Prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress among young male adults in India: a dimensional and categorical diagnoses-based study

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2010 Dec;198(12):901-4. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181fe75dc.


The lifetime prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress among adolescents and young adults around the world is currently estimated to range from 5% to 70%, with an Indian study reporting no depression among college going adolescents. This cross-sectional study was conducted to determine prevalence of current depressive, anxiety, and stress-related symptoms on a Dimensional and Categorical basis among young adults in Ranchi city of India. A stratified sample of 500 students was selected to be representative of the city's college going population (n = 50,000) of which 405 were taken up for final analysis. Data were obtained using Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale to assess symptoms on dimensional basis and using Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview to diagnose on categorical basis. Mean age of students was 19.3 years with an average education of 14.7 years. Ranging from mild to extremely severe, depressive symptoms were present in 18.5% of the population, anxiety in 24.4%, and stress in 20%. Clinical depression was present in 12.1% and generalized anxiety disorder in 19.0%. Comorbid anxiety and depression was high, with about 87% of those having depression also suffering from anxiety disorder. Detecting depressive, anxiety, and stress-related symptoms in the college population is a critical preventive strategy, which can help in preventing disruption to the learning process. Health policies must integrate young adults' depression, stress, and anxiety as a disorder of public health significance.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult