With the rise in mental health issues in India, the country is in a dire need of psychiatrists and other mental practitioners. With only 3500 psychiatrist for every 2 lakh people, the country is short of psychiatrists. And now the promising career of a budding psychologist has been curtailed due to mere ignorance to mental health issues.
Recently, Anurag, a 25 year old junior doctor at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) died by suicide by jumping off the 10th floor of the hostel. According to the doctors at the psychiatry department as well the resident doctors association, Anurag has been undergoing treatment for depression for 8 months.
While no suicide note was reported on site; a blog written by Anurag titled “A psychiatry trainee’s struggle with depression” surfaced the internet which was also shared by Dr Harsh Vardhan- The Union Health Minister.
In the post he shared about his diagnoses with severe depression and how he felt ‘empty and low’ despite securing a good rank in the AIIMS postgraduate program, “It all started in the cold days of December 2019 when I was relatively free after getting a good rank in the AIIMS
(All India Institute of Medical Sciences) PG (post graduate) entrance exam. When I was preparing for my post graduate exam from January 2019 to November 2019, I had never anticipated that I will feel down after achieving ‘success’. I started feeling empty and low after becoming free from studies.”
He also described his suicidal thoughts and how he had negated his mental health while being immersed in academics- “While excelling in academics, I was ignoring my mental health. When I got admitted, the first week of admission was the first week of my life after 11th where I
didn’t read any textbook/novels”. He even shared about his time spent in the psychiatry ward where he had once worked, “Depression taught me a lot about the working of the ward. Earlier I just had to do sampling, talk to a few patients, get investigations done and attend rounds. Now
when I was staying in the ward 24x7 (a real ‘resident’), I also appreciated the role of bouncers, guards, cleaning staff, orderly staff and of course nurses''.
Despite everything, he viewed depression in a positive light- as a source of opportunity to teach students and to become a better psychiatrist. However, less than a month after he wrote the blog, Anurag did exactly what he was afraid to do- jumped off the 10th floor of the hostel.
- Taskin, B (2020). Harsh Vardhan shares blog on depression posted by AIIMS doctor who committed suicide. Retrieved from: https://theprint.in/india/harsh-vardhan-shares-blog-on-depression-posted-by-aiims-doctor-who-committed-suicide/459050/
- Abraham, B (2020). AIIMS Junior Psychiatrist Dies Of Suicide, Blog Post Narrates His Battle With Depression. Retrieved from: https://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/aiims-junior-psychiatrist-dies-of-suicide-blog-post-narrates-his-battle-with-depression-517774.html