Depression is emerging like an epidemic. But the good thing is that the disease is presently being recognized. When compared, school students know the most about it and teachers know the least. This suggests the level of awareness. Dr Nimrat Singh, Clinical Psychologist, said this at OTV Foresight 2023 organised in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.
"One person out of ten people in India is suffering from mental health issues. It amounts to that one person in a family at some point or the other has struggled with mental health. And 80 percent of the people who struggle with mental health don't get treatment for at least one year. It is due to problems that existed in early detection," she said.
"The average time to detect cancer is two years. But when it comes to depression, a person takes ten years to find out that s/he is suffering from depression. During this period, s/he would have lost her/his job, family, money and his self-esteem. Our problems, say 80 percent of them, start with stress and depression. The root cause of 80 percent of the patients who are recuperating at hospitals is stress," she added.
"Research shows, cases of domestic violence have increased by 40 percent. And youths between 15 to 29 and senior citizens are the most vulnerable. Ours is an agrarian society. Failure is leaving everyone suffering. Post-pandemic, the situation has changed a lot. Depression and anxiety have increased. After Covid, school students put on weight, and cases of feeling shame about their own bodies came to the fore. Parents were under stress for their children. Covid has taken the depression to another level. We can't deny this. The reality is that we are going through a lot of stress," she added.
"When we talk about mental health we say I don't want to know about it. However, the good thing noticed recently is that people are coming out and openly talking about it," she observed.
"I did a little research in schools and colleges and talked to students and teachers. Questions were on depression. and the outcome was that the school students knew most about it," she said.
Dr Singh congratulated OTV for bringing up a topic like mental health, saying the topic is not discussed easily in an open forum and is always brushed under the carpet.
One person out of ten people in India is suffering from mental health issues. It amounts to that one person in a family at some point or the other has struggled with mental health.