Does it ever happen that you wake and feel like you have no energy or you find it difficult to concentrate at work or don’t wish to connect with anyone? And this pattern continues for a long period of time?
Well! chances are that you might be experiencing depression.
An occasional feeling of sadness or panic is something that everyone experiences from time to time. Still, a persistent loss of interest, depressed mood, changes in energy levels, and sleeping problems can indicate mental illness. Mental Health is an integral part of our well-being and directly affects how we think, feel and act in our daily life. Poor mental health can cause negative behaviors that may not only affect personal health but can also compromise relationships with others. Mental health greatly correlates with personal feelings about oneself and plays a part in your self-esteem.
Depression: The feeling of sadness & loneliness
Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It can be caused due to trauma, abuse, the death of a loved one, divorce, and unemployment. Some of the symptoms of depression are fatigue, worthlessness, lack of concentration & interest, restlessness, suicidal feelings, and weight loss. It negatively impacts how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. The state of depression can control your ability to work, sleep, study, eat and so on. During a depressive episode, the person experiences significant difficulty in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, and/or other important areas of functioning.
Mental Health Situation in India
Mental disorders are now among the top leading causes of health burden worldwide, with no evidence of global reduction since 1990. In 2017, an estimation of the burden of mental health conditions for the states across India revealed that as many as 197.3 million people require care for mental health conditions. This included around 45.7 million people with depressive disorders and 44.9 million people with anxiety.
We also observed that there is growing recognition of the importance of mental health in India. However, its mental health sector remains severely under-resourced. According to the international organization's data, there are only three psychiatrists and psychologists for every 1,00,000 people.
In a survey conducted on 200 psychiatrists that aimed to find major challenges faced while diagnosing depression in chronic pain patients; 30.91% of psychiatrists said that social stigma towards psychiatry and patients' unwillingness to accept depression as a cause for pain was a major challenge followed by 28.36% saying unawareness among the population. Others included lack of diagnostic tools, comorbid conditions such as arthritis, obesity, lack of compliance etc.
Major Challenges faced while diagnosing depression among patients with chronic pain
(Data Source : www.indianjpain.org)
Depression in India
According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, India has the highest number of depressed individuals in the world. This means that one out of three individuals i.e. approx 56 million people in India suffer from depression.
And this is slowly but steadily affecting the youngsters as well. Among the 15-24 years age group in India, one out of seven often feels depressed or has little interest in doing things, according to a new report by UNICEF.
Helping the Victims
Depression is among the most treatable mental disorders. Between 80% and 90% of people with depression eventually respond well to treatment. One must look for ways to identify symptoms amongst near and dear ones and help them by talking. Whether it is a serotonin or a dopamine imbalance, it is curable. The brain is just like any other part of the body that can be treated, and the only way to eradicate the stigma associated with mental health is through effective and active dialogues.
Working together to prevent mental health issues is critical and the support of each individual can make a big difference in raising awareness and encouraging conversations.
Living in 2023, there is no denying the fact that mental health holds the same importance as physical health as it forms a chore part of our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. For people suffering from depression or other mood disorders, professional support can do wonders and bring about a drastic change in their lives. However, many of them ignore their mental health and refuse to take help, underestimating the damage it is costing. Some of them feel hesitant to take share their feelings due to the social stigma attached to mental health issues. However, it is very important to make them understand of how crucial it is for them to work closely with a mental health professional and get the support they need to recover. Also, family members and other loved ones can greatly help them move forward after a depressive episode. Reducing the stigma and increasing awareness can prove to be fruitful as well.
Hope you found this information useful. Share this blog with someone you know who is going through depression and support them. We suggest reaching out for professional help and getting in touch with organizations, NGO's or govt helplines for depression in India, available to guide those undergoing this low phase in their lives.
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