According to a estimates one in seven Indians suffered from mental disorders of varying severity in 2017 with depression and anxiety being the primary contributors.
The first comprehensive estimates of disease burden due to mental disorders and their trends in every state of India from 1990 published in the Lancet Psychiatry by the India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative show that the contribution of mental disorders to the total disease burden has doubled between 1990 and 2017.
In 2017, 197 million Indians were suffering from mental disorders, of whom 46 million had depression and 45 million anxiety disorders.
Depression and anxiety disorders are the commonest mental disorders and their prevalence is increasing across India and is relatively higher in the southern states and in women. Depression is also associated with suicide deaths in India.
The contribution of mental disorders to the total disease burden has doubled in India from 1990 to 2017, indicating the need for implementing effective strategies to control this increasing burden.
Mental illnesses contribute significantly to the burden of disease in India as reported by this study. There is an urgent need to strengthen mental health services, integrate these with general healthcare, and remove barriers such as stigma and access to treatment.
It’s high time! I believe it’s time to break all the shackles and speak up.
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