Hyderabad: Depression and anxiety disorders top the list of mental disorders that people in the age group of 35 to 45 years suffer in Telangana State, according to a study carried out by the Indian Council for Medical Research and published in the journal Lancet.
Doctors studied the data 1990 to 2017 and found that these two disorders were highly prevalent in Telangana State, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa. Women were found to suffer more than the men, in the ratio of 2:1. This is due to hormonal imbalance, family stress, balancing work, home and family and inability to express themselves.
Dr Minhaj Nasirabadi, general secretary of the Indian Psychiatric Society, Telangana chapter, said more people were coming to the clinics as awareness spread. “These numbers are of those people who are availing help. There are many others who do not make it to the hospitals and are out there suffering from the disease and not aware of it.”
Depression and anxiety disorders contribute the most to the burden of disease in India but are not easily diagnosed. Depression cases contributed to 33.8 per cent while anxiety disorders were 19 per cent in India. There are 46 million people in the country suffering from these disorders. Their prevalence is found to increase and is 1.9 times more in the southern states when compared to the other states. Other mental disorders like schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder and Attention Deficiency Syndrome and eating disorders are also prevalent. The burden of mental disorders has doubled from 1990 to 2017 with 197.3 million suffering from different mental problems. This means that one in every seven person in India is suffering from a mental disorder and needs help.
Prof. Lalit Dandona, director of the India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative and national chair of Population Health at ICMR, stated that the study had utilized the accessible data from the hospitals and evaluated the disease burden.
Prof. Dandona said, “The growing incidence of depression needs urgent attention as it leads to different set of issues in the family and also the community. There is a demand to integrate mental health with general health to do away with the stigma and make access easy for the people.” To add to the problem is the lack of trained manpower to deal with those suffering from mental health issues. There are just 0.3 psychiatrists per 1 lakh population. To add to this there is lack of awareness and extremely poor coverage in terms of insurance for the treatment of these disorders. Mental health treatment is prolonged and involves continuous visits to the doctor, medication and changes in the medication from time to time. There has to be a family member to support the person and it can be quite a challenge.
Treatment of rehabilitation is expensive and also requires constant monitoring which brings in the question of affordability....