- Recent research has brought into focus the poor mental health of housewives in India.
- Experts have opined on measures to address the mental health crisis in Indian housewives.
Submerged Mental Health Trauma Of Indian Housewives
In the aftermath of the global COVID-19 pandemic, research attested to the plight of the female population in developing and underdeveloped countries—especially homemakers.
A 2020–21 report claimed that domestic crimes against women in India rose by 15%. There was a record drop in female literacy and employment and a steady rise in child marriage, infanticide, dowry deaths, etc.
These challenges brought in their wake a mental health crisis and a trail of death by suicides among housewives in India. A total of 1,64,033 suicides were reported in the country in the years 2020–21.
Causes Of Poor Mental Health Of Housewives
In a developing nation like India, several challenges beset the lives of girls and women. These include challenges of limited education and employment, pressures for marriage, etc. —factors that heavily influence their physical and mental health. The common causes of suicide and mental health conditions in Indian homemakers have been attributed to:
- Domestic violence and distress
- Financial abuse
- Untreated trauma
- Child marriage
- Fertility issues
- Lack of agency and the inability to make choices
Common Mental Health Problems Of Homemakers
Research shows the following mental health problems among housewives:
- Post-traumatic stress
- Alcohol use
- Intimate partner violence (IPV)
Addressing The Mental Health Crisis In Indian Housewives
The first step towards addressing the poor mental health of homemakers is acknowledging that they are capable of experiencing serious mental and physical health issues that mandate medical help.
The next steps include a passionate and honest attempt at doing away with the submerged mental health trauma of Indian housewives. These include:
- Putting in place an accessible and resourceful psychiatric infrastructure
- Doing away with sociocultural evils
- Advocating for female literacy, psychoeducation, and mental health awareness
- Situating an effective force that aids homemakers during mental health emergencies
- Advocating for laws that protect unemployed women
- Arranging for mental health support centers, shelter options, etc. that ensure the safety of women and children
Stigmatizing trauma and mental health is a hindrance to their way of seeking help and therefore it is crucial to deconstruct the lingering stigma attached to suicide and mental health—through targeted awareness-raising and outreach.