In Kerala, which is the southernmost state of India, very high status is given for women, which is very unique. Through a conference, I came to know that suicide rates and depression level is found very high among women in Kerala. I researched more on this and understood that societal, financial, cultural and gender-related stresses make women in Kerala to reach the depressed state or even mental disorders.
One of my friend who is a chief psychiatrist said to me that there is a noticeable increase in the number of women visiting psychiatrists with hopelessness and different psychological disorders created by social and economic reasons. It is shocking to hear from her that" the number of women who go for counselling for mental disorders caused by stress is comparatively more than the women who visit psychiatrists for mental disorders due to genetic problems. I was shocked to hear this.
Sarcastically this is occurring in my state which is thought to be a growing country-role representation, mainly for women's progress. The literacy level of women in Kerala is nearly 80% and even more, compared to the other states of India. In fact, women's life expectations, maternal mortality rate, infant mortality rate and fertility rate all comparatively favourable with those of many rich industrial developing countries.
"I felt like I wasted my life even though I had a first-class degree", "My in-laws and husbands don't' allow me to go for a job", "My family doesn't understand the time that I sacrificed for them", so. and so... many reasons are shared by women who come to counselling camps arranged by us.
Another heartbreaking incident that took place in the life of a Keralite woman is she took an overdose of sleeping pills. Everyone was mystified because she had a loving husband, two cute kids, own apartment and wealthy background. When she attended the counselling session she said very depressingly that " For years I had a sense that I was wasting away my life and lost my identity as a woman by myself taking care of other things and people, because of gender discrimination in her family."
This is just one of the example of the increasing number of women in Kerala suffering from mental issues – mainly due to social and gender-related stresses. There are numerous stories similar to this in a different thread.
My opinion is through education women comes to know what their inner talent and potential are., but custom, a way of life, ethnicity, family, society have short disenchanted women in my state.
Additionally, I feel the need of the hour is an intensive gender sensitizing line-up specially targeting men and policy makers in door to door basis.
"If such kind of thought is given to women's problems in Kerala, many women can be easily saved from hopelessness and suicide,".