12 to 16.5 per cent of the young adult population in the country suffers from mental disorders

news Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 17:54

When Matangi (name changed) appeared for her board exams two years ago, she was a nervous wreck. She had problems sleeping, her appetite had reduced drastically, and she could not concentrate on her studies. Her mother was at her wits end with her daughter’s health. When they consulted a doctor, she was referred to a psychologist. Her symptoms had indicated the genesis of a borderline anxiety disorder.

While many young adults like Matangi suffer from anxiety disorders, most times they go unnoticed. According to data available from studies, 12 to 16.5 per cent of the young adult population in the country suffers from mental disorders such as depression and panic attacks.

Some common symptoms to identify anxiety-related disorders are increased heart rate, dry mouth, excessive sweating and a constant tremor in the limbs. Such a person’s mind is cognitively blank, and he suffers from low self-esteem as well.

Dr. Rachna Muralidhar, a psychologist with the MindResearch Foundation told The News Minute that anxiety in youngsters can be attributed to a number of factors.

Peer Pressure

The most important component in a youngster’s lifestyle is his peer group. “While many may not know it, peer pressure can lead to anxiety. For example, a student might take up science, just because his friends did, only to realize that it is not his cup of tea,” explains Dr. Rachna. This only leads to lack of performance and mediocre results. Further, the more desperate he is to perform, the more anxious he becomes, she says.

Procrastination

We have all procrastinated doing something at some point in our life; it might even be a daily phenomenon. But, did you know it could lead to anxiety disorders? “Most people procrastinate; it is a common habit. However, what happens when one procrastinates is that they do not prepare themselves for a situation adequately. Last-minute panic settles in,” clarifies Dr. Rachna.

General lifestyle

“The general lifestyle of the current generation has gradually deteriorated over the years,” says Dr. Rachna. A clear lack of routine and regularity causes disturbance in the metabolism of the human body. “Increased smoking, drinking, substance abuse are all definite factors that contribute to anxiety-related disorders,” she says. Also, when the youngster is not aware of his/her addiction, external pressure from parents and elders could worsen the situation, she adds.

Alternatively, if the child is all work and no play, with no scope for indulging in hobbies or pursuing other areas of interest, there is potential for a general ‘low’ feeling, opines Dr. Rachna.

So, what can be done to minimize the risk of youngsters developing anxiety-related disorders?  

“Parenting has a huge role to play, in the development of an individual. If the parents have not had a give and take relationship with a child, it makes it difficult for the child to work at an independent level in the early adulthood,” says Dr. Rachna. 

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