One in 10 Indians depressed, don’t ignore subtle symptoms

MUMBAI: Extreme weepiness and severe melancholy are not the only calling cards of depression, a serious mental disorder that roughly affects 10% of the population. Doctors say the symptoms could be subtler or of a lower degree — a sudden habit of rash driving, making mean observations or even showing perpetual irritability.

As it emerges that Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who reportedly crashed a plane into the French Alps killing 150 people last week, was suffering from depression, doctors say there is a need to create greater awareness about the disorder.

Depression is one of the biggest public health challenges because of its high incidence. “Research worldwide, including in India, suggests that at least one in five women and one in 10 men suffers from major depressive disorder at some time in their lifetime. Imagine you are walking on the street and there could be so many people in front of you who suffer from some degree of depression,’’ said Dr. Shamsah Sonawalla, consultant psychiatrist at Jaslok Hospital, Pedder Road.