South Asian Insider
Radhika Reddy's suicide puts spotlight on depression and where India stands on mental health
The alleged suicide by popular Telugu news anchor Radhika Reddy has put the spotlight on depression, a disease that many shy away from discussing in public.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), an estimated 322 million or 32.2 crore people suffered from depression globally in 2015, and of them 57 million or 5.7 crore were in India.
In other words, 18 per cent of the total number of people suffering from depression globally were in India in 2015.
In its report 'Depression in India: Let's Talk', WHO says that depression and suicide are closely linked and, at its worst, depression can lead to suicide.
In the suicide note, purportedly written by Radhika Reddy, depression is stated as the reason behind her taking the extreme step. "My brain is my enemy," she wrote in her suicide note.
What is depression?
Depression, as defined by WHO, is an illness "characterised by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy".
People suffering from depression show a loss of energy, restlessness, guilt, lack of concentration, abnormal sleep pattern, thoughts of self-harm or suicide, among other symptoms.
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