Deteriorating mental condition in India and China accounts for one-third mentally ill people

In a new study, researchers have revealed that one-third of the global population suffering from mental illness lives in China and India. What’s shocking is that very few people know about the mental illness and most of them don’t receive any medical help.

China and India are the world’s two most populous countries and together they have more number of people with neurological and mental problems than total number of people having mental disorders in high-income countries combined. The number of mental disorder cases will rise in India and the study estimates that it will rise by at least a quarter by 2025.

Majority of Chinese population consists of older people (due to strict birth control policies implemented 35 years ago) due to which there has been a sudden rise in dementia patients. Most of the people don’t even know that they are suffering from any such disease due to lack of awareness and only six percent of people having mental illness seek doctors help for diseases like depression, anxiety, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.

Lead study author and a professor at Emory University in Atlanta  and at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Michael Phillips blamed lack of mental health manpower in rural areas for such devastating conditions.

Phillips further explained that more than 70 percent people in rich countries receive proper medical attention after getting diagnosed with the mental illness however, the disease goes undiagnosed in developing countries like India.

Study authors found that less than one percent of the total healthcare budget is allocated to mental care in China while it is around six percent in US, and more than ten percent in developed countries like Germany and France which is the prime reason behind such disparity.

According to researchers, it will take at least a decade to improve the mental conditions of countries like India and China, and government needs to increase budget for mental care facilities.

The study appeared in the journal The Lancet and The Lancet Psychiatry.

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