India's IT workers increasingly depressed

Psychiatrists in India are noting a serious spike in depressed workers among the country’s considerable IT workforce.

A director at NIMHANS, the largest counselling and psychiatric centre in India, told the Economic Times of India that when the IT industry began its boom in the country, signs of work-life stress were showing but they are increasingly moving towards signs of depression.

Increasingly, symptoms such as anxiety, acute depression, low confidence and those with little to no interest in a social life are making themselves known to India’s mental health professionals.

Right now, the India Times reports, a NIMHANS centre specifically tailored for urban patients to balance work life problems is seeing more and more patients from the IT industry – and expects that soon, over half will be IT workers. Just two years ago, under a third worked in IT.

A depression counsellor who worked with IT staff who suffer from depression said pressures from social media aren’t helping – although their major points of interaction are online, many workers also feel under pressure to pretend they “have a slice of happy life”, while burying their head in the sand about work-life problems.

Hiring is slowing down in India’s IT sector, and the wider economic environment is seeing companies trying to save money by cutting employee costs first.

Earlier this April, industry body Nasscom said in 2013 there will be 50,000 fewer jobs available in the once booming IT sector. It claimed the enormous contracting deals Indian firms used to be able to score are starting to wane, and future outsourcing project deals will be much smaller.