disorders, but the fact
remains that underlying conditions may be exacerbated in conflict and may be the cause
of mental health issues. Mental health programming in Jumla must focus on social
interventions to alleviate the underlying conditions and should not focus on trauma-
specific interventions alone. Marginalized communities and populations require
psychosocial interventions prior to conflict and continued support throughout and post-
conflict.

Table of Contents




TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER Page

1 INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................1

2 LITERATURE REVIEW .....................................................................................8

3 METHODOLOGY ..........................................................................................17

4 RESULTS....................................................................................................23

5 DISCUSSION...............................................................................................60

6 REFERENCES...............................................................................................66


APPENDIX A .................................................................................................70


























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