Over 5 crore Indians suffered from depression in 2015, according to a study conducted by WHO. And over 3 crore others suffered from anxiety disorders, it added.
According to WHO, 322 million people are living with depression worldwide and nearly half of them live in South-East Asia and the Western Pacific Region. About 50 per cent of this 322 million are living in India and China.
The number of people living with depression increased between 2005 and 2015 by 18.4 per cent. India had the highest number of suicides in the world in 2012, according to a 2014 WHO report. 78 per cent of all global suicides occur in low and middle income countries, said the report. The number of prescriptions for anti-depressants written by psychiatrists increased by 14 per cent in 2016.
Mental health is gaining more awareness in India, as more people are facing such problems. A report published in the Lancet Psychiatry Journal estimated that 31 million years of healthy life were lost to mental illness in India in 2013. By 2025, the number will increase by 23 per cent.
Dr Anjali Chhabria, a leading psychiatrist, told SheThePeople.TV that women attempt more suicide than men. The number of housewives who commit suicide is double the number of farmer suicides. India also has one of the highest number of teenage suicides in the world, according to the WHO.
The Rajya Sabha passed the Mental Health Care Bill 2013, last August, which aims to provide protection and promote the rights of people with mental illness. The National Human Rights Commission has also been inspecting mental health institutions throughout the country.