Is India the Most Depressed Country? | Depression in Today’s Youth

By Prapoorna M

Last Updated: November 26, 2021

It’s not the economic inflation, it’s not the unemployment, it’s not even the pandemics that today’s youth suffer, it’s Depression!! An underlying mental illness that is slowly taking as many as 8,00,000 lives per year, worldwide in the form of suicides!! This silent killer has now made its strong base in India, marking India to be the second highest depressed country which used to be fifth highest in 2014, and is dragging the youth of this country to make it even worse. Besides being the country with the highest youth population, India is also bagging the title of having the highest depressed youth population. But, Why? Why do youth suffer from depression a lot?

Problems in Youth that lead to depression

Mental health conditions in the youth are affected by many aspects such as the developmental aspects in a society like poverty, inequalities in the society due to various political and apolitical reasons, reduced social capital, and fewer chances for economic development at the societal level, etc. that create a sense of low profile in the individuals and affect their confidence making them depressed.

Other vulnerabilities such as social stigmas, discrimination among the co-existing groups like gender discrimination and communal discrimination, violence which is occasional in some areas, while regular in some other areas, physical and emotional abuse that is mostly unreported than the reported cases, restrictions, and hindrances in exercising civil rights and political rights of the individuals can cause depression in people. Besides those, limited access to participation in society especially due to the aforementioned reasons, limited access to health services, emergency relief services, and social services makes youth less powerful. When these comparisons are understood, youth is more prone to
depression understanding their place in society.

A depressed man

When poverty is a major reason other problems such as lack of educational opportunities, exclusion from income generation opportunities, and employment opportunities also affect them a lot. Increased disabilities and premature deaths of loved ones, due to various reasons contribute to major chances of depression. The caste system in India and the caste-based reservation system in many areas of development are also affecting today’s youth in making decisions and career plans in their areas of interest. The skilled and well-learned youth are being deprived of government posts, while the youth of lower caste lack skills and training to fit in their jobs. All these create a lot of stress and anxiety in today’s youth, which results in negative thoughts like depression, occasionally leading to suicides.

Mental health

Worsened mental health conditions lead to further depression. Sadness and prolonged pondering over certain mis-happenings and tiredness regarding failures are also contributors to depression in youth. Hopelessness, helplessness, and fear about the future that could be due to various reasons result in high depression. Depression could result in problems that tend to further increase the depression. Other problems such as being socially withdrawn and bothering interpersonal issues, sleep problems and eating problems, and the difficulty in concentrating and problem solving are the symptoms that can be identified in people suffering from underlying depression.

Depression could be disastrous

According to WHO (World Health Organization), at least 6.5 percent of the Indian population is suffering from some form of mental disorder, while the help they get is very less. As per the reports in 2004, the number of mental health professionals in India is as low as one in 100,000 people. While average suicide rate is 10.9 per every lakh people, majority of them committing suicide are less than 44 years of age. Globally, depression is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents.

Reasons for depression in students

  • Trying to fit in a new college/university
  • Getting and maintaining good grades
  • Planning and getting ready for the future
  • Being away from home etc.

These cause Anxiety, that lead to stress and depression


Student suicides are the most commonly heard news, while the reasons are mostly likely Exam stress, unable to cope with studies, disinterest in studies, tech addiction, failures, low ranks, peer pressures, ragging, interpersonal relations and affairs. Suicides in youth are due to unemployment, low economic conditions, relationship issues, and cyber crimes, etc. Celebrity suicides also affect the fans. The thought like, “If such a celebrity can’t go on with life, how can I?” could spur in the depressed people and might lead to take such extreme step. It is an unsaid responsibility of every celebrity to live a noble and inspiring life.

Smiling Depression

Smiling depression is dangerous than a typical depression. The energy levels of people with smiling depression are higher than the people who possess a typical depressive symptom and this makes us difficult to identify what’s actually going on in their minds. Though depressed people have the thoughts of suicide, they won’t have the energy to act on these thoughts, but people with smiling depression might have the energy and motivation to follow such thoughts. In other words, smiling depression is not only difficult to identify, but it is also a potential threat.

A depressed teenager
A depressed teenager

Know How to Tackle

There are many simple techniques to deal with depression. Take a different view of the things you worry. Practice taking it in a different way rather than convincing you that everything is hopeless. Remember, there’s always a plan B. Our brain evokes feelings relating to whatever we think of. When we focus on negativity, our brain tends to make us melancholic, which further affects us, makes us depressed. Instead, try to picture a happy moment. Remember something you did in the past that made everyone around you so happy and proud of you. This technique builds positivity, holds you from going into depression, and enables you to think better.
People who are depressed tend to think low of them or practice self-hatred. Making them talk good qualities about themselves, asking their friends and relatives to write their positive traits, making them stick such positive notes all over the house, could remind them great qualities in them and the reason to be depressed gets diluted for them, making them come out of depression. Getting dressed up; meeting friends and people out, socializing are the last things they ever want to do while depressed. But these are all the things that help depressed people to be better. Planning a party, making a trip, working out or spending time by indulging in their favorite hobby, or simply playing with a cute little puppy can help in erasing those blues and spread cheers.
In case, any of you or your friends or family is suffering from depression, please don’t hesitate to log on to Wellness Hub and talk to our experts. Our team of experienced professionals is here to help you, anytime.

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