Posts Tagged ‘ Mental Health Problems ’

Protect Your Mental Health

Saturday, October 9th, 2021

Feeling very low or disturbed? Extreme mood changes, feelings of anger, worry or guilt are not normal. These need to be discussed with your doctor. Mental illness affects 1 out of every 7 Indians. According to the World Health Organization, 56 million Indians suffer from depression and another 38 million Indians suffer from anxiety disorders. Your emotional, psychological, and social well-being all make up your mental health and impact the way you think, feel, and act.

The theme for 2021 ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’ wants the world to focus sufficiently on health beyond physical health. The pandemic has caused an immense impact on the mental health of people across age groups as well as disrupted the existing mental health services too. Let us come together and increase the awareness around mental health and the importance of seeking timely medical care. Early identification of symptoms and prompt medical assistance can help reduce the severity of a mental illness.

Types of Mental Disorders

The term “mental disorders” is used to describe a wide range of mental and behavioural illnesses that appear in various ways. They are generally characterised by a combination of abnormal thoughts, emotions, perceptions, behaviour and relationships with others. Disorders can range from mild to severe and can affect people of every sex, age, gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic group. Here are some of the most frequent mental illnesses:

  • Depression:
    Chronic depression is a debilitating illness that usually reoccurs throughout a person’s lifetime. Symptoms include fatigue, lack of concentration, changes in appetite and thoughts of suicide. Some other forms of depression include seasonal affective disorder and postpartum depression.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD):
    General disorders on autism include autistic disorder, Asperger’s syndrome and atypical autism.
  • Schizophrenia:
    Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that can cause people to have delusions, hallucinate or show no emotion at all.
  • Bipolar Disorder:
    Bipolar disorder is one of several mood disorders that leave people with emotions swinging from very high (manic) to hazardously low (depressive).
  • Anxiety Disorders:
    Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition and include OCD, panic attacks and phobias.
  • Eating Disorders:
    Bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder are marked by extreme behaviours, which usually are rooted in complex biological and psychological causes.

Symptoms of Mental Disorders

Medical research suggests that early intervention can help minimize or delay the symptoms, prevent hospitalization and improve the prognosis of mental health conditions. Here are some signs that need further medical investigation:

  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Extreme and long-lasting sadness
  • Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • High and low extremes of emotion
  • Big changes in sleeping or eating habits
  • Excessive anger
  • Drug or alcohol abuse

Mental Disorders – Myths & Facts

Here are some common myths and facts that mislead people. Ask questions, know the facts, consult medical experts if needed:

Myth: Children don’t experience mental health problems.
Fact: That is not true, very young children may also show early warning signs of mental health disease. They are often clinically diagnosable and occur due to biological, psychological, and social factors.

Myth: People with a mental illness cannot have a job.
Fact: People with mental health disorders are as productive as other employees. In fact, they report good attendance and punctuality as well as excellent motivational levels.

Myth: Mental health disorders last a lifetime.
Fact: A good treatment plan helps you work through the problem and recover. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the problem has gone away. But you can definitely manage it better and live an improved life.

Myth: Mental health problems are a sign of weakness.
Fact: Mental illness has nothing to do with your physical or emotional strength or weakness. It is a medical disorder that needs treatment, in the same way, infection or fracture would.

Myth: Psychiatric medications are bad.
Fact: Many people believe that psychiatric medicine is harmful. Just like any other detrimental medical condition, mental illness requires medication. Regular therapy combined with medication can greatly improve one’s quality of life.

Treatment at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

It is important to understand that mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and chronic stress frequently necessitate specialised therapy and treatment. These disorders may worsen over time if you don’t get help right once, and they can have a significant negative impact on your health and quality of life.

Highly trained and experienced specialists at our Department of Psychiatry offer therapeutic and counselling services to people with mental health disorders. Our skilled team use a variety of tried-and-tested therapy approaches to help you overcome mental health difficulties, minimise symptoms, and take steps toward a robust and long-term recovery. All treatment is individually tailored according to your unique needs and requirements, allowing us to achieve the best potential post-treatment results. Please visit our website for further information:

Psychological impact of the second wave of COVID 19

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

Feeling restless, tensed, or worried all the time? Concerned about a loved one who is hospitalised? The unexpected rise of Covid-19 cases has increased the stress levels and affected the mental health of people across age groups. Neglected mental health problems can escalate and may cause serious disorders like depression or anxiety disorders. Psychologists suggest that one of the best strategies for managing emotions is to name them and discuss them with your loved ones. These are tough times for everybody, but don’t let it bring you down. Here is what you can do to manage your mental health better.

The second wave of COVID is upon us. But more than the virus, it’s the fear that is even more dangerous. Fear is the emotional response to a perceived threat while anxiety is the anticipation of any future threats. It is comparatively easier to avoid viruses, but the psychological “virus” of fear is most contagious! Fear of loss (e.g., loved one/economic/occupational/status) is one of the most prevalent fears. Chronic or extreme fear has a direct effect on our health. Fear leads to excessive functioning of the sympathetic (fight-flight) nervous system. Physically, it weakens the immune system, causes headaches/body-pains, cardiovascular problems (hypertension, angina), and gastrointestinal issues (ulcers, irritable bowel). It can also lead to accelerated ageing and premature death. Emotionally, it causes disorders like panic attacks, anxiety disorders, dissociative states, obsessions, PTSD, depression, or even severe mental illnesses like psychoses.

How to address the fear of your mind because of the second wave? How to avoid anxiety? How to maintain mental health. How to avoid stress?

To fight fear, it is important to strengthen the parasympathetic (rest-digest) nervous system. Some of these methods are:

  • Relaxation techniques – Deep diaphragmatic breathing, guided meditation, yoga, stretching, jacobson’s progressive muscle relaxation method
  • Self-hypnosis techniques like visualizing a happy place or positive affirmations
  • Keeping a gratitude journal – write three good things that have happened to you that day before going to bed.
  • Maintaining a thoughts diary – Scrutinize the negative thoughts that your mind is throwing at you. Look at the evidence, is it really true?
  • Not being “perfect” all the time – Do not compare. Be kind to yourself. Be compassionate.
  • Communicating your fears – Take the help of a mental health professional, if needed.

Mental health tips

Here are 5 simple tips for all age groups for keeping yourself calm and maintaining your mental well-being in the times of COVID:

  1. Eat small, regular meals – Avoid over-eating or fasting for long periods. Strictly avoid nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and other addictive substances.
  2. Develop a routine – Schedule a regular work pattern. Then, unwind. Take breaks. Develop a hobby. Do something fun after your daily work is over.
  3. Get plenty of sleep – But also, exercise daily. Practice deep breathing, yoga, stretching, and relaxation techniques.
  4. Connect positively with people -Share something positive or humorous with your friends and family. Avoid viewing/sharing/forwarding negative views or news. Repeatedly remind yourself of the important and positive things in your life.
  5. Take this opportunity to help others – Do not entertain the victim’s role in your mind. Take charge of your thoughts and emotions. Stay calm. If unable to do so, seek help from your nearest mental health professional.

Psychological Myths and Facts

Here are some common myths and facts about mental health that need to be cleared:

Myth: One should keep smiling and be happy all the time.
Fact: Suppressing negative emotions such as sadness or grief, with a fake smile can actually make you feel worse. Accepting and expressing your emotions in an appropriate manner is more useful.

Myth: Venting your rage will help you to overcome anger.
Fact: Rather than calming you down, venting positively reinforces your anger, causing you to become angrier, and for a longer period. Taking a break from the triggering situation, channelizing your anger into an activity such as exercise, and identifying the true reason for your anger is far more effective.

Myth: Drinking alcohol reduces anxiety.
Fact: Drinking alcohol does not reduce anxiety or protect you against COVID-19 infection. In fact, it can be dangerous as it lowers immunity and increases your risk of health problems.

Dr. Shaunak Ajinkya – Consultant – Psychiatrist at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital shares some great tips above about maintaining your mental health and staying resilient in these unprecedented times. Our Department of Psychiatry is available to help people feel better with online as well as offline consultations for all our patients. Do not suffer in silence, remember that taking care and seeking professional help for your mental health is as important as treating your physical health. Please visit the below website for further information: