Mental Disorders are a major concern that India has been grappling with and the number of people suffering from depression have touched a staggering 56 million! It also stated that around 8% of India’s total population is dealing with mental disorders both, minor and major requiring immediate attention.
Pune is no stranger to this unfortunately and city psychiatrists and specialists are today seeing an increasing number of patients who are affected by one or more mental disorders.
Coinciding with the “Mental Awareness” month, Pune365 spoke to city specialists who shared their views on this growing malaise and suggested measures to effectively prevent and tackle mental disorders:
Parth Kalia, Integrative Therapist at Seraniti, Aundh says,” I believe that depression and anxiety are the most common types of mental illnesses Pune has been facing. Also, stress is is a major problem and can be a significant cause of mental disorders.
There are a lot of other mental illnesses too, but they aren’t as prevalent as depression and anxiety. And this is not a problem that only Pune has been facing, a lot of urbanized cities do face the same problem.
There can be many reasons for this, less independence, peer-pressure, social anxiety and more so, since Pune has a large population of youngsters and students.
Also, Young professionals start their career here. They try to fit into the industry, and finding an identity for themselves is stressful in the early stages of the career. The ladder is difficult to climb initially.
Yes, whenever people come to a psychiatrist they fear stigma, but they must understand that doctors, especially psychiatrists, keep their information confidential.
Moreover, India is a country where awareness is spreading and the Internet is always there for assistance. And people also are quite open-minded and do not judge anyone on this basis.
I think Pune schools and colleges should start educating young students and children about mental illnesses early enough to remove the taboo and it will also ensure that don’t judge anyone and will offer help. I think the earlier we start teaching them, the sooner they’ll realize and the better it is, Kalia adds.”
Dr. Niket Kasar, Consultant Psychiatrist opines,”Stress-related disorders are very common in cosmopolitan cities like Pune.
Anxiety spectrum disorders, relationships issues, sexual problems in young adults, addiction to various substances as well as screens like mobile/internet/pornography etc are cases that I come across regularly in Pune.
Definitely, due to stressful competitive life, burdensome responsibility at a workplace, horrible traffic systems, less quality time for self and family, leads to stress-related disorders in society and they are increasing rapidly and may be on the verge of exploding like an epidemic break.
Though there is a stigma and discrimination about mental illness in society, people are now seeking help due to increased awareness and help-seeking behavior.
My advise to fellow citizens of the city is to “Seek help as early as possible if you are under stress.
Don’t ignore it. minor / major mental illnesses are just like any other physical illnesses which can be treated and controlled effectively, with the help of mental health professionals”
Manisha Jain, Founder, Director and Lead Image consultant at Sea Changes, says,” Mental issues are a major concern in Pune.
There are different age groups here and one major problem of mental health is a negative body image. Teenagers are also affected because of this as their role-models are celebrities and singers, so they undergo certain skin surgeries to look good.
Social Media Influences people a lot today. An inferiority complex leads to depression and anxiety which are major mental disorders. This affects their image cycle, affects confidence and then goals. People tend to lose interest in attaining their goals then.
While consulting, they often don’t reveal whether they are facing any such disorder. But when we foresee that the negative body image and inferiority complex is making them depressed and stressed or make them stammer, we push them to respect their body.
With balanced diets and exercise and proper grooming their problems can be solved, but color, weight, and height really bother people here.
The youth of Pune also indulges in drugs that also affects their mental health. Recently, I came across a case of sexual harassment. The victim was depressed and even resigned. She even gained a lot of weight and that made her all the more depressed.
We consult people to highlight their best features rather than their minus points. That will boost their morale.
I think there should be open workshops and seminars in societies and clubs and awareness should be built.