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Mental health problems include a wide range of experiences: some problems may be quite mild or moderate, while others may take on a more severe form, affecting a person’s ability to cope with day-to-day living. You may have heard about some of the more common problems, such as depression, anxiety, self-harm, eating disorders, schizophrenia, psychosis, stress and bipolar disorder.

According to some estimates, 1 person in 4 may have some form of mental health problem in their lifetime. For as many as 1 person in 50, this problem will be serious enough to affect their ability to work or to form and maintain personal relationships.

Although figures and definitions vary, what is clear is that millions of people in India will encounter problems themselves, or know someone else who does.

Signs

The first signs of mental health problems will differ from person to person and are not always easy to spot. In many cases of moderate depression or anxiety – the most common mental health problems – the person becoming distressed may not display symptoms, or may seek to hide them because they worry about what others will say or think about them. The signs can often be more noticeable to other people first: for instance, if your mood starts changing, it may take some time for you to become aware of it; other people may be much more conscious of the difference.

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