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NYOOOZ got in touch with Dr Sumit Kr Gupta Consultant Psychiatrist, Max Multispecialty Center to get an overview of the mental health of India, the challenges and the need of the hour in the eve of Mental Health Congress.
Mental health Congress 2017: Surprising facts about mental disorders from expert
President Ram Nath Kovind while inaugurating the World Congress of Mental Health revealed some surprising facts about mental health scenario of the Indians.
Quoting World Health organization report, India was staring at a possible mental health epidemic and said over 90 percent of those affected by mental health issues do not receive the required medical care.
National Mental Health Survey, 2016 found that close to 14 percent of India`s population required active mental health interventions. About two percent suffered from severe mental disorders.
NYOOOZ got in touch with Dr. Sumit Kr Gupta Consultant Psychiatrist, Max Multispecialty Center to get an overview of the mental health of India, the challenges and the need of the hour.
Why do you think there is a stigma behind talking about mental health in India?
The stigma is not just limited to India but it’s there in western countries as well and to some extent more than India. The psychological process called ‘denial’ reserves the self-esteem. People believe that the mind is not well and their self is in danger. They refuse to face a negative behaviour and when it comes to treatment seeking the process of denial plays its part. Another fear is that of social acceptance. In western countries, however, the societal acceptance is quite low. The availability of treatment facilities is not up to the mark in India.
What kind of mental disorders is the most common among the Indian youth?
Anxiety and depression related disorders are the most common problems of India. Dependence; be it alcohol dependence or drug addiction is another major problem the Indian youth is facing.
It is not just the lifestyle however that determines how prone an individual is to mental illness, the genetic construct of an individual has a larger role to play in pre-determining mental disabilities. Every individual undergoes a certain amount of stress and anxiety, it is universal in nature. Not everyone develops it as a psychiatric illness but one’ outlook towards dealing it is pre-determined.
Do you think there aren’t adequate no of psychiatrist or psychologist in India?
If the need for psychiatrist or psychologist in India is viewed from the perspective of demand, the difference is not much. The demand for a consultant psychiatrist is much less reciprocating in less no of doctors opting for a career in psychiatry. Once India clears the air around mental illness and the stigma associated with it, the need for psychiatrist or psychologist converting to an increased number of professionals.
Union Health Ministry findings pointed out that despite three out of four persons experiencing severe mental disorders, there are huge gaps in treatment. Mental disorders are a low priority in the public health agenda. Mental health policies should be strengthen encouraging Indians to come out of the cocoon and talk about their illness.