Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 465-470

Psychiatric morbidity among female commercial sex workers

Department of Psychiatric Social Work, Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur, Assam, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Arif Ali
Department of Psychiatric Social Work, Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_147_16

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Context: Psychological distress is higher in women working in sex industry. The various psycho social issues are associated with female commercial sex workers (FCSWs). The host of psychosocial vulnerabilities including, childhood sexual abuse, exposure to childhood physical abuse, poverty, interpersonal violence in adulthood, sexually transmitted diseases, and substance use, forms a fertile ground for psychiatric morbidity. Aim: This study aims to assess the psychiatric morbidity among FCSWs in Shillong, India. Materials and Methods: In the present study, 100 FCSWs were selected. For the recruitment of sample, simple random sampling procedure was followed; sociodemographic data sheet and the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview were administered. Results: In the study, it was found that 9% of the respondents reported having major depressive episode (current), 25% of the respondents reported major depressive episode (past), 3% were having major depressive episode with melancholic features (current), 21% of the respondents reported posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 8% of the respondents reported to have alcohol dependence, 3% of the respondents reported to have nonalcohol psychoactive substance use disorder, 8% of the respondents were found to have generalized anxiety disorder, and 9% of the respondents were found to have antisocial personality disorder. Conclusions: There is a prevalence of mental health problems in the FCSW. Assessment of the psychiatric morbidity in FCSW is significant in developing health policy and interventions to reduce their impact on their well-being. It is the immediate need that the governmental and nongovernmental agencies, mental health professionals, and workers in this area need to be sensitized to the issue of mental health status of the commercial sex workers.



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