Common Mental Health Illness in India

Being well and being mentally healthy, these are two different things and everyone should understand the difference better. Mental Health Illnesses is about a person’s mental and emotional well-being. Good mental health or being mentally sound would mean that one possesses a balanced mind, confidence, and self-esteem. A mental illness is a problem that significantly affects how a person thinks, perceives, and reacts. There are different kinds of mental illnesses that vary in degrees and severity. It can be split into common mental illnesses and severe mental illnesses. Mental health illness can range from psychosis which is a chemical imbalance in the body to neurosis– which is poor attitudinal learning during the growing or formative years. In the article that we are posting today, we will discuss about the common mental health illness in India.

Common Mental Health Illnesses

  • Depression
  • Anxiety/Phobias
  • Eating Disorders
  • Stress

These are the mental illness conditions that are commonly found in India and can be treated and monitored easily. Even with the few consultations of psychiatrist it can very well work.

Severe Mental Health Illnesses

  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder (Manic depression)
  • Clinical depression
  • Suicidal tendency
  • Personality disorder

The research data on mental health illness is something very serious to study. As per the reports 1 in every 5 individuals suffers from some form of mental health illness symptoms. 50% of mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% of mental health conditions develop by age 24. There are multiple factors that trigger mental illness. Complex interactions between mind, body, and environment result in psychological disorders. Some of the factors are long term acute stress, biological factors, drug abuse and overdose, cognitive behavior like constant negative thoughts, low on energy, etc, social problems like financial problems, breakdowns, isolation, etc.

Symptoms of Mental Health Illness

  • Persistent negative thoughts including a preoccupation with death or suicide
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Low energy or severely fluctuating energy levels
  • Hearing voices
  • Wanting to spend excessive amounts of time alone
  • Inappropriate and uncontrollable behavior: excessive anger or sadness for example
  • Severe paranoia

Mental health in India is still a fairly new topic and the myths and taboos attached to this subject are prevalent to this date. According to the National Health program by the Ministry of health and family welfare, 6% of Kerala’s population has mental disorders. 1 in a 5 has some emotional and behavioral problems. Close to 60 to 70 million people in the country suffer from common and severe mental disorders. India is the world’s suicide capital with over 2.6 lakh cases of suicide in a year. WHO statistics say the average suicide rate in India is 10.9 for every lakh people. And, the data is really very shocking.

Important Factors for Mental Illness

Few very important factors emerged as the reasons for mental illness. To understand the diseases and the data better, it is important to study the factors too.

Ignorance: the first and foremost reason being awareness and knowledge. People use words like ‘mad’ and ‘asylum’ carelessly. There are far too many derogatory and demeaning terms used to describe someone who is mentally not fit and this stigma or taboo coupled with ignorance and lack of awareness discourages people who are suffering to speak up and reach out for help.

No Help or Mental Support: We have just 43 state run mental health institutions across the country. 3800 psychiatrists available as against requirement of 11,500; 898 clinical psychologists as against 17250, 850 psychiatric social workers as against 23000, 1500 Psychiatric nurses as against 3000. That means there is only one psychiatrist for four lakh Indians and only 1,022 college seats for mental health professionals are set aside in India.

Insurance Coverage: Insurance companies do not provide medical insurance to people who are admitted in hospitals with mental illnesses. Admission to a good hospital is out of reach for some because of this. A good treatment doesn’t come cheap and without an insurance cover, it becomes even more difficult.

The only better way to treat mental illness is by a better support. It is always required that one should get the assistance of best doctor for the same. If someone close to you is suffering from the disease then you should provide the mental support to the sufferers.

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