Psychological or mental health disorders are common across India. According to facts, in 2017, mental illnesses of various severity impacted one in seven Indians. Since 1990, India’s total disease burden has nearly risen in proportion to mental diseases.
Another reason why mental health problems are rising in India is that people do not pay heed to them. It could be due to the taboo surrounding mental health, lack of knowledge, lack of licensed therapists, or old traditional beliefs.
Let’s take a look at the 7 most common mental disorders in India:
Schizophrenia is one of the most common disorders in India. The patient often distorts reality in this disorder. It may also affect everyday normal functioning. Delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and behavior, are all common symptoms of schizophrenia. The worst part about this disorder is that it may stay with you for life. Treatment and medicines can help, but there are fair chances for the symptoms to reappear anytime. The cause for the same is not well known, but past trauma, divorce, or loss of a job can all trigger this disorder.
2. Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder common among teenagers who are self-conscious about their appearance. In this disorder, a person is in constant fear of gaining weight and hence, develops severe body image issues. Symptoms may include denial of hunger, refusing to eat, being underweight, excessive exercising, anxiety, starvation, vomiting, etc. Medical treatment is required in extreme cases to help regain weight. Talk therapy can help restore self-esteem and behavioral changes.
3. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is quite common in India. It usually develops during childhood and persists through adulthood. It is a chronic condition characterized by difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior. The symptoms include struggling with understanding, hyperactive nature, short attention spans, inability to finish a given task on time, and inability to listen to others or follow commands. Medication and talk therapy can help, but there is no permanent cure for ADHD.
4. Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is another common disorder wherein the patient’s natural development is slow due to brain indifferences. People with ASD struggle with social communication and interaction, have limited interests, and engage in repetitive behaviors. They find it difficult to function in day-to-day life. In some cases, they also develop problems in speech, listening, and understanding. Autism is estimated to have affected approximately 18 million people in India. There’s no cure for this disorder, but behavioral and communication therapies and new teaching methods can help.
5. Bipolar Disorder
This is a mood disorder characterized by mood swings spanning from bouts of depression to manic highs. The symptoms of depressive episodes may include loss of energy, disinterest in performing day-to-day activities, feelings of anxiousness or sadness, etc. Symptoms of manic episodes, on the other hand, are a sudden burst of energy, hyperactivity, sleeplessness, distorted reality, etc. Treatment includes psychotherapy and medication. This condition usually prolongs for a lifetime.
6. Clinical Depression
It is probably the most widespread disorder prevalent in India and also worldwide. The worst part is that most people do not seek medical help and bury themselves under societal judgments. Past trauma, losing a dear one, or crucial life changes could trigger this disorder. The symptoms include prolonged loss of interest, energy, and motivation in almost everything in life, sadness, hopelessness, fatigue, loss of appetite, constant anxiety, loss of weight, etc. Clinical depression is treatable with medical help.
7. Anxiety Disorder
Emotions of stress and worry to a limit are considered normal in everyday life. For instance, if you have a mid-term coming up, you are stressed and anxious about the same. This feeling goes away when you finish your examination. But when you show prolonged symptoms of constant fear, worry, or distress that get into your day-to-day activities, it can be termed as an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders include panic attacks, OCD, and post-traumatic stress disorder. This disorder is curable with proper treatment and medication.
Such disorders require a proper diagnosis and are treatable to some extent with the help of a licensed therapist or psychologist. The people suffering from these mental illnesses must be dealt with patience and kindness since you never know what the other person might be going through. It is crucial to understand that diseases go beyond physical ailments. An individual’s mental health is just as crucial as their physical health. So in this world where you can be anything, be kind, compassionate, and caring.