Feeling fatigued, struggling to wake up for work? Long shifts, inadequate pay causing depression amongst millennials

India has become the hub of 'cheap labour' for most of the employers across the globe.

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In a bid to aid 'cheap labour', Indian working class has traded its peace of mind and leisure.
By Dr Pallavi Aravind Joshi

The world has become a competitive place, and we are all a part of the urban rat-race. The more an individual falls prey to the unending, yet unyielding, tryst for money, fame and recognition, s/he is likely to drown in the ditch of depression.

Depression is commonly defined as a state of mind when people experience consuming grief, loss of interest in things they used to enjoy, an all-pervading sense of futility and incompetence, and even suicidal thoughts. Depression is bracketed as an 'affective' or mood disorder. Mood is defined as a state of 'sustained emotional tone' or emotional disposition that characterises an individual's perception of the world around and participation in the society.


Clinical depression is a medical condition which lasts for at least two weeks with certain symptoms, and in most cases can last for months or even years. This is because the symptoms are not recognisable at once, but the condition gradually takes over. Most people who suffer from clinical depression take years before they realise the need for expert's help.

A study, conducted by Assocham last year, showed that 42.5 per cent of employees in Indian private sector are afflicted with general anxiety disorder or depression as compared to government employees. This is attributed to less pay and more working hours which contributes to an atmosphere of constant fatigue that further develops into stress and frustration, thereby acutely affecting mental health. India has become the hub of 'cheap labour' for most of the employers across the globe.

A private sector employee in India works for a minimum of 48-50 hours a week when compared to 33 hours a week in the UK and 40 hours a week in the US. Also the pay scale in India, a 'developing country', is meagre when compared to these 'developed countries' which pay almost six times more even after deducting the indexing prices and cost of living. This leads to extremely demanding schedules, elevated stress level and performance pressure. Thus in a bid to aid and add to the 'cheap labour' of the corporate industry, Indian working class has traded its peace of mind and leisure.
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Even for managers, and other top-ranking officers, the situation is nothing different, and often more grave, where stress and frustration doesn't take time to metamorphose into anxiety and depression. In such situation, restlessness, exhaustion, anger, guilt, recurrent panic attacks, suicidal thoughts are also regular guests.

Symptoms of depression in professionals:
- Mood-swings, anxiety, agitation and apathy
- Insomnia or sleeplessness
- Difficulty in waking up in the morning
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- Lethargy and drowsiness, lack of interest in daily affairs
- Fatigue and tiredness resulting in slowness and inactivity
- Over-eating, or conversely, loss of appetite
- Unexplained aches and pains in the body
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- Increased consumption of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine
- Suicidal tendencies
- Difficulty in focusing, taking more time to finish the task
- Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and helplessness

Workload coupled with unrealistic expectations, lack of work-life balance and drastic lifestyle are the prime factors that trigger such psychological conditions. Moreover, sedentary lifestyle added with lack of fresh air and physical exercise worsens the situation. Furthermore, most of these employees are sleep deprived and hardly ever get to sleep peacefully even for six hours.

According to an Assocham study, clinical depression has risen by around 50 per cent in the last eight years. This in turn, results in an array of multifarious ailments that are gradually creeping in. 23 per cent of the private sector employees are afflicted by obesity which in turn augments the threat of diabetes, hypertension and cardiac disorders. Clinical depression is a highly sensitive matter. Belittling it in anyway could turn fatal. The National Crime Records Bureau statistics reports show that at least 35 in every 100,000 people in Bangalore commit suicide due to depression. Hence it is imperative to seek professional help at such juncture; counselling therapy or medicinal therapy could be immensely beneficial and help towards recovery and mental well-being.

(The author is a consultant psychiatrist with Columbia Asia Hospital, Whitefield in Bangalore)

Make Notes, Eat Healthy & Exercise Daily: 7 Ways To Fight Depression
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Stress and frustration can lead to depression, further affecting mental health.

While it is imperative to consult with a medical professional if symptoms of depression are noticed, certain modification in one's lifestyle can help in combatting mild depression. However, moderate to severe depression requires the treatment with medications.

Nevertheless lifestyle changes do help in recovering as well as preventing the condition and future episodes.

Dr Pallavi Aravind Joshi, Consultant Psychiatrist of Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield (Bengaluru) shares 7 tips to combat depression.
Stress and frustration can lead to depression, further affecting mental health. While it is imperative to consult with a medical professional if symptoms of depression are noticed, certain modifica..
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Go for a walk every day, jog, or swim. You can also join a Zumba class. Indulge in yoga or aerobics. Apart from keeping you fit and occupied, exercising can also boost mental health and infuse positivity in life by releasing feel-good hormones like endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. Exercise also channels out negative energy.
Go for a walk every day, jog, or swim. You can also join a Zumba class. Indulge in yoga or aerobics. Apart from keeping you fit and occupied, exercising can also boost mental health and infuse posit..
Read More
Eating healthy not only helps you maintain your physical health, but also aids in your mental well-being. Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, poultry, whole grains, low-fat dairy foods and fish in your diet. Also do not forget to drink a lot of water.
Eating healthy not only helps you maintain your physical health, but also aids in your mental well-being. Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, poultry, whole grains, low-fat dairy fo..
Read More
It is imperative to maintain a work-life balance. Try to reassess your schedule and not to bring the office work home. Design your own ways to combat work related anxiety.
It is imperative to maintain a work-life balance. Try to reassess your schedule and not to bring the office work home. Design your own ways to combat work related anxiety.
Though the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine may act as instant mood enhancer, in long term, they serve only to worsen your mental health. So try to reduce your weekly consumption.
Though the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine may act as instant mood enhancer, in long term, they serve only to worsen your mental health. So try to reduce your weekly consumption.
Depression can cause distraction, and make you forget things and thus can result in creating confusion and thereby affecting self-esteem. A great way to deal with this is keeping reminders on your phone, or jotting down key points on sticky notes.
Depression can cause distraction, and make you forget things and thus can result in creating confusion and thereby affecting self-esteem. A great way to deal with this is keeping reminders on your p..
Read More
Do not let your work stress keep you away from your family and friends. Spend time with your family. Meet your friends, go out for movies, make plans get together. Even a short phone call or text exchanges could work like magic on a stressful day.
Do not let your work stress keep you away from your family and friends. Spend time with your family. Meet your friends, go out for movies, make plans get together. Even a short phone call or text ex..
Read More
Remember it is okay to be not okay, but it is never okay to give up on yourself. Get up, dress smartly and go out in the world. Pamper yourself a little more. Make a list of the things which make you cheerful and do at least one thing every day.
Remember it is okay to be not okay, but it is never okay to give up on yourself. Get up, dress smartly and go out in the world. Pamper yourself a little more. Make a list of the things which make yo..
Read More

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of www.economictimes.com.)
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