Egyptians on the verge of insanity
Date posted: February 25, 2009
Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Egyptians are struggling to maintain their sanity, faith, and stability. No Limits No Rules asked his readers if they think the following scenarios are possible:
According to a report presented to the people's assembly by independent MP Gamal Zahraan, 12,000 young men in Egypt committed suicide in the last 4 years. The main cause, according to Zahraan, is high levels of unemployment. While there is no way for me to judge the scientific credibility of this report, the numbers – if they are correct – point to a horrifying trend: In 2005 there was around 1100 suicides, in 2006 the number had risen to 2300 and in 2007 to 3700. In 2008 the number had almost doubled again, making the total 12.000 for the last 4 years. It's not unlikely that this trend is related to the dramatic rise in food prices and increasing economic hardships for Egypt's poor during the last years. With the global depression about to hit the tourism industry and other sectors of the Egyptian economy, the future looks dark.
Mostafa Hussein wrote a post titled People don't commit suicide because they lost faith or a job where he argued mental health saying:
Mental health policies and practice are full of problems. An old law, incomplete and disconnected services, insufficient practitioners, lack of awareness, poor training, distortion by religious ideologies and lack of research and statistics.
Then he argued that:
because of the religious prohibition on killing oneself, it became a given that all Islamic nations report an unrealistically low rate of suicide. Claims that Islam protects from suicide prompts silent laughs from anyone who can think. I am not saying that Islam (or religiosity) doesn't protect from mental illness. This is not the issue here. The problem is that the source of this is interpretations of the holy text. Not any scientific method. These claims feed the vicious stigmatizing circle of mental illness being a result of lack of faith. With people associating mental illness with an unavoidable internal guilt that they can't deal with.
Mostafa disagrees with linking unemployment rates directly with the suicide rates saying:
Economics control life events and depression is caused by both vulnerability (genetic or familial) and stress (life events like jobs, divorce, etc..). Yes, there is a link between economics and health (including mental health primarily). But linking economic hardships with suicide is what I disagree about.
After loosing his sanity, an Egyptian upper middle class man killed his wife, daughter, and son a month ago. Zeinobia commented on the incident saying:
Sharif as I said is from a high middle class, he lived in the Gulf and returned back , as far as I read somewhere he worked for Jaguar Egypt. The family has four cars and there are Jewels in the flat found by the police. His family was shocked and could not believe the news that the calm quiet Sharif would do something like this. Sharif was a loving father and husband according to all people. As I implied Sharif killed his family after the financial crisis. Sharif decided to kill his family after his massive losses in the Egyptian stock market. According to the news sources he lost about one million Egyptian pound from his own money, of course I do not see why for one million Egyptian pound he would depress like this then go crazy and kill his family in this terrible way !!??
She concludes her post:
I think Sharif was suffering from greed and lack of faith, in the end he was led to depression. Needless to say most people in Egypt refuse to admit that it is not shame thing to go to a psychiatric. I do not know if we are going to see more of these crimes because of the economic crisis or not. It is kind of a scary thing especially with the increase rate of violence and anger in Egypt.