Call it the fallacy of modern lifestyle or the quintessence of poverty-stricken Indians, the stigma of mental disorder is fast taking its toll on a large section of the population. The gravity of the situation gets compounded by the ostracism that prevents people from seeking help. The most common problems are related to anxiety and depression and are reported in about 20% patients. The National Mental Health Programme contends that a conservative estimate of about 65.4 per 1000 people (about 2-3% of the population), suffer from seriously incapacitating mental disorders. The document also acknowledges that there is an acute scarcity of trained medical professionals. It is reported by the Mental Health Atlas of the WHO that the number of psychiatrists per 10,000 is only 0.2 in India while the number of psychiatry beds in a general hospital falls below to 0.05 per 10,000.
Numbers might be a dispassionate way to look at things, but as problems complicate things in India, some serious 'thinking' is needed.