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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 225-232

Concept of depression in rural community of Chandigarh

Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Subhash Das
Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College and Hospital, 5th Level, D-Block, Sector 32, Chandigarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-9962.214589

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Background: Lack of awareness about mental illness prevents patients from getting appropriate mental health care. This is more so in places where there is dearth of adequate mental health professionals. These factors highlight the importance of conducting research to assess public knowledge and attitudes toward mental illness. Hence, the aim of the present study was to assess the prevailing concept of depression in the community. Methods: Two villages in the periphery of Chandigarh were selected and local “Panchayat” of the villages were told to select the local members in the community who were regarded as socially responsible. A total of 48 members were selected and a workshop was conducted by the experts in mental health and the cohort was asked about prevailing concept of depression in the local community. The whole workshop was videotaped and the verbatim of the same was recorded. Results: It was found that majority had beliefs that depression is caused by stressful circumstances or substance use and the depressed individual has decreased interaction, fights and sleeps less. It was also noted that the prevalence was perceived to be low. The first treatment preferences were religious/faith healers or the local practitioners. Reasons for treatment gap were cited as ignorance and misguidance in the community. Conclusions: It was interpreted that depression is mainly linked with stressful events and symptoms being behavioural only. The understanding of somatic and biological symptoms was lacking along with the endogenous risk factors and its causes. Treatment gap exists at the grass root level and reasons such as ignorance and misguidance emerged during the discussion with the community leaders.

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