Mental Health in Cambodia
Cambodians face high risk of having mental illness than most for the country went through traumatic and painful past, for example: the Khmer rouge. In addition, current poverty, domestic violence, and substance abuse might also be the key factors behind the people’s unstable mental health.
From a study by an organization, 35 percent of Cambodians suffered from some kind of psychiatric problems, from mild disturbance to full-blown illness (TPO, 2010). Those mentally-ills face many problems that most do not know of. What are their problems?
Initially, lack of knowledge and stigma are two of the main obstacles. For instance, some people just do not know what to do when they encounter a psychiatric problem. Lots of people in the country are still uneducated. Therefore, things like psychology, psychiatrists, and mental treatment might be new and sometimes also sound absurd to them. According to a researcher, people could turn to traditional healers, monks and pharmacists before considering mental health services (unknown, 2013). Furthermore, some mental patients, instead of receiving care and support, they face stigma. For example, when mentally-ills wander around the street, they usually get chased away, bullied, or even beaten up by local citizens. According to a report, “Generally, in the community, people like my son are looked down on, called crazy, beaten,” a father of a mentally disabled child tells researchers (unknown, 2013). In an even crueler scenario, they are even beaten, locked up in cages and also chained up by their own parents or their own families. According to the author, one mother recalled that she had locked her daughter with psychosis in a bamboo cage for several years (unknown, 2013). This was not a rare case at all. According to a report, between 10 and 40 percent of those suffering from severe mental disabilities are chained up or locked in cages (unknown, 2013).
Another concerning issue about...