Kulsom grew up in poverty, without an education and in a household that fought both verbally and physically. Over time, she began showing signs of depression, but her father was able to help her get treatment and she got a lot better. Kulsom got married, and all was well for a few years. But then her husband started complaining about her behaviour, saying she ‘made irrelevant talk’, and her in-laws began criticising and constantly being rude to her.
Kulsom became severely depressed.
By August 2017, living with her brothers and separated from her husband, she was no longer able to manage even simple household chores or lead an independent life. It was then that she joined our partner organisation Basic Need (BN) Pakistan’s mental health programme. At last, she was given a proper diagnosis of depression and correct medication and counselling. These, and her determination to get better, have finally broken the cycle of her depression.
Now Kulsom is much better. She has completed a BN Pakistan Stitching and Designing course and is applying for jobs so that she can retain her independence. She is also set on motivating others to break the stigma by talking about depression. ‘I want to make people aware about mental illness’, she says.
Mental health is a desperately under-reported and under-resourced crisis in Pakistan and right across South Asia. We’re asking for your help to change minds and end the misery and despair experienced by so many because of untreated mental health issues. Please help us to start Changing Minds now.