Dear Zindagi, Mental health is important

Mental health design icon vector illustration graphic design

It is estimated that, in India, the economic loss, due to mental health conditions, between 2012-2030, is 1.03 trillions of 2010 dollars.


Mental Health victims number stands around five crores in India, according to World Health Organisation.The immediate response to a fever or a headache is a crocin. When it gets worse, we visit a physician, and if it persists then a hospital stay ensues.Unfortunately, a mental health issue is usually treated with “suck up and get on with it.”

In 2011, India recorded the highest rate of major depression in the world at 36 per cent, with the current.Approximately, one in five women and one in 10 men are victims of a major depressive episode at some point in their life. This number is alarming as it means you have more than one person in your friend or family circle who could be facing depressed despite their brave face and you probably had no clue about this.

In simpler terms, six people would have committed suicide by the time this report is compiled and presented.




  • Anxiety disorders – are different from the regular anxiety we face on account of any difficult situation. The distress anxiety causes can keep you from carrying on with normal life. This includes panic disorders which strikes terror at random, social phobia and unrealistic worry with little or no reason.
  • Mood disorders are characterized by a sudden change in mood that leads to disruption in daily activities. Major depressive disorders are characterized by a person’s overall depressive mood.
  • Psychotic Eating disordersare characterized by irregular eating habits and severe distress. They become conscious about  their weight or body shape. Eating disturbances may include inadequate or excessive food intake which can ultimately damage an individual’s well-being. The most common forms of eating disorders include Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)is an impulse control disorder characterized by continuously high levels of physical and mental activity. This hyperactivity makes it difficult for an individual to stay focused on a particular task for an extended period of time
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD) – is a common, chronic and long-lasting disorder. This interferes with all aspects of life. This includes an excessive need for cleanliness, aggressive thoughts towards self or others, and wanting everything to be in order.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – is a mental health condition that is triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Graphics by Sonam Choki




About time we started taking our mind’s wellness seriously. However, maligning one seeking therapy as “mental” or “crazy” is stupid.

In a survey of 3,556 respondents from eight cities across India, NGO “The Live Love Laugh Foundation (TLLLF)” found that a staggering 47% could be categorised as being highly judgmental of people suffering from mental illness. Within this category, respondents were more likely to say that one should keep a safe distance from the depressed, or that talking to a mentally unhealthy person could affect the mental health of others.




Worse is that 26% were categorised as being afraid of such people. These respondents were less likely to agree that there’s nothing wrong or crazy about people with mental illnesses, or even that they should be part of the community. The survey by TLLLF and analytics company Kantar Public collected responses from members of different socio-economic classes aged between 18 and 45.

In rural India, it is quite common to see people take their children to temples and faith-healers rather than hospitals and doctors; especially in cases of mental health. This is the case even in urban india as it is spoken out rather uncomfortably, in hushed tones

Mental health stigma can be divided into two distinct types: social stigma which is characterized by prejudicial attitudes and discriminating behaviour directed towards individuals with mental health problems as a result of the psychiatric label they have been given.Self-stigma is internalizing of the suffere’s perceptions of discrimination.

However, a closer analysis reveals a surprising twist: The respondents in these two categories were mostly from higher socio economic backgrounds and were more educated. While the survey doesn’t indicate why this is the case, it said these people were simultaneously more aware of mental health concerns while also being more likely to stigmatise and be afraid of those with mental illnesses. In comparison, the 27% categorised as being supportive of people with mental illnesses were younger (aged between 18 and 24), with relatively lower educational levels, and came from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

Coping Mechanism:

Be realistic. Its okay to say NO! Do not take more responsibility than you can handle. If you meet resistance, state why you’re making the changes. Be willing to listen to other’s suggestions and be ready to compromise.

Shed the “superman/superwoman” urge. No one is perfect, so don’t expect perfection from yourself or others.

Meditate. Just a few minutes of quiet reflection relieves stress as well as increase your tolerance to it. Use the time to listen to soothing music, relax and try to think of pleasant things or nothing.

Visualize. Use imagination and picture a stressful situation more successfully. Many people feel visual rehearsals boost self-confidence and enable them to take a more positive approach to a difficult task.

One step at a time. Day-to-day workload can sometimes seem tough. The best way to cope with these feelings is going one task at a time. List things and start with one task. Once you accomplish each task, choose the next one. The positive feeling of “checking off” tasks is very satisfying.

Share your feelings. Friendly conversations let you know that you are not the only one having a bad day, caring for a sick child or working in a busy office. Talk with friends and family. Ask them their methods to deal with such situations. Don’t try to cope alone.

Go easy with criticism. Do not to feel frustrated, disappointed or even “trapped” when an. The “other person” may be a coworker, spouse, or child whose behavior you are trying to change or don’t agree with. Avoid criticisms about character, such as “You’re so stubborn,” and try providing constructive suggestions for how someone might do something differently.

Government approach:

The Mental Healthcare Bill 2016, aims to provide mental healthcare and services for persons with mental illnesses and ensure these persons have the right to live with dignity by not being discriminated against or harassed.

The Bill defines “mental illness” as a substantial thinking, mood, perception, orientation or memory disorder that impairs judgment, behaviour, capacity to meet the ordinary demands of life and mental conditions associated with abuse of alcohol and drugs. However, does not include mental retardation which is a condition of arrested or incomplete development of person’s mind, specially characterised by subnormality of intelligence. Mental illness is to be determined in accordance with such nationally or internationally accepted medical standards.

The Bill empowers the government to set-up the Central Mental Health Authority at national and State Mental Health facilities in every State. All mental health institutes, clinical psychologists, mental health nurses and psychiatric social workers are to be registered with this Authority

A person who attempts suicide shall be presumed to be suffering from mental illness at that time and will not be punished under the Indian Penal Code. The government shall have a duty to provide care, treatment and rehabilitation to a person, having severe stress and who attempted to commit suicide, to reduce the risk of recurrence of attempt to commit suicide.

Expert analysis :



Help Line:




1. 1Life HYDERABAD 7893078930 (24X7)
2. Samaritans MUMBAI 84229 84528,

84229 84529,

84229 84530

3. SAHAI BENGALURU 080-25497777, 9886444075
4. Sumaitri NEW DELHI 011-23389090
5. Sneha India CHENNAI 91-44-2464 0050, 91-44-2464 0060

5 charts that reveal how India sees mental health