As living beings, we experience a wide range of emotions. There are extremely happy days, and there are days when we just want to lay in bed and do nothing.
For some people spending quality time doing adventure sports make them feel fresh and energized. Whereas the same activity might trigger feelings of anxiety and fear, among others.
In conclusion, we all react differently to different situations, and psychology is proof of it.
Psychology is one of the most complex yet beautiful fields of science. It deals with the study of mind and behavior.
Mental health is closely related to psychology. Mental health refers to a balance in emotional, social, and psychological well-being.
Talking about India in particular, there has always been a stigma around topics like mental health.
This has always been considered one of those hush-hush topics that even discussing it behind closed doors is deemed taboo.
But, over the past few years, there has been an increase in mental health awareness.
With celebrities opening up about their personal experience and the importance of seeking help.
Both psychology and mental health have gained prominence among a few sections of the masses, but the access to professionals remains gloomy.
Get an in-depth understanding of whether psychology is a good career option in India, in this blog.
Psychology and its importance
Psychology is a broad field of science since it deals with a variety of different aspects and components of human growth.
A few of them include development, behavior, thought process, and feelings.
According to research conducted by Lancet, it is recorded that at least 10% of the world’s population is affected by some or the other kind of Mental, Neural and Substance disorder (MNS).
Therefore, psychology is extensively used in the field of mental health for the diagnosis and treatment of mental health-related issues.
It is one such field that has the power to benefit society as a whole significantly.
By learning psychology, you will understand why people react to a particular situation in a certain way.
You will get an idea about what factors can trigger a particular individual to what extent.
Today, if you look around, you will see each individual wanting different things from life and are working hard to reach their goals.
Between all these, there are several factors they have to deal with daily to accomplish their goals. It could be stress, anxiety, fear, hopelessness, and lack of confidence.
Here is where psychology comes into play. The most important aspect of psychology is that it teaches us that we are our competitors and no one else is.
It gives us a possible solution to deal with the demons in our mind that are not letting us function to our fullest potential.
Awareness of Psychology in India
India has always been a conservative society. A large segment of the masses has grown up in an environment where many topics, including mental health, were stigmatized.
They were not openly discussed because people feared societal shame and damage to the reputation of the family.
Notions were laid about how certain things were to be said and done. Generations after generations, people followed it without questioning.
If you would have noticed it only during the last decade, people have openly started talking about mental health and valuing psychology.
According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization, 1 in 5 Indians suffer from depression.
This means, with a population of approximately 1.3 billion, almost 200 million people of the country are affected.
There is also a myth associated with depression which terms it as a “Rich man disease”.
Why so? Because, though there has been a rise in awareness about mental health, not all sections of society have convenient access to seek help from professionals.
Few think that this is something that the rich can only afford as worrying about mental health is a “luxury” that only the privileged can afford.
Secondly, they feel depression is not a “real disease” and consider it to be just a phase that will pass with time.
The above statistics are based on the research conducted by WHO on how Indians perceive mental illness.
The results that you see above shows that Indians can be broadly classified into 3 segments based on how they perceive mental illness:
Scope of Psychology in India
Psychology, as explained above, is one of the most diverse fields of science as it deals with the human mind and behavior.
We can improve our quality of life by applying psychology to various walks of life. Since it deals with multiple spectrums, there are different types of psychology to cater to different issues.
Following are the different types of career opportunities available in the field of psychology in India:
- Clinical Psychology
Clinical Psychologists have a significant role to play in helping people who have a mental illness, abnormal behavior, and psychiatric disorders.
They do this by understanding people’s emotional and psychological patterns and devising a treatment through diagnosis to improve their quality of life.
Today, the demand for clinical psychologists is on the rise in sectors such as – hospitals, rehabs, NGOs, but primarily, they operate in their private clinic.
- Development Psychology
This domain of psychology deals with how and why development takes place during a certain period of a person’s lifetime.
It involves all the emotional changes a human goes through from an infant to old age.
Including physical growth, emotional growth, emotional maturity, change in perception, and other such changes.
- Comparative Psychology
Since psychology is one of the broad fields of science, it is often interrelated with Biology with subjects like – Genetics, Ecology, and Anthropology.
Comparative psychology gives us a deeper understanding on how the study of animal behaviour can tell us more about human psychology.
Apart from these, there are several other domains in the field which you can look up to if you want to pursue a career in Psychology in India, it includes:
- Abnormal Psychology
- Cognitive Psychology
- Cross-cultural Psychology
- Educational Psychology
- Forensic Psychology
- Health Psychology
- School Psychology
- Industrial-Organizational Psychology
- Social Psychology
- Sports Psychology
- Personality Psychology
Head over to 20 Psychologist Specialities and Job description to get a broad overview of various psychologists and what they do.
Though psychology provides a wide range of domains to work with, India still has a long road ahead to use Psychology to its fullest potential.
According to an Economic Times article published in 2018, India has only 898 psychologists as opposed to the minimum requirement of 20, 250.
If you are wondering the main reasons for this gap in numbers?
Then it is because most Indian citizens who studied and practiced psychology in India have moved abroad for a better scope of opportunities.
The power of a Psychologist
When clients seek their help for therapy, the primary role of a psychologist is to understand the problems of the client through a proper diagnosis and help address the same.
So, psychologists have the power to improve someone’s mental well-being. With a significant role comes even greater responsibility.
In a country like India where there is already a lot of stigma is attached to topics surrounding anxiety, LGBTQ, depression and mental health.
Therefore it becomes crucial for you as a psychologist to help them feel empowered and included in our society.
There are many Indians who belong to a conservative background.
They face a tough time making their family understand their issues and emotions. Usually, when all doors seem closed, they resort to going to a therapist as a last option.
As a Psychologist you will have a greater responsibility:
- You will have to help clients out and make them feel safe enough to share their problems with you.
- Also spread awareness regarding the importance of mental well-being.
Wrapping Up: Is Psychology a great career option in India
In conclusion, Psychology is a vast field of science that can provide you with plenty of career opportunities ranging from Clinical Psychology to Forensic Psychology.
If you take a look at India in particular, it still has a long way to go to recognise and harness Psychology to its fullest potential.
One of India’s major problems regarding this field is the vast difference in the ratio of demand and supply of psychologists. As many prefer settling in abroad for greener pastures.
Being a conservative society, people are very hesitant to seek help from professionals as they fear judgment and seclusion.
Over the last decade there has been an increase in awareness about the importance of mental well-being.
Various organizations and sectors are also making it mandatory to have an in-house psychologist to help people who want to seek their help.
So, with the increasing demand for psychologists, India presents a lot of research and career opportunities in the field of Psychology.