Depression and Anxiety amongst the Youth of Pakistan

Depression is a word that is used very frequently in our conversations mainly to express the feeling of extreme sadness. But in reality, it’s more than that. It’s a clinical disorder that has affected from 20%-60% of individuals with the youth comprising a big portion of it in Pakistan. The alarming increase of this disease is of much concern and to find out why this is becoming a big issue, you ought to read the following points.


Research has shown that people whose parents and siblings have depression or anxiety are 3 times more likely to have these conditions. But then, you may ask why is it becoming common now? That’s because mental health awareness has only recently been introduced in our society, for this reason, more people are coming out and seeking help. According to therapists, many times, when a patient starts talking about their family, it’s either one of their parents who is demonstrating symptoms of mental illness, only to not accept it.


A country like Pakistan, where you need to work hard to get even the basic necessities of life like education, health, and proper housing put a lot of pressure on young adults. The inflation and lack of jobs usually take a toll on them and they end up feeling hopeless, worthless and anxious; making smoking and drugs a coping mechanism for their debilitating mental health.

Broken Families

Although Pakistan has lower rates of divorce than other countries, it still doesn’t mean our family lives are happy. While the men of our society are busy working 24/7, our women are mostly housewives, working all day; unpaid and unrecognized. This vicious cycle reasons the couples into lack of communication, inexpressibility and many arguments. As much as it affects their relationships, their families are affected even more. Young adults showing traits of depression and anxiety mostly have a history of fighting parents, who are so busy trying to figure out their own problems, that their child is neglected.

Lack of acceptance and support

The deal with mental illness is that it is hidden. A person, who may look calm on the outside, might not feel the same on the inside. And as much as mental illnesses are recognized and talked about, there is still a lack of support from friends and family. They may acknowledge it to some level, but taking the sufferer to a therapist is still considered a taboo because of log kia kahenge.

In conclusion, despite mental health being talked about on a big scale, there is still a long way to go for our society to be able to accept it for what it really is; especially when it’s a common trait amongst an age group perceived as carefree.

Guest Post Credit: Dr. Maleeha Syed