Prevalence of Mental Health Disorders in Delhi Teenagers at Their Peak

Prevalence of Mental Health Disorders in Delhi Teenagers at Their Peak


Adolescence is the age of 10 to 19 years which we all have been through or are currently into. With a blend of turmoil, within as well as outside ourselves, the transition is not as easy as we see on Instagram. The loss of childhood, the uncertainty of what is going on and what lies ahead of us; indeed not as easy as we thought as a child!

In a recent study from AIIMS Delhi, the prevalence of common mental disorders is 34%, This is almost 5 times higher than the National Mental Health Survey of India’s statistics of 7.6%.

What makes adolescents so vulnerable to mental illness? The psychological interpretation: Erik Erikson, an American psychologist, in his theory on developmental stages, describes adolescence as the time of our lives when we are sorting out our identity. Who am I? What is my role? What do I believe in? How do I make relations in my surroundings? What things are important to me? With everything having a question on it- a teenager faces a crisis in his identity, making him/her vulnerable to mental illness.

Teenagers and exam stress: Exam stress is one of the most prominent stress experiences for teenagers. We as a society have a culture of focusing too much on scores and mark sheets. This stress if not managed on time can turn into mental illness gradually. So what should the focus be? Along with the studies, the primary concern that needs to be focused is stress management. This is the time when experiences of stress can be used to develop and practice our way of anxiety and emotional regulation- Your customized premium version of yourself.

Dealing with it– The same study signifies a stigma among participant teenagers (depression -99.4%, and anxiety disorders -96.1%) with only 18.3% and 18.7% of participants reporting correct knowledge about the prevention of depression and anxiety respectively. What makes this vulnerability high- is the lack of awareness; we live in a society where mental health is taboo, and coming out and asking for help is still stigmatized. A teenager, as compared to an adult, feels more pressured in his/her peer environment, along with a lack of resources for management from any other source, vulnerability is higher than adults.

How to handle this upheaval as a teenager? If you are a teenager and feel confused about yourself, don’t pressure yourself to find an answer about everything-, this does not certainly imply that you should stop questioning; curiosity is a virtue that cannot be underestimated. Instead, try to go on with the things that help you find your area of interest. If you feel low or restless for a few days without any reason, it’s time to approach your parents or school counselor for guidance and support; because this is what they want- to help you overcome teenage crisis smoothly.

Role of parents: Parents play the most important role in an adolescent’s life. The style of parenting that you provide formulates the personality of your child. Psychologist Diana Baumrind gave 4 types of parenting styles- permissive (child-driven), authoritarian (parent-driven), uninvolved and authoritative. Authoritative, being the most ideal form of parenting, focuses on the relationship between the teenager and their parents. If you restrict your child from something, give him the right explanation and space to accept it before rebelling it. This develops a bond of mutual trust between you and your child so that when he’s confused, he can approach you without any hesitation instead of hiding it.

Read More: The Evolution of Parenting Styles: A Deeper Look

Moreover, adolescence is an adventure to dive into the adult life that we want. It is hence the need of the hour to recognize and acknowledge teenagers’ mental health right now. Support at the right time can save from the escalation of mental disorders.

References +
  • Ahmad A, Salve HR, Nongkynrih B, Sagar R, Krishnan A. Mental health literacy among adolescents: Evidence from a community-based study in Delhi. International Journal of Social Psychiatry. 2022;68(4):791-797. doi:10.1177/00207640211006155
  • Orenstein GA, Lewis L. Eriksons Stages of Psychosocial Development. [Updated 2022 Nov 7]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan-. Available from:
  • Kuppens S, Ceulemans E. Parenting Styles: A Closer Look at a Well-Known Concept. J Child Fam Stud. 2019;28(1):168-181. doi: 10.1007/s10826-018-1242-x. Epub 2018 Sep 18. PMID: 30679898; PMCID: PMC6323136.

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