On Friday, to mark the World Health Day, doctors and counselors are set to raise awareness on depression, the theme for this year, to highlight its rising incidence amongst urban population. In the latest case, a 24-year-old college student jumped from Taj Lands End hotel in Bandra after going live on a social networking site to announce depression and suicide attempt.
“About 25 per cent of my patients are young people aged between 15 to 25 years. There is so much competition and peer pressure they face. Addiction to drugs and alcohol happens as a way of self-treatment for anxiety and depression by these youngsters,” said psychiatrist Vishal Sawant.
According to him, addiction to either alcohol or drug can lead to co-morbid anxiety disorder. “It needs to be identified by parents early and taken note of,” he added.
The World Health Organisation estimates that over 300 million people suffer from depression globally, an increase by 18 per cent from 2005. On April 9, counselors and psychologists in Thane are set to conduct a street play along with walkathon and cyclothon to attract people’s attention towards depression, its diagnosis and intervention.
“In Thane Mental hospital, we get at least two patients of severe depression every day who need hospitalisation. In general public, prevalence is estimated to be 10 per cent,” said Anjali Deshpande, chief medical officer at Thane Mental hospital.
According to Dr Shubhangi Parkar, KEM hospital’s psychiatry head, teenage depression and anxiety also increases during exam time of February and March. “At our psychiatry department, we get a lot of youngsters for drug abuse. Depression is rising in both urban and rural areas, specially in younger generation,” she said.
In Mumbai, several organisations and doctors are set to work on WHO theme ‘Depression: Let’s Talk’ on Friday to encourage people to come forward and talk about their mental health. The state government is organising a panel discussion on this in Yashwantrao Chavan hall for psychiatrists and general public to openly discuss depression issues.