80% of mental illness victims don’t seek treatment: NIMHANS

80% of mental illness victims don’t seek treatment: NIMHANS

National Institute of Mental Health And Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) does a survey and found that 80% of people who are suffering from mental illness, don’t seek any treatment due to the stigma around it and choose to suffer in silence.

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Former director of the central institute of psychiatry, Dr D Ram also said once that “Over 80% of people suffering from mental disorders do not consult a doctor or a psychotherapist. Most of them do not even share their problems with friends or family and choose to suffer in silence,”

According to WHO, 1 in every 8 people is suffering from a mental disorder and India is leading the world in it. The cases of anxiety increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The centre of healing (TCOH) conducted a study and the finding was terrifying. The study was conducted to know how lockdown have affected the mental health of Indians and they found out that 74% were suffering from stress and 88% are suffering from anxiety. Prolonged stress and anxiety can lead to depression, and depression is one of the most common causes of suicide. And NIMHANS survey told us that many psychiatrists believe that 80% of patients don’t seek treatment due to the stigma around it. 

There is also a scarcity of psychiatrist in India, according to the Indian journal of psychiatry, there is just 0.75 psychiatrist in India per 1,00,000 patients whereas in Germany this ratio is 13 psychiatrist per 1,00,000 patients. Also in India, mental health treatment is very expensive and is not affordable for everyone. 

There is a risk that depression can lead to suicide. The national mental health survey said that 1% of the sample size, on which they conducted the survey is at high risk of committing suicide. There are people who can’t speak for themselves, there are people who have no one to listen to them, and there are people who can’t afford the treatment. Where will they go? Who is going to look after them? We are still very behind in making a support system for mental patients. A bigger part of society still considers mental illness as a stigma that leads the victim to suffer in silence. And in some cases ending their life too.

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