India is home to a vast majority of depressed people. And many of the nation’s teenagers are suffering from mental morbidity. What is mental morbidity? ‘Mental morbidity generally refers to the incidence of both physical and mental deterioration as a result of a mental or physical condition.’
One in every five adolescents is a victim of mental morbidity. This condition is stimulated in childhood but its presence is identifiable and recognizable in adolescence. It is most apparent in male teenagers belonging to independent upper-middle-class families.
This may result in the development of a suicidal tendency. What is the cause of this situation? Drug consumption, family feuds, relocation, academic pressures, competition with peers, and internet addiction are the most common ones. The Caste-based discrimination that’s prevalent in Indian Institutions is also a cause for suicide. Students who are not from affluent backgrounds are mistreated.
Puberty is a confusing stage for children and apart from that being in the company of stressed parents has an adverse effect. Unlike the earlier days, there is a lack of physical activity for teenagers. Every activity they are engaged in is competition-driven. Nothing is done, simply for the pleasure that comes from it.
The environment at home and the fast-paced lives of parents result in teenagers being subject to psychological disturbances. Hence there is an increasing frequency of anxiety, anger management issues, panic attacks, irregular sleeping habits, and suicidal thoughts in teenagers today.
The situation is worsening because Indian parents give little or no importance to mental health. In the year 2017, the Mental Healthcare Act (MHCA) was drawn up by the National Mental Health Provision (NMHP). But the mental needs of the country’s adolescents were not taken into account. And the decision-making ability is vested in the hands of caregivers and guardians who frown upon the topics of depression and fail to understand the enormity of the situation.
On the contrary in Western countries, adolescents have the right to request and to refrain from treatment. There are just a handful of professionals to treat mental needs. In accordance with the recent findings, there is less than one psychiatrist in every 100,000 individuals. In a total of 936,000 doctors, there are a handful of 4,500 psychiatrists. And there is no pre-decided set of norms for one to operate as a counselor.
To counter this problem, parents and counselors have to work hand in hand. The affected person has to be treated with patience. Policymakers have to formulate policies and evaluate them to determine their efficiency.