Over the past five years, there’s been a steady rise in the number of kids occupying the shrink’s couch. And since the recession hit, child psychologist visits have surged. Hard times equals more depressed, angry adults and children aren’t exempt from that.
Stress and anger-related disorders as well as depression are now climbing even higher. Addiction is getting worse (who wants to talk about problems when you can just smoke a cigarette?). Sleep disorders have spiked. The only problem that’s really dropping is dissociative disorders (60 percent), a disorder where children lose a sense of who they are. Urban kids are aware of what mental illness is.
But one caveat: A visit to a psychologist is a luxury. Poor kids aren’t seeing shrinks. Psychologists say dissociative disorders are probably going up in the villages, where kids are less educated, but there is very little way of knowing for sure. This dipstick, then, isn’t indicative of the economy as a whole, but for the higher end of the social pyramid.
(This story appears in the 11 September, 2009 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)