43 per cent Indians suffering from depression: Study

Ever since the coronavirus pandemic hit India over five months back, followed by an unprecedented lockdown, stress levels have been on the rise with 43 per cent Indians suffering from depression, according to a new study.

Conducted by GOQii, a smart-tech enabled preventive healthcare platform, the study surveyed over 10,000 Indians to understand how they have been coping with the new normal. According to the study, 26 per cent respondents were suffering from mild depression, 11 per cent were feeling moderately depressed, and six per cent were facing severe symptoms of depression.

“The last five months have been unexpected. The situation has taken a major toll on the mental health of citizens. With the series of lockdowns, anxiety, job cuts, health scares, and the overall volatile environment, stress levels are at an all-time high.

“Copious amounts of stress can lead to depression. With the current lockdown and lifestyle drastically changing, we have seen that 43 per cent of Indians are currently plagued with depression and are learning to cope with it,” the study said.

To monitor the severity of depression in the respondents, the study relied on self-administered Patient Health Questionnaire or PHQ-9 (a form of primary care evaluation of mental disorders). It took into account nine aspects of an individual’s daily routine, including interest levels in activities, appetite, sleep cycles, ability to concentrate, and energy levels.

“Our study indicates that an increasing number of people across the country are dealing with mental health issues triggered by the spread of the coronavirus and the consequent lockdown.

“The mounting uncertainty is the basis of the high stress index which can be controlled with a balanced diet, changes in lifestyle and appropriate sleep patterns,” said Vishal Gondal, Founder and CEO, GOQii.

Those feeling depressed complained of having little interest or pleasure in doing things, feeling hopeless, dealing with erratic sleep cycles, poor eating habits, low levels of energy, low self-esteem, having trouble concentrating, being restless, and having thoughts of self-harm.

“With the change in lifestyle, approximately half of the population is having trouble with their sleep,” the study further said. “At least 7 per cent of the population goes through this nearly every day while 33 per cent experience it on few days,” it added. (PTI)

Image courtesy of legitimatenews.com

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