Ranchi, Nov 30: A recent study by the National Institute of Mental Health And Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) has claimed that a large number of youth based in cities as paying guests to suffer from depression and anxiety.
As per the study, youth that is mostly students and working professionals, who become paying guests in cities away from home are more prone to mental problems and drug addiction than the common people. People between the ages of 18 and 29 were included in the study.
Around 10 per cent of the youth involved in the survey faced depression and would have major depressive episodes, while anxiety was observed in 14 per cent of youth. On the other hand, according to the Mental Health Survey of 2015-16, 2.8 per cent of people in the country were troubled by depression and 3.5 per cent by anxiety. That means that the rate of depression and anxiety among the youth living as paying guests is four times higher than that of the common people.
As per the study, around 72 per cent of participants were suffering from depression while 59 per cent were facing anxiety issues. Despite this, they were not taking help from doctors. Several of the above-mentioned youths didn’t even know of their issues, while others were hesitant to go to doctors and ask for help.
Meanwhile, while addressing the issue, Dr Nishant Goyal, Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi said, “Either people don’t understand that they are facing an issue, or can avoid going to a psychiatrist due to the stigma. Along with this, they may also have no knowledge of who they should talk to, which can all lead to the youth not getting the proper care they may need.”
Out of the youth that participated in the study, over 65 per cent had undergraduate degrees or diplomas. Around 28 per cent had done post-graduation. Of these, 88 per cent were not married. 90 per cent of people were living in PGs after coming from other places. They also had some health issues. Notably, youth in 45 different paying guest locations were included in the study.
When questioned about the reasons behind the higher rate of depression and anxiety, Dr Goyal said, “When living as paying guests, the youth are away from their families, hence don’t have much of a support system physically. Even though these youths have friends, they may not be available all the time or at times when people actually feel lonely.”
Along with this, they also have financial constraints. Also, they are either students or have some job, which has pressures of their own. Perceived loneliness, work pressure and atmosphere can predispose youth to have or develop depression.”
Symptoms of depression may include feeling sad or depressed for two weeks or more, loss of interest, thoughts of suicide, and insomnia, which may lead to major depressive episodes. On the other hand, in Generalized Anxiety Disorder, a person remains worried about everyday tasks for a long time, which affects his life. In both these situations, a person needs adequate treatment and should consult a doctor, if they observe any such symptoms in themselves or friends and family.
Dr Goyal suggested that for patients suffering from such issues that are hesitant to talk to someone, they can call on the numbers advertised under the Government of India initiative Tele-MANAS. “They can call upon these numbers and talk to trained counsellors on phones. If their condition is severe, the tele-Manas counsellors will direct the callers to contact the appropriate doctors in their regions,” the doctor added.