Mental Health Crisis in India
As per WHO, economic loss due to mental health conditions is $1 trillion between 2012-2030.
National Mental Health Survey (NMHS) found that 14% Indians need immediate professional help in the country. 1 in 7 is suffering from mental illness: depression, anxiety, etc., which especially increased after the pandemic. NCRB data, which is generally under reported, reveals highest suicide cases in 2021. NCERT survey shows 81% school students feel anxious because of competition and academic stress.
Personal or financial reasons play a role in suicide cases, but numbers show that mental health problems are the main culprit. When one wants to express their state of mind, they are often met by mockery and ridicule. Data shows that men go to doctors more for mental health related issues. Alongside, deaths due to heart attack increased by 6 times in the first half of 2021, compared to that of 2020. One of the reasons is emotional stress during Covid-19. Mental health also affects important organs and glands.
How can one deal with mental health issues?
Firstly, mental health needs to be talked about, discussing it should not be tabooed. 56 million Indians suffer from depression. And this is not an illness of the rich, everyone somehow is suffering from mental health problems. Before solving it, we must admit to the problem.
Mental health problems can enter your house in the form of news debates – anchors and guests shouting at each other and at you each day and night. They don’t care for news, and are victims of a disease, which doctors say“GRP”, meaning Godi Rating Points. The more you spread venom, incite violence, charge the opposition, the more you are accepted inside of the Godi arena.
These viciousness enters people’s minds every night at 9 PM (news hour) through the medium of television. The symptoms of this disease include anger and lying. As mentioned, this disease is spreading far and wide. Our politicians are so used to “Yes Sir” that it damages their conscience. When these politicians should talk progress, they are concerned with vote banks. When they should unite people, but are obsessed with dividing. And, they don’t like being posed questions at too.
The citizens, here, are grappling withthese sort of problemstoo – where on one hand, dollar is rising, rupee is struggling, on the other hand, people are wondering about the rise in export earnings. Unemployment is a major problem, but people say – “what can be done when population is so high!” They blame these on population.
Black money did not return, nor did we receive the controversial 15 lakhs, and people say, “government has done it after deep thoughts, there may be something good in it.”
Petrol and Diesel are competing in prices. Rising inflation has put so many people back to poverty – in fact 56 million Indians are living below the poverty line – and the usual excuse by people is “at least they are feeling safe”. (kill me please!) Our competition is with Bangladesh in per capita income, and with Pakistan in hunger and press freedom indices. Still people say “all is well”, and that some international powers are jealous of us to spread venom against us. (Enough of this deliberate ignorance by the people)
People may pretend they are cheerful and happy online, but in reality they are not even close to a genuine smile; they cannot express it openly. It is similar to the mental health related cases where people cannot clearly convey their problems as it is frowned upon by outsiders.
But, it is vital for the well-being to address mental health issues. Sometimes, I too feel like giving up, why do these satiric and factual write-ups when nobody cares? Stick to sloganeering, boycotting and trolling instead and life is set!? But, we take a lot of mental stress writing these articles, only to put forward facts, and spread the right information around to the people.
In the case of mental health, you can best help yourself. Data shows that people are more aware about mental health, consultations have risen by 44%. The data by Practo says that consultations are mostly in the age group of 25-34, where 61% and 39% are males and females respectively. This is a good sign. At least, younger generation is more open about it. Schools have also started giving attention to mental health.
Biggest misconceptions in the country are – that mental health problems happen to the weak; if they are strong physically they would be strong mentally. Fact is – anybody can be a victim of mental health issues, and solving it is a unique journey for everyone. Sometimes lifestyle changes help, but professional help always is recommended.
But Yes, in order to achieve this, you will have to accept this. Take some time off for your mind. Introspect and question – Are you overworked and overthinking?
Do you get angry fast? Have you ever felt low in life that nothing interests you? Also, are you spending too much time in front of TV or online? An honest introspection will do wonders. News anchors and politicians don’t miss an opportunity; we have to be mentally strong not to miss ours.
Writer’s Note – This is a very serious topic and I tried to have a light take on it owing the recent World Mental Health Day on 10th October. I have only scratched the surface here, and I am also dealing with Anxiety issues – so please take care of yourself and LISTEN to what your body and mind is telling you! Thank you!
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