#RealityCheck – Mental Illness And Pune’s Youth

Mental Illness And Pune's Youth


Anxiety, inability to concentrate, panic attacks, insomnia and depression are concerns that are increasingly affecting the city’s youth. Some try and combat much of this with the use of cannabis strains like the indica flower which has helped some but isn’t for everyone. Mental illnesses are on the increase and often it is the lack of awareness that keeps patients from seeking help.

The social stigma ( more so in India ) associated with seeing a psychiatrist prevents people from coming to terms with their condition and beginning treatment. Unchecked mental disorders most often lead to chronic depression and can result in violent behaviour or even suicide attempts.

The lack of apparent support, coupled with the fear to confront adds to the malaise and prevents the patient and their families from seeking expert advice.

According to the latest estimates from World Health Organization, more than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015. More than 80% of this disease burden is among people living in low and middle-income countries.


We spoke to puneites and city experts to gauge the situation on the ground and possible measures to alleviate this increasing concern.

“I have sleepless nights even today. May be because of work pressure,” says Kunal. “My mind is continuously working even when I am asleep. I haven’t had a sound sleep for months now. I feel tired and restless hence, I have now started going for long walks whenever I get time. I don’t feel I need a doctor. A little alteration in my lifestyle, eating and working habits may help me,” he adds.

It felt like the world is collapsing said Meena Purohit when she found that her son didn’t wanted to live further.

“One day, I found my son crying in his room. I was taken aback on seeing him, this vulnerable. Is it difficult for children to talk to their parents on such issues. After having an elaborate discussion, I figured something had affected him.

He told me, he felt empty and that his life was meaningless.

I enquired if he is having problems with his friends or his girlfriend. But he denied all .

“He even refused to see a doctor as he believed he is not mentally ill. We tried seeking help from a family friend who is a psychiatrist. It was a discussion rather than treatment. She used to visit us almost every day for almost one and a half years. He started feeling better, but we could see his fragility and kept an eye on him always,” she adds.

Dr. Manish Bajpayee

Dr. Manish Bajpayee, a leading city psychiatrist opines that depression is majorly found in women. “Out of all, 60% of women suffer from depression ( postpartum etc ) and depression often caused by dependence on drugs/alcohol is common among males. Phobias of height, water, hesitation to talk in public, fear of getting into trouble etc are the major mental ailments found among people under the age group of 20-40 years.

“All these are curable, if diagnosed and treated by an expert on time. Counseling, therapy, psychotherapy and medication can help in getting over such mental ailments.

“More importantly, parents must be careful and note any behavioural change in their child. Adults should always try talking to a specialist if they feel stressed, anxious or uninterested in work or tasks that they enjoyed earlier,” he adds.

Where insomnia, fatigue and poor concentration are often linked to unhealthy lifestyles, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) phobias, fear and anxiety are also increasingly plaguing Pune’s youth.

Aastha shares her story.

“Many might be of the opinion that shaking ones leg, blinking eyes frequently or an urge to repeat an action is normal, but however simple they may seem, they are also signs of an underlying mental illness.

“It may not be as bad as depression but it still needs expert intervention. In my case, this was the truth.

“My mother used to bring it to my knowledge whenever she saw such characteristics in me. Initially I ignored, but later when stress and anxiety caught up, it got worse and that worried me.

“I then connected with a clinical psychologist who taught me relaxation techniques to control my anxiety and stress. It also proved helpful in getting back to my regular sleep pattern” she adds.



#The views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.

Loveleen Kaur

Loveleen Kaur

She loves travelling, dogs, sarcasm, humour and anything that spells F O O D, in that order. A writer on a journey to make positive stories a morning ritual and give society what it needs the most - optimism !!

Reach her at loveleen@pune365.com or tweet @KaurKaur18
Loveleen Kaur