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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 153-160

Depression, Anxiety, and Stress among Indian Youth during the COVID-19 Lockdown A Cross-Sectional Survey

1 Ramaiah International Centre for Public Health Innovations, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Center for Global Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
3 Ramaiah International Centre for Public Health Innovations; Department of Community Medicine, Ramaiah Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Ruchi Vaidya
Ramaiah International Centre for Public Health Innovations, MS Ramaiah Nagar, MSRIT Post, Bengaluru - 560 097, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmhhb.jmhhb_65_21

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Purpose: The psychological effects of the unprecedented global emergency due to COVID-19 are a significant concern worldwide. The present study aims to investigate the prevalence of stress, anxiety, and depression among Indian youth during the COVID-19 lockdown. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted online across India during the COVID-19 lockdown. A total of 1641 Indian youth between the ages of 15–24 years across 23 states and 3 union territories were analyzed for their mental health status. Depression, anxiety, and stress (DAS) levels of the Indian youth were measured using DAS scale 21. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB Reference number: DRP/EFP 530/2020: 08/06/2020). Results: Moderate to higher levels of depression and anxiety were observed among 45% and 49% of Indian youth, respectively, during the COVID-19 lockdown. DAS was significantly higher among youth preparing for competitive examinations, those who had an acquaintance infected with COVID-19 and those who perceived COVID-19 as a risky infection (P < 0.01). School-going students showed significantly lower levels of depression and stress compared to college-going students (P < 0.01). Conclusion: The high levels of DAS during the COVID-19 pandemic indicate a significant mental health burden among Indian youth. These findings indicate the need for a multisectoral approach to cope with stresses and to improve psychological well-being among youth during the pandemic.

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