On the 20th World Mental Health Day, City experts believe that the increasing number of cases of depression among the City youths is a matter of concern. Awareness and understanding is the need of the hour.
A typical day in the life of a youngster in today’s world would be a two-way journey from home to office. Words like stress, anxiety and depression are dropped during most smoke breaks outside the workplace. Reason: An increased incidence of depression among the City’s youth.
“There is a 25-30 per cent increase in the number of youngsters diagnosed with clinical depression,” says Dr A Shekar Reddy, consultant psychiatrist at KIMS Hospital. “While depression is common to all age groups, there is a significant rise in the number of youngsters falling victims to it,” he says.
“Work pressure, marital problems and lack of familial support are the most common triggers of depression among today’s youth,” says Dr Reddy.
According to a report published by the World Health Organisation (WHO), depression is a common illness worldwide, with an estimated 350 million people affected. The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is Depression: A Global Crisis.
“Ten per cent depressed people, who remain untreated, commit suicide,” says Dr Praveen Chintapanti, consultant psychiatrist at Tranquil Minds. “The increase in the number of youngsters falling victim to depression can be attributed to the socio-demographic change that the nation is witnessing today. People have started working at a younger age these days which has in turn led to stress and depression.” He adds that immigrant population is more vulnerable to depression than those living in their hometowns.
“Other common issues that cause depression among youngsters are to do with unstable relationships, pressure to perform at work, lack of commitment and lack of social buffers like extended family support,” says Dr Chintapanti, who points out at that there is a significant increase of substance abuse amongst the youth in Hyderabad, which is mostly a result of depression. “A significant number of youngsters seeking help for depression are into drugs,” he says.
On the upside, people are more open to seeking expert help today as opposed to ten years ago.
“Due to an increase in awareness, people — especially youngsters — don’t hesitate in seeking medical help for depression,” observes Dr Reddy.
- Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
- Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease.
- More women are affected by depression than men.
- At its worst, depression can lead to suicide.
- There are effective treatments for depression.
(Given in the WHO report)