Epidemiological findings on prevalence of mental disorders in India

Indian J Psychiatry. 2000 Jan;42(1):14-20.


Fifteen epidemiological studies on psychiatric morbidity in India have been analysed. National all-India prevalence rates for 'all mental disorders' and five specific disorders have been worked out The national prevalence rates for 'all mental disorders' arrived at are 70.5 (rural), 73 (urban) and 73 (rural + urban) per 1000 population. Prevalence of schizophrenia is 2.5/1000 and this seems to be the only disorder whose prevalence is consistent across cultures and over time. Rates for depression, anxiety neurosis, hysteria and mental retardation are provided. Urban morbidity in India is 3.5 percent higher than the rural rate, but rural-urban differences are not consistent for different disease categories. In Hindi speaking north India, mental morbidity amongst factory workers is two and half times that of the non-industrial urban inhabitants and five times the rural morbidity. The present data are expected to serve as baseline rates for mental health planners and for psychiatrists interested in epidemiological studies.

Keywords: National prevalence rate; all mental disorders; rural-urban difference; schizophrenia rate stability; specific disorders; urban industrial morbidity.