According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression is defined as “a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.” Depression is not just about someone being sad, but rather about an individual lacking the motivation to do anything, from their favorite activities to simply eating. With the disorder affecting 322 million people worldwide, it is a major health concern on a global level. Depression in India is, according to recent reports, at a severe level.
While depression has no limitations as to whom it affects, there are certain areas that have an exceptionally high number of people suffering from the disorder. India is one nation that has been proven to have high rates of depression. In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) ranked India as the most depressed country on the planet. The WHO also reported that more than 4.5% of the Indian population suffers from mental illness. While 4.5% may not seem like a significant amount, it is actually equivalent to 56 million individuals.
Depression can be treated with several methods such as medication and therapy. However, Indians who suffer from the disorder lack the resources that they need, due to the fact that only .06% of India’s health budget is used for mental health purposes. This number is shockingly low in light of the fact that well-developed countries usually utilize at least four percent of their health budgets for mental health.
As recent studies have shown, there are only 0.301 psychiatrists per 100,000 individuals in India. With not enough psychologists, nurses and social workers, many who suffer from depression in India are not given the opportunity to receive professional help.
With depression rates in India on the rise, the government is making an effort to decrease depression rates. In March, Parliament passed the Mental Health Care Bill. This bill offers all Indians mental health care, prohibits electroconvulsive therapy on minors and decriminalizes suicide.
Despite advancements, depression still remains a serious issue in the country. However, with new policies constantly being devised, depression in India, as well as throughout the world, will hopefully decrease over time.
– Raven Rentas