New Delhi, April 15: Only one in 20 persons with anxiety, mood disorders and addictions gets treatment in India, a survey published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry stated.
It tracked the prevalence of disorders in around 25,000 people above 18 years at 11 sites in India. While anxiety and mood disorders were more prevalent among women, substance abuse was prevalent among men.
The study was done by mental health experts from major hospitals including AllMS Delhi, JIPMER Puducherry, AFMC Pune, PGIMER Chandigarh and NIMHANS, Bengaluru, among others.
The study showed that though 5.52% of the persons surveyed had common mental disorders - anxiety disorders (3.41%), mood disorders (1.44%), and substance use disorders (1.18%), only 5.09% of them had been treated for them over the past one year.
“We always knew there was an enormous treatment gap as far as mental illnesses was concerned, but this study proved the gap is bigger than we expected. It is about 95%, with only 5 out of 100 people with common mental disorders receiving treatment,” said Dr Rajesh Sagar, professor, department of psychiatry, AIIMS. Dr Sagar is part of the research team.
Women had a relatively higher prevalence of anxiety and mood disorders, as compared to men. Women were twice more likely than men to have anxiety disorders (4.42% women, 2.44% men), and 1.6 times (1.79% women, 1.11% men) more likely to have mood disorders. Substance abuse was more common among men (2.23% men, 0.08% women).
“More females are affected but more men get treated. The reasons are many, but most obvious is that women’s health concerns don’t get the same priority as men,” said Dr Sagar.
India has about 0.3% trained psychiatrists against the 1% requirement and 0.7% clinical psychologists, when the need is for at least 1.5%.