Expert GD Moderators Group Discussion

Mental Illness in India: An Issue Of Concern

Let's talk about something which is kind of a taboo topic in our country, which nobody likes to talk about: neither the one's who are suffering from it nor the one's who witnesses it around them.

Mental Illness

What is mental illness by the way? Let's do a quick check.

Mental Illness or mental health disorder is a mental condition that refers to a disorder that affects your mood, thinking and behavior, it includes depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and addictive behavior. This condition can affect at any point of time in our life to people of any group age. A mental health condition can become an illness when its symptoms affect our body functioning or functioning of our brain and frequent stress which start to cause a problem in our day to day life in office, in school or in relationship with people. It lowers our self-esteem and makes us feel guilty or miserable about ourselves.

This illness can vary depending on disorder, situations, and from person to person but in all conditions, it affects our emotions, thought processes and behavior. 


The most visible signs seen in any person struggling with mental illness are as follows:

  • Increase in heart rate due to nervousness even in normal decision-making situations
  • Feeling sad, depressed, tired throughout the day
  • Inability to concentrate on daily tasks
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Sleeping and eating problems
  • Self-isolation and suicidal thoughts
  • Inclination towards alcohol or drug use
  • Uncontrollable anger or violence
  • Sometimes, it can appear in physical problems like stomach pain, headaches or other unexplained pain

Even in india, going to a psychiatrist clinic is considered as going to a mental hospital which is not the right mentality. But if any individual or any person around them shows these signs or symptoms of mental illness they should visit a doctor more specifically a psychiatrist. As most mental illness doesn't improve on their own and if left untreated if may get worse over time and can cause serious health problems. 


Mental health conditions can be genetic or environmental, but now day's stressful working environment, work overload,and poor communication plays a big part in getting prone to mental problems in our generation. Let's have a look at the causes of this tragic health condition.

  • Mental health problems are more common in people who have a family history of mental illness. Certain genes may trigger that part in our life.
  • Environmental stressors, like inflammatory conditions, toxins, alcohol or drugs while in the womb can sometimes be linked to mental illness.
  • Trauma from any past accident or incident such as assault
  • Use of alcohol or durgs at a very young age
  • Childhood history of assault by parents or any members, lack of love, death of loved one's or divorce
  • Traumatic brain injury or drug reaction
  • Overuse of social media, trolling, bullying, public shaming, blackmailing and so on

These are the most suspected conditions that can be a cause of mental illness. A person with this condition feels so alienated from rest of the socitey that he/she start to hate themselves. If health care is not provided to the person suffering from this situation that can lead to critical consequences like self harming, suicide, homicide or attack on someone. Mental illness is so common that about 1 in 5 adults has a mental illness at any age from child to an adult but most cases begin at an early period of life.


Mental health can be acute if treated timely with proper care or can be chronic or maybe seriously permanent if left untreated. Untreated mental illness can lead to severe emotional, physical health problems and can cause disability too. So, it is so important to give proper treatment to the people struggling with mental health conditions. There is no sure way to prevent the condition but with proper awareness and treatment, we can reduce its severity level. Some types of treatment procedures are listed below:

  • Pay attention to signs and symptoms. If you have even a doubt about having any sign so there is no harm in visiting a therapist to learn what might trigger your symptoms. 
  • Don't neglect checkups or visits to your health care provider if you're not feeling well about things. Even, visiting a therapist once in a month talking about your situation can helps in triggering the initial stages of illness.
  • Take sufficient sleep, eat healthy food, do regular exercise or yoga or spend time with your love one's are important. Try to avoid stressful situations and keep yourself calm as nothing is more important than your health. 
  • At the parental level, if you are seeing any type of sign of illness or any strange behavior in your child. Try to talk to them about that make them believe in you, because talking works way better than medicines in this type of condition. A healthy, happy and supportive family environment helps in overcoming the illness. As it is said that: "It is not the distance that keeps people apart but lack of communication."

At last mental illness is the type of condition which is worse than any type of physical illness. In physical illness, we know that if we take medicines we get better but in mental illness, it's signed has no visual effect on the victim's body but it eats them from inside if no health care is provided to them on time and sometimes leads to suicides no doubt. So if your loved one shows any sign or symptoms of mental illness have a open, kind and honest discussion with them about their problems. Encourage them to visit a doctor and support them. There is no shame in talking about your stress and anxiety, anyone can have it. 

Mental Illness in India

India is way behind in terms of mental health care issue. It has been estimated that by 2020, depression will be the second leading disability worldwide. In india, affairs like poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, high alchol and drug user, crime, deprivation, enormous growth of harassment cases, rape, corruption, overload of work at offices, discrimination and list goes on, are the key reasons in the worsening of mental health condition with lack of awareness about the illness and bad treatment facilities make the even worse. 

 A study conducted by the National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health in 2005 reported that nearly 5% of India’s population suffers from common mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety. As per a survey, the prevalence of mental disorders in India was 70.5 per 1000 in rural and 73 per 1000 in urban population. Indian youth is the most prone to get a mental illness, which is ultimately depicted by the growing suicide rate year by year.

Even though there are many NGOs working on this issue but this is not sufficient. The step should be taken at a larger level. Government has to take part in spreading awareness about this issue along with working on the factors that is creating this type of health condition. A collective step should be taken both on an individual level or at the global level to stop the spread of this life's eating parasite illness in our country. 


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