The pressures of coping with the ideals of the new world, coupled with the responsibility of being true to one’s “traditional” Indian identity takes a toll on the Indian woman of today. While a physical manifestation of such stress is easily seen- and attended to, little attention is paid to the inner mental turmoil that may often culminate in maladaptive behaviors.
Although the importance of maintaining one’s mental health has started receiving some attention in India, much is yet to be understood about the different disorders that can affect women. Apart from depression- postpartum depression, anxiety disorders, dementia, post traumatic disorders and eating disorders are the other widely recurring mental disorders.
Coupled with awareness about when and how women may develop mental illness, is the need to provide and develop ways to seek prevention and cure. While women from urban areas may have better access to treatment for such afflictions, those from rural areas are not as privileged. NGOs and certain government policies have helped improve their condition, but what is required more urgently is the complete uprooting of the stigma surrounding mental illness. This is important especially for women, as the patriarchal nature of the Indian society ensures it depends heavily on women as primary care-givers. How can a nation expect to flourish when there is disease?
Thus, we as the Union of the Department of Psychology along with our fellow students, through our newsletter, Psynopsis and the upcoming mental health awareness week will strive to become the proponents of spreading greater awareness about women and mental health.