India is among the top of South Asian countries when it comes to mental health disorders. In India, an estimated 21.8 million people have mental disorders. The National Mental Health Survey 2016 explained neurotic disorders; a group of mental disorders affected 3.5% of population, more than twice of it prevalent among urban people.

According to many Indian epidemiological studies, an estimated prevalence rate of Neurosis is 20.7%, which is the highest estimated mental disorder. Neurotic disorders being one of the two types of mental health issues causes minor mental dysfunctions in behaviour. Anxiety disorder, stress-related disorder, and medically unexplained symptoms are all Neurotic disorders.

Causes of Neurotic Disorders

People with stressful lifestyles or imbalanced life related to personal, social, sexual, educational, occupational, and financial areas significantly lead to neurotic and stress-related illness. People with chronic medical conditions such as Cancer, HIV suffer from Neurotic disorders and are associated with significant disability, poor quality of life, and burden on families. It occurs among all age groups, such as children, adolescents, women, and the elderly.

There are certain co-existing mental illnesses with neurotic disorders i.e.

1. Depression

2. Anxiety disorders (Specific phobias, Social phobia, Generalised anxiety disorder, and Panic disorder),

3. Substance use (nicotine, alcohol, cannabis, and benzodiazepines),

4. Personality disorders, and

5. Somatoform disorders.

Depressive disorder and anxiety disorders under Neurosis contribute the immense mental health burden to 6.8 million and 3.9 million DALYs, respectively, in 2019.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a type of stress-related unstable condition follows by exposure to a traumatic event. Studies show post-traumatic stress in people after experiencing disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones, bomb blasts. The National Mental Health Survey had brought out the prevailing rate at 0.2 for PTSD in 2016. The recent Covid-19 pandemic also causes a psychological impact on society. Actual current estimates of the prevalence of PTSD in the general population are hard to find, as there are no published or detailed studies available so far from India.

A detailed evaluation for the management of neurotic disorder is a prerequisite requirement. Assessment, psychoeducation, Medication, stress management, and other supportive therapies may help in reducing and preventing this burden.

However, According to the survey by the live love laugh foundation in India, people likely to avoid discussing their mental health concerns openly due to the fear of being labelled or judged. Furthermore, some people deny their mental illness. For them, seeking support from a mental health professional is considered a sign of weakness. In India, people consult multiple healers to get relief from mental illness to the extent that a satisfactory outcome from one healer forces them to consult another healer.

Finding a therapist in India is another challenge. Their unavailability is one of the significant determinants of health-seeking behaviour. A person always tries to seek health care from the available sources. Availability of multiple sources allows choosing one amongst those. Here are the sources where one can reach out to find the best healthcare available.

iCall: A user-crowd sourced list of over 120 therapists with detailed information by Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

Various Therapists: Crowdsourced from a group of therapists, more likely to have quality references than user-based lists.

LiveLoveLaugh Foundation: A list of therapists by state with basic contact details.

Psychology matters Asia: A list of therapies all over Asia is available state-wise which is easily accessible.

Neurosis a large mental health problem among Indian people
By Shipra Agarwal, Senior Qualitative Research, Healthcare