ANR's Informative Blog

RISING MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES IN INDIA

Have you ever felt like you’re always tired and sleepy even though you are physically fit? Do you ever feel like you want more in life but something is holding you back? Is there something on your mind that is hindering your success and progress? You aren’t alone. Everyone feels like this once in a while, but have you ever considered getting help for it when you can’t seem to deal with it yourself?

Mental health has been a topic of less discussion around the globe and actively discussed as a matter of great concern only since the 19th century. Even in the 21st century, mental health is not discussed openly and our society is still antipathetic towards it. Just like physical diseases, mental diseases range from minor to debilitating; but we see every mental disease as a taboo.

World population, pollution, stress, technology are all multiplying manifold taking a toll on mental health.  In India, according to National Mental Health Survey in 2016, about 2,00,000 Indians commit suicide each year, not counting the number of attempted suicides. If we take the number of attempted suicides into consideration as well, the number goes up alarmingly high. 14% of the country’s population needs to be treated for poor mental health and 2% suffer from severe mental illnesses. However the country isn’t equipped to handle the growing need for addressing mental health issues. There are only 5,000 psychiatrists and 2,000 psychologists in India who actively practice.

Creating awareness about mental health is of great essence in the present day. Just like we visit our family physician for our monthly check ups, it is imperative to get mental health checked too. After all mental health is as important as physical well-being if not more. We visit our doctor for aches and pains, common colds, sprains; things that would heal on their own just as well. Our physical bodies need maintenance and so do our minds. Why, then, do we neglect our mental health? Just how many of us miss out on the simple joys of life because we have to invest all our energies in coping up with our mental issues? Just like you would call on a doctor for a stomach ache or a common cold for a speedy recovery, why not consult a doctor for your mental health too?

The Indian society paints mental illnesses as shameful and shuns people who have such problems. According to statistics 1 in 5 Indians suffer from depression, yet people quietly suffer in silence because they don’t want to be outcasts in society. We aren’t being fair to ourselves as a society by abandoning the people who need us the most.

Mental illnesses aren’t something to avoid or be scared of. They can be dealt with just as easily as our physical illnesses. Everyone has the right to live their lives to the fullest, so let’s support each other and be compassionate.

Our lives are getting more hectic every day; we always have something different to do, different people to meet, work and travel. With growing needs and responsibilities our stress levels go through the roof too. We are growing but we are unequipped to cope with the growing stress. Take out time to rejuvenate your mind and body. Seek help and help others seek help when you’re fortunate to have access to psychiatrists and psychologists.

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