08/04/2015 6:06 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

India's Young Working Professionals Hit Hard By Depression, Anxiety Disorder; Delhi Fares Worst, Says Study

It's meant to show stress. Since I didn't have anyone on hand to pose and I despise self portraits (of myself) I just went for a picture of me squeezing a stress ball.I used gimp to duplicate a layer and pick out the ball in colour. There wasn't that much contrast with the skin tone, plus I guess I was trying to make hand look more dismal with the black and white. Taken with flash in front of my favourite bed sheet (and on auto since it's hard to focus with one hand). I should really get a tripod.

Over forty two percent of employees in the Indian private sector suffer from depression or general anxiety disorder due to demanding schedules, high stress levels and performance-related perquisites, said a study by industry association Assocham.

Delhi has the highest number of such employees, followed by Bangalore, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Pune. The study surveyed employees from 17 broad sectors, with maximum share coming from IT/ITes and BPO sector at 17 percent.

People working in the public sector — with less demands on work — are less likely to be depressed or suffering from anxiety disorders, the study said.

"Lack of self confidence, unrealistic expectations and a nutrient deficient diet are among factors that trigger these psychological conditions," said Dr BK Rao, Chairman, Assocham Health Committee Council. "Work pressure can be a killer if not handled right."

Such issues have risen by around 50 percent in the last eight years, the study said. 23 percent of corporate employees suffer from obesity which in turn increases the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. The report is based on the views of 1,250 corporate employees from 150 companies across 18 broad sectors including media, FMCG, infrastructure, telecom, education, manufacturing and knowledge process outsourcing. Most of them were in the age range of 20-29 years, followed by 30-39 years indicating such issues are mostly prevalent among younger professionals than older executives.

To add to the problem, 57 percent of the respondents said they never exercise, and are not able to sleep for more than six hours a day. Both lack of exercise and sleep are considered as important factors contributing to lifestyle diseases. "Most of the people suffering from sleep deprivation don't realise it and seek medical advice only when serious symptoms such as heart problems develop," said Dr Manvir Bhatia, Director of Neurology and Sleep Center and Chairperson of the Department of Sleep Medicine at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi.

Contact HuffPost India