Are Depression Rates on the Rise in India?

Mental health problems are on the rise around the world. Countries all over the Americas, in Europe, and in the Middle East are experiencing increases in the rates of depression and other mental health problems. One of the countries that is experiencing an increase in its population’s mental health problems is India.

India already has a pretty bad reputation for its mental health statistics. In fact, India is considered to be the most depressed country in the world, according to some sources. And, unfortunately, these statistics don’t seem to be getting much better.

In this article, we’ll talk about some of the statistics regarding depression, suicide, and mental health in India. Then we’ll provide some tips and ideas to help improve the situation for people who may be at risk for struggling with depression.

India Mental Health Statistics

Mental health is a huge problem for people of all age groups in India. The problem is particularly pressing for youth between the ages of 15-29. In fact, believed to be due to the high rates of anxiety depression among people of this age group, the top reason of death for youth in India is suicide.

Intriguingly, among the younger demographic,  the most common people to experience mental health problems are males from traditional nuclear families. They exhibit more behaviours indicative of depression, such as drug use, casual sex, and driving well over the speed limit. They often struggled with their family and with the law.

This is believed to be caused, in part, by high instances of unhealthy environmental factors: drug abuse, conflict, relocation, peer pressure, and performance pressure are common issues in many Indian homes.

Another reason for this is because the work stress of parents is often passed on to their children. This can lead to the development of serious mental health disorders, ranging from anxiety to anger issues and suicidal desires.

Some other statistics regarding mental health in India include:

  • A whopping 4.5% of India’s population suffered from depression in 2015 – this is more than 56 million people.
  • Almost half (42.5%) of corporate employees in India are known to struggle with depression.
  • According to government estimates, about 20% of people in the country are in need of some form of counseling.
  • There was a stark increase (between 45-50%) in the rates of depression for corporate employees between 2008 and 2015.
  • About 36% of Indian people are believed to suffer from a major depressive experience at least once during their lives.
  • A large number of corporate employees (over 38%) sleep less than 6 hours a day. Sleep deprivation, especially over the long term, can contribute to depression either directly or indirectly by causing other problems like hypertension.
  • In 2012, there were an average of 371 suicides on a daily basis in India. That equates to about 135,445 people over the course of the year.

Aggravating the problem of mental health in India is the fact that almost half of the people seeking mental health disorders aren’t treated. This means that untreated parents are more likely to pass on these behaviours and disorders to their children, which can make the problem even worse.

Improving the Situation, Starting With Yourself

If you think that you, your family members, or people you are frequently in contact with could develop a depressive disorder, or if you’re already depressed, the best thing that you can do is seek help from a counselor or a therapist. At the very least, you or the person in question should see if their behaviour aligns with depression symptoms. This can be done by taking a depression quiz based on the DSM-V.

Avoiding seeking help will only allow the problem to get worse, which could have a negative impact on the mental health situation throughout the whole country.