Indians being naturally emotional may draw up a work plan to counter it
Are you going through a bout of depression? Chances are that at any given point of time, 5.66 crore Indians are with you, inflicted by various types and stages of depression as well as mental disorders. While depression is not considered a major disorder or health condition in low and middle-income countries like India, it is a serious issue for populace living across Europe and the US. A study on depression by the World Health Organisation (WHO) drives home the point that individuals, irrespective of the income bracket they are in, could suffer from depression. It is all-pervasive and not merely limited to those living the high life. In fact, unemployment, poverty, civil strife and conflict could push more and more people in poorer countries into severe depression.
The WHO study reveals that there are a few exclusions to those who might fall victim to mental illness. People from any age group, sexual orientation or phase of life could have extreme mental disorders, which could even drive them to suicide. It says there are over 322 million people in the world suffer from depression, and these numbers are growing alarmingly. In the last decade, the number of those suffering from depression has grown 18.5 per cent. Dr Dan Chrisholm of WHO’s department of mental health and substance abuse has however identified youth, pregnant women, those suffering from post-partum depression and elderly people as those who are most vulnerable to mental disorders. While the study does not provide an effective solution to tackling depression, it points to productivity losses worth over $1 trillion in 2015 alone, suggesting that the medical condition leads to disability. Even though the WHO describes depression as a serious global condition, there is no dearth of skeptics, who emphasise more on ‘bread and butter’ issues.
For our own country it can be said that since a large number of youth globally are a depressed due to ‘expectations and performance’ pressure, there is reason for us to be alarmed. The census data for 2011 released last month says the country’s youth, representing those below 20 years of age, comprise 41 per cent of the total Indian population. Given the growing young population, the Centre and states may have to formulate a strategy to prevent them from getting into a rut. Similar is the case with our women who are essentially multi-tasking individuals with huge ‘emotional and physical stress’ levels. With enhanced mobility of youngsters on work, our elderly also seem to be ‘home alone with no emotional outlet’. All of them are potential victims of depression. Unless the possible rise in cases of depression and mental disorder is factored, not only for productivity losses, these very vulnerable groups could become a cause for worry for the country. Being a naturally emotional and hyperactive people, Indians will do well to draw up a work plan to counter depression and mental disorders. For their own good.