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Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata Named Among 'Most Stressed Cities In The World': Here's Why

Stress can adversely affect a person's health both mentally and physically. Unfortunately, we often dismiss symptoms of stress as minor inconveniences. It is simply stress, we say. However, the symptoms of stress are not trivial at all and can accumulate quietly, leading to serious medical problems.

Approximately 80 per cent of the world's population experiences stress daily. The age group of 15-25 is among those who report needing assistance with managing stress. In a sense, stress can assist in overcoming challenges and keeping focused, alert, and energetic when it is managed properly, but when it crosses the threshold, it can result in anxiety, restlessness, headaches, chest pain, depression, loss of sexual desire, fatigue, and anger.

Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai And Kolkata: Most Stressed Cities In The World

India tops the list again, and not necessarily for a good thing. There are places in the world where living and working is less stressful. A recent study found that Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi are among the top 10 stressed cities in the world. Among the factors considered were cleanliness, financial stress, LGBTQ+ safety, and suicide rates, according to the study [1].

Living in a metropolitan area can have its perks, but it can also be detrimental to our mental health. Research has found that urbanites are 21 per cent more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders and 39 per cent more likely to suffer from mood disorders than rural residents. In addition, according to a 2017 meta-analysis, urban dwellers tend to suffer from PTSD, anger management, and generalized anxiety disorder at a higher rate than those living in rural areas [2][3].

According to the study, the most stressed city in the world is Cairo, Egypt, which achieved an overall score of 7.67, significantly higher than the average score of 4.16. Cairo also has the second-lowest cleanliness rating at 17.22, making it the second-most stressful city globally.

Delhi, India and Karachi, Pakistan also rank among the top three most stressed cities with 6.96 and 6.47, respectively. Delhi and Karachi suffer from the highest levels of air pollution globally, whereas over 17% of the Delhi population lives in poverty. Mumbai ranked 4th, followed by Kolkata ranking 7th. With a score of 5.69, Bangalore ranked ninth on the list [4].

Even though urban living may lead to emotional distress, shame and stigma can prevent young adults from discussing their struggles. Perhaps this explains why they feel more lonely than older generations.

In addition, crowded city life can make us more at risk of contracting viruses, particularly during cold and flu season. Additionally, urban dwellers are likely to consume too much processed and fast food, putting them at an increased risk for weight gain, high blood pressure, and diabetes [5].

Experts conclude that the constant stimulation of city life can push the body into a stressful state, also known as the fight-or-flight response. This may increase our vulnerability to mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.

Mental Health Helpline Numbers:
1. COOJ Mental Health Foundation (COOJ)- Helpline: 0832-2252525 | 01:00 PM - 07:00 PM (Monday to Friday)
2. Parivarthan- Helpline: +91 7676 602 602 | 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM (Monday to Friday)
3. Connecting Trust- Helpline: +91 992 200 1122 | +91-992 200 4305 | 12:00 PM to 08:00 PM (All days of the week)
4. Roshni Trust- Helpline: 040-66202000, 040-66202001 | 11:00 AM - 09:00 PM (Monday to Sunday)
5. Sahai Helpline: 080-25497777 / Email at - SAHAIHELPLINE@GMAIL.COM | 10 AM- 8 PM (Monday to Saturday)
6. Sumaitri: 011-23389090 / FEELINGSUICIDAL@SUMAITRI.NET |2 PM- 10 PM (Monday To Friday); 10 AM - 10 PM (Saturday and Sunday)
7. Sneha: 044-24640050 (24 HOURS) / 044-24640060 | Email at- HELP@SNEHAINDIA.ORG |8 AM - 10 PM
8. Lifeline: 033-24637401 / 033-24637432 | Email at LIFELINEKOLKATA@GMAIL.COM | 10 AM - 6 PM.