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Psychiatrists prescribe ‘Daraev kin Darbar’ amid Covid19 social distancing measure

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‘Daraev kin Darbar’ is a Kashmiri tradition wherein people would talk through windows while remaining home quarantined.

By Yana Mir

Srinagar, 09 Aprl 2020

“Stay connected in virtual world through phones, WhatsApp etc. Use humour and reassurances liberally. Neighbours should continue chatting and socialising through windows (provided that windows are 2 metres apart) as was the norm in yesteryears. Revive the old tradition of ‘Daraev kin darbar’,” reads the advisory issued by psychiatrists of Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS) of Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar.

The continuing restrictions over movement of people since last August intensified in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19 which has triggered concerns over mental health of people living in Kashmir.

Doctors say they are receiving phone calls and messages on social media for online consultation of people complaining of various illnesses.

In wake of the scare created by the growing number of COVID-19 positive cases in Kashmir and continuing restrictions on public movement, the psychiatrists of IMHANS have issued guidelines to deal with the paranoia, fear, anxiety, and panic.

They advised people to invoke their belief in destiny while exercising all necessary precautions.

“Practicing your faith in solace of your rooms will help you to connect with God like never before and help you to ward off anxieties,” reads the advisory.

The mental health experts have advised parents not to make children fearful. “Educate them (children) in a way that it doesn’t seem like end of the world. When we teach our children how to cross a road, we don’t make them fearful talking about worst accidents, we just teach them how to be safe,” the advisory said.

Psychiatrists advised people not to watch hyperbolic news channels, especially in front of their kids.

Experts have not ruled out the element of fear due to COVID-19 outbreak. 

It says fear is as old as the human race and perhaps the only emotion responsible for human survival on earth in presence of danger, death and devastation.

“People should have fear in appropriate doses to overcome this crisis as well. However, when fear is excessive, it becomes disabling,” it said.

Mental health experts have asked people to remind each other of past worse situations from which they emerged unscathed.

Lonely walks within premises of residential houses wherever possible could be very refreshing, it said.

Psychiatrists have advised people to be humorous and live in present instead of thinking of past. 

“Humour is important. As adults, we understand that it is an immense crisis but that should not deter us from cracking a joke. Don’t scold kids for laughing out loud. Let us live in present, moment by moment. Past is gone and future is not in our control. Think of things that you can control,” IMHANS advisory said.

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