Meghalaya’s youth stressed out while Bengaluru start-ups tackle mental health issues

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim
In one of the most unique ventures, Bengaluru entrepreneur Mukesh Bansal through his start-up space aims at tackling one of the highest growing mental health issues, with a number of firms coming up to address the issues around mental health using technology. This venture is being launched at a time when India is listed as being home to among the most depressed citizens of the world. According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) study in 2014, India is among the leading countries whose citizens are battling depression and anxiety.

According to Bansal, mental health is a much-neglected aspect in India. Given the rising cases of lifestyle diseases, his organization wanted to build a unique, customer-focused holistic health solution that inculcates mental wellness.
He added that was conceptualised by renowned psychiatrist Shyam Bhat, who had also helped actor Deepika Padukone battle depression, offering DIY (do it yourself) sessions on their application and through the centre in Bengaluru and in other cities, which are to be launched by 2018. The start-up aims to bring the aspect of mental health “out into the open”.
Bansal also said that there is a gradual increase in the number of people taking some steps towards coping with anxiety, hypertension, stress and other issues. This is a positive sign.
Even with an alarming situation in which over 50 million (WHO study, 2015) Indians are fighting depression each day, there are only about 0.3 psychiatrists and 0.07 psychologists for every 100,000 people in the country, as per WHO statistics. It is against this background that start-ups are taking to artificial intelligence (AI) and modern technological means to keep a keen eye on the mental health of Indians.
While the recent turns of event, where at the spark of provocation violence breaks out which has upset the balance of Law and Order not only in Meghalaya but the nation as a whole has been attributed to propaganda of politicians by most political pundits while others say that it is due to a lack of tolerance by the youth due to unemployment and dissatisfaction over the style of governance, lack of leaders to speak about the issues of the general masses and the fragmented society which makes it difficult to find consensus even for minimum common programmes of government.
Adding to the already disjointed communities, widespread competition and the drive for careers has turned everyone into an introvert. In the course of this human emotion has been replaced by materialism, forcing the younger generation to fend for themselves in an emotionless era.
Youth is considered as the prime time of life and the younger generation is the actual strength of the nation and the support system for the elders in the family. The arduous quest for career, personal growth or discovering self potential makes this phase of life both memorable and risky when it comes to self-formation.
In the past, the traditional joint family structure helps the individual to focus on career; some even from day one on this earth, but the present day competitive, career conscious society has forced the youth to grow up faster, and all alone. The competitive world has forced the parents to strive harder in order to provide a sustainable life style of showmanship and in the course of this the children are left to the company of gadgets, hefty sums of pocket money as compensation for parenting time. As such, the youth have lost touch with human emotions and feelings. Being glued to social networking has motivated the youth to achieve whatever they find glamorous in the superficial world.
Oblivious about the ground realities and having no family members to discuss matters with, it is most common for the youth to slip into depression. The youth undergoing stress is not because they have too much to achieve, it is because they are too lonely having no trusted individual to solve their anxiety regarding studies, career and personnel emotions. According to the experts, it is especially problematic to establish the limits of depressive disorder in young people because of the cognitive and physical changes that take place during this time. Adolescents tend to feel things particularly deeply and marked mood swings are common during the teens. It can be difficult to distinguish these intense emotional reactions from depressive disorders. By contrast, young adolescents do not find it easy to describe how they are feeling and often confuse emotions such as anger and sadness. They have particular difficulty describing certain of the key cognitive symptoms of depression, such as hopelessness and self-denigration.
One of the contestants of Big Boss 9 – Suyyash Kukar Rai, an upcoming TV starts and model confesses that during his struggles in Mumbai, he was paid Rs forty thousand for some immoral acts and ultimately he took up the profession of a male escort till he made a break into acting, such is the desperation of the youth who are trying to make a living in India.
Also the sportswoman turned actress, Deepika Padukone openly spoke about her personal battle with depression. In spite of having everything at her age, the money, name and fame, awards, even being awarded as a young achiever, yet she found herself sad all the time, not wanting to get up in the morning to face the challenge of the day. She had immediately urged likeminded youth to come out and discuss how depression has turned into the new companion of contemporary youth. Some of the youth had even turned suicidal when they failed to deal with stress.
A few factors that might lead to stress for youths are lack of competitive zeal, unable to match the expectations of peers, family members or society, lack of fighting spirit once short-cuts and a compromising nature fails and self-adoration which is yet another factor which leads to depression once the individual failed to impress others.
Although it is difficult to pinpoint the factors leading to such depression as it varies from individual to individual, however there are a range of effective treatments, psychological and antidepressants. Where some just require brief intervention, others may require more intensive and lengthy forms of treatment, but more than any medication, counselling and family support is said to be most effective.
The traditional practice of at least having a joint family meal once a week and talk over the week’s events will help in bringing back human emotions. One need to stop being groomed into what the world want, but to perfect oneself along the lines of what one is capable of will be less stressful. It is time to restore our traditional lifestyle, conform to the social fabric and not a global superficial outlook to tackle depression. It is time for people to remind themselves that humans are social and not loners by nature.


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