International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Mental Health Issues of Women Prisoners in Karachi Pakistan
Zainab Fotowwat Zadeh

The present research aimed at exploring the mental health issues of women prisoners in a Karachi jail. The data was collected using the convenience sampling method. A total of 16 women between the age ranges of 21 years to 60 years were interviewed for the research. A detailed clinical interview and a Mental State Examination were used to assess the mental health issues of the inmates. The following research questions were postulated for further exploration in order to firstly find out what are the types of mental health issues prevalent in women prisoners and secondly, to discover if there is a relationship between the type of crime committed and the nature of mental health symptoms present in women prisoners. The results show that the women prisoners had a total of 12 different symptoms. Out of these, the highest ranking symptoms were those of insomnia at 19%, aggression at 17%, tension defined as a subjective feeling of stress and worry at 16% and psychosomatic complaints at 14%. Symptom clusters show that neurosis is far more prevalent than psychotic conditions. The typology may thus be broadly categorized into three distinct groups of neurosis related to depression and its related features, borderline tendencies, and anxiety features. The results also indicate a link between this categorization and the type of crime committed. Other variables analysed included age and marital status. This research has implications for the designing of structured group interventions in the jail setting. Special programs should be made to address the unique psychological needs and issues of the women prisoners.

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