• Asif uz- Zaman Khan


Community Psychiatry in India is an upcoming branch in the field ofpsychiatry as well as Community Medicine. The need for this discipline has dawned in a big way recently on account of increasing deviant human behaviour resulting from the exuberant mental stress and strain of rapid industrialization and rbanization. The earlier concept ofpsychiatric illnesses and other psychosomatic conditions have changed a great deal over the years. The term lumatic or insane is no more considered a sophisticated terminology for describing a person who is mentally ill. The euphemism which is in vogue nowadays ensures that even those who are mentally sick deserve a place in society and have the fundamental right to live a life of dignity and respect. Psychiatry today is perhaps more concerned with the modern life style resulting in the so called mental wear and tear, rather than exclusive organic lesions causing a pathological mental state. The boundries of psychiatry are no more confined or restricted to marked mental derangement manifesting as Manic Depresive Psychosis, Schizophrenia, Paranoia and other serious mental illnesses, but also envisages situations heralding the onset of an alteration in normal human behaviour. The spectrum of mental illnesses may range from mild infrequent anxiety and simple depression to very serious psychosis. The pendulum can swing either way resulting at times in creating paradoxical situations, so much so that the manifestation of such a disorder can be diagnosed only by a qualified psychiatrist. It will be very much relevant to mention at this juncture that what may appear as a simple case of social withdrawl or decreased performance at school or work, could be due to major psychosis, which later on may turn out to be extremely detrimental for the patient as well as his associates. The changing social, economic and cultural pattern, so much prevalent in the country today may be at times responsible for various mental disorders, which earlier did not demand so much of medical attention. Psychiatric consultations are becoming increas­ingly more frequent in the industrialised countries of the world. It seems that in not too distant future it should become an important component ofthe health care delivery system in nearly all developing countries ofthe world, including India. During yesteryears, there was a social stigma attached to people suffer ing from mental disorders. Persons once declared insane, were either admitted in lunatic asylums or ostracized. However, when one goes down the memory lane, he will appreciate that graually the awareness created in the modern society has changed the perception of psychiatric


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How to Cite

Khan A uz-Z. Editorial. Indian J Community Health [Internet]. 1997 Dec. 31 [cited 2024 Feb. 27];9(3):7-9. Available from: https://iapsmupuk.org/journal/index.php/IJCH/article/view/55