Social and Legal Issues in Married Hindu Women with Mental Illness (Psychosis) in relation to Dowry
Author: Ramit Gupta1, Gunjan Bala2*
1Senior Resident, Department of Psychiatry, AIMSR, Bathinda
2Senior Resident, Department of Pathology, AIMSR, Bathinda
BACKGROUND: Marriages of women with mental illness poses a serious problem both for the women, her family and the prospective groom and his family. Often to cover up for the deficiency in women, parents offer a handsome dowry to glamorize the marriage proposal. Objective: The present study was undertaken to find out whether more dowry is given, more demands of dowry after marriage are made in the marriage of patients suffering from mental illness(psychosis) as compared to those without mental illness. Also to find out whether families of women with mental illness make more allegations about dowry demand. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The present study was conducted on 90 subjects from psychiatry OPD of the University Hospital, BHU and Varanasi from December 2010 to July 2012. 60 patients diagnosed as having psychosis and 30 healthy controls were included in the study. All subjects were assessed on schedule of dowry which included dowry expected, dowry demanded, dowry offered and dowry given. Also comparison was made with regard to allegations of dowry demands made by parents of women. RESULTS: Significantly more dowry was demanded and given in the marriages of patients with psychotic illness (p<0.05). Significantly more demands of dowry after marriage were made in the marriage of patients with mental illness (psychosis) as compared to those without mental illness(p<0.05). Most of dowry demanded after marriage was in the form of home items from the patients. Significantly more allegations of dowry demands were made in early psychosis group patients as compared to patient controls (late psychosis group) and healthy controls (p<0.05). CONCLUSION: More dowries were given as well as more demands of dowry were made in the marriages of patient with mental illness (psychosis) as compared to those without mental illness. More dowries were demanded after marriage in patients with mental illness (psychosis). Families of women with mental illness (psychosis) make more allegations about dowry demands.