Power crisis increases mental disorders in Ghana

Chief Psychiatrist at the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Akwesi Osei has raised alarm over increasing cases of mental disorders in the country as a result of the ongoing power crisis.

Some businesses in the country have had to take austere measures to survive while others are on the brink of collapse.

Some businesses have also laid off workers to reduce operational costs.

Now, Joy News has learnt cases of depression linked to effects of the frequent power outages are being recorded.

Dr. Akwesi Osei confirmed to Joy News the antecedent factor in cases of depression or anxiety has been traced to the power crisis, but does not readily connect these disorders to the crisis.

The condition is mainly associated stress observed in business persons and workers as they crumble under the pressures of the current general economic situation caused largely the power crisis, he observed.

“somebody may come with depression, and then you realised there is stress going on in the mind which may have precipitated the depression. As we go further to find out his business is collapsing or has collapsed or he is not getting the returns that he expects and that is because of the uncertain power situation that is contributing to that.”

Students and families are not left out in these mental disorders, Dr. Osei stressed. “Unduly anxious, unduly apprehension that is what is going to happen next and that will come with all kinds of situations…and if this continues for some time it can even manifest physically with you getting hypertension, stomach ulcer, diabetes worsening…”

Psychologist, Dr. Annie Gaisie told Joy News more and more people are getting distressed and that can be detected when they engage in an endless conversation with them being the ones doing almost all the talking.

She said she has been getting increasing calls from students who complain of lack of sleep or inability to study because of the power crisis.

The power crisis is actually creating a lot of anxiety, panic attacks and other mental health related conditions, she said, describing electricity under this circumstance as a need and not a want.

Employers can curtail redundancy which at times leads to depression by encouraging people to work from home and adopting cost sharing methods by slashing employees salary for fuel in order to keep the business running as well as the workersemployed, she suggested.

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