Parasuicide in Pakistan: Experience at a university hospital

M. M. Khan, S. Islam, A. K. Kundi

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33 Citations (Scopus)


There have been few reports of parasuicide from Pakistan, where the act is considered to be a criminal offence and the Islamic religion strongly disapproves of it. In order to address the problem, a retrospective case report analysis of all index cases of parasuicide presenting over a period of 3.5 years to a university hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, was undertaken. Our results showed that most of the subjects were young adults, with married women representing the single largest group. Self-poisoning with medication was the most common method, and benzodiazepines the most frequently used drug. Interpersonal conflict with the opposite sex was the most common precipitating cause. In Pakistani culture, marriage appears to be a significant source of stress for women. Reports based on official police records do not reflect the true picture of the problem in Pakistan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-267
Number of pages4
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Benzodiazepine
  • Marriage
  • Pakistan
  • Parasuicide
  • Sex difference


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