Number of Turkish people applied for psychological treatment increased 28 pct in 5 years

The number of Turkish people, who applied to healthcare institutions due to psychological disorders, has increased to 12 million 141 thousand 255 in 2016, according to the statistics given by Turkey’s Health Ministry.

According to a report by online news portal T24 on Wednesday, Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Ali Haydar Hakverdi has stated that economic and social problems and regression of the fundamental rights harmed the mental health of the individuals and the psychology of the society. Hakverdi noted during a press conference he held at Turkish Parliament that psychological disturbances caused to increase drug use and substance dependence in the country.

According to the data given by Turkish Health Ministry, the number of applications to health institutions due to psychological disorders was 9 million 504 thousand 820 in 2012 and was 12 million 141 thousand 255 in 2016.

Underlining the fact that the number of applications to health institutions due to psychological complaints has increased 27,73 percent in the last 5 years, CHP’s Hakverdi showed Trabzon, Rize, Edirne, Bartın and Yalova as the provinces with highest number of applications for psychological treatment. The least applications for psychological treatment has come from Şırnak, Hakkari, Muş, Van and Bitlis provinces.

According to information shared by Hakverdi, the use of antidepressants and similar drugs increased by 16,68 percent in the last 4 years. Deepening economic crisis, constantly declining living standards, aggravated working conditions, social polarization, increasing terror and violence, deterioration of the fundamental rights and freedoms, trapped lives in the big cities between work and home lacking social activity, all these negativities threaten the mental health of the individual and society as stressors. According to Hakverdi, Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which is responsible of solving these problems, has become the problem itself.

According to Hakverdi, the policy of the government, which is marginalizing and polarizing the society, has broken the social peace and integrity, also the increasing cost of life and the financial difficulties due to unemployment disturbed the family integrity and peace of the individuals. “The families have become unable to meet the basic needs of housing and education costs of their children. Substance dependence due to the dissolution of family structures reached to the age of primary school. The country also gives a red alarm about substance dependency,” said Hakverdi.

Stating that only 265,384 drug addicts have been treated out of more than one million in previous year, Hakverdi said that “Families that have been left no way out in this regard have begun to denounce their children, who refuse to be treated, to the law enforcement agencies and put them in jail as a way of salvation… The deterioration is not only in the psychology of the people, it is the peace of our country from A to Z.”

“In 2016, only 12 million 141 thousand 255 were applied to health institutions due to psychological disorders. So much so that our people became addicted to drugs used in the treatment of psychological disorders. In the last 4,5 years 224 million 764 thousand 22 boxes of antidepressants and similar drugs have been consumed,” said Hakverdi.

“Unfortunately, our people even think of committing suicide because of their social and economic impasse. The data we have obtained confirm this situation. In the last 5 years, 60,850 people attempted suicide and 16,028 of these suicides have resulted in death,” stated Hakverdi and added that “This table is the work of the mentality governing the country for 15 years.”

Saying that the government party is concerned only for the future of themselves and their children, Hakverdi claimed that the government gave to our people thousands of suicides, hundreds of thousands of drug-addicted young people, a country which is psychologically broken, and millions of boxes of antidepressants.

The escalating crackdown on fundamental rights and freedoms in an increasingly repressive regime of Turkey under the autocratic leadership of President Erdoğan might have very well contributed to the spike in the prevalence of stress, depression and anxiety in Turkish society, a study done by Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has revealed on August 2017.

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