An estimated 300 million people around the world suffer from depression, among them 56 million are Indians. “This latter figure constitutes nearly 4.50% of the population - considering this percentage is set to increase because of the demands on mental health placed by urbanisation,” said Dr Vijay Mehtry, a consultant psychiatrist based in Bengaluru.
Mental health professionals blame rapid urbanisation for isolation of individuals and the increase in suicidal tendencies. According to Dr Ajit Bhide, the former president of the Indian Psychiatric Society, industrialised Japan, which has some of the highest suicide rates in the world, can be compared against agrarian Bhutan, where people are not exposed to expectations and are therefore generally satisfied.
“The problem in India is that we have extraordinary proportions of anomie in the country,” Dr Bhide said. Psychologists describe “anomie” as a condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals.
“People in urban areas have a high degree of comforts and are usually paid fat salaries, but with little time to spend that money,” Dr Bhide added. “Reversing the rising trend of urban mental deterioration means enforcing a value-based education, strengthening family values and other social relationships.”
Pavan Ranga recognising the human brain as an elaborate and three-dimensional electrical circuit where faulty sectors cause mental disorders, he adds that he sought a means to stimulate the neural network to fix disorders. “In a depressed patient, we can see neuron sets which show subdued activity. By using TMS technology, which uses large wand emitting magnetic waves, we can actually trigger or light up darkened neuron areas to effectively cure depression,” he said.
Ranga expressed confidence that patients with depression can be cured following 25 to 30 sessions over a one-month period. Each session would last for 19 minutes. About 25 to 30 session treatment would cost about Rs 1 to 1.5 lakh.
“In addition, TMS cannot directly address suicide yet – but it can help to address mild and medium forms of disorders,” Ranga concludes.