Posts Tagged ‘ Mental Health ’

Women and Mental Health

Tuesday, March 8th, 2022

Teacher. Mother. Colleague. Caregiver. Chef…The last two years have created unique challenges and stressors for women as many were faced with fulfilling multiple roles. According to studies, women are twenty to forty percent more likely than men to suffer from mental illness. Women are more vulnerable to poor mental health due to social and economic circumstances than men. Women often face distinct obstacles when it comes to mental health. A woman’s body changes throughout her life and puberty, pregnancy and childbirth, and menopause all challenge women to adjust to new bodies and new ways of interacting with the world. This Women’s Day let us understand the mental health concerns in women and how we can overcome them.

Common mental health issues in women

Around one in every five women suffers from a common mental health issue like sadness or anxiety. Many women find it hard to express their feelings and tend to internalise them. Depression, eating disorders, and self-harm can all result from this. Here are some of the most prevalent health issues that women face:

  • Perinatal depression
    Having a baby is a life-changing event. For some women it can trigger post-partum  depression (after the birth) and/or antenatal depression (during pregnancy). Perinatal depression isn’t a sign of weakness. Take help from family and friends, seek therapy from a medical expert to help manage yours symptoms.
  • Menopause
    While every woman’s menopausal experience is unique, many women have symptoms in addition to their periods ceasing. Changes in your mental health, such as mood swings, anxiety, and feeling down, are examples.
  • Trauma
    Statistics suggest that around 20% of all women may experience some form of sexual harassment or attempt of the same at some point in their lifetime. This may increase the risk of developing a mental health issue such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Eating disorders
    Data suggests that at least 85 percent of anorexia and bulimia cases and 65 percent of binge-eating disorder cases are faced by women. Women’s weight has always been examined and pedestalized, making them feel pressurized about a perfect body image and thus hampering their mental health.

When to seek professional help?

If you’re disconnected from people, have a negative self-image, or aren’t physically caring for yourself, it’s time to get professional help. If you’re suffering from feelings of hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, or an addiction to legal or illicit substances, a medical professional can guide you down the right path to wellness.

Mental health statistics in India

According to statistics, at least 25% of women suffer from depression and anxiety, but they seldom seek help from psychiatrists due to social stigma and a lack of family support. Women tend to overlook and repress their health issues. Domestic violence affects almost two-thirds of married women in India. Postpartum depression commonly seen in new mothers, affects about 50-80% of them. Awareness, training and medical interventions are important to address women’s mental health.

Ways to improve mental health in women

Being joyful all of the time isn’t always a sign of good mental health. Women who have good mental health can experience joy and sorrow, rage and enthusiasm in appropriate ways. Here are a few simple ways to keep your mental health in good shape:

  • Take care of yourself.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Practice mindfulness & meditation.
  • Get eight hours of sleep each night.
  • Work and contribute productively.
  • Ask for help when needed.
  • Express gratitude .
  • Say positive things about yourself and others.
  • Make new friends and connections.
  • Participate in activities you enjoy.

Mental health care at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

A variety of factors can affect a woman’s mental function and health. These causes might range from simple things like lack of sleep or hunger to more severe issues like eating disorders and major depression. Seek treatment and support if you’re worried about your mental health or believe someone you care about is suffering from mental illness. Our Department of Psychiatry employs highly qualified experts to help support you at every stage of life. Please find below our website details:

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:

International Day of Yoga

Monday, June 21st, 2021

Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that entails physical postures, meditation, and deep breathing. It is highly beneficial in its ability to increase mind-body awareness and promote physical movement. This form of exercise helps rejuvenate the mind and spirit, tones the body, and maintains the health of your internal organs and hormonal system. Yoga asanas are one of the few physical exercises you can continue doing as you age. Always remember when it comes to yoga slowly and steadily aim at perfecting your poses, focus on how you do yoga rather than how much you do.

Health Benefits of Yoga

People across age groups and from all walks of life benefit from various yoga poses. A consistent practice offers a plethora of mental and physical health benefits. Here are the top benefits of yoga:

  • Improves flexibility 
    Stretching and moving your body in new ways will help you become more flexible, bringing a greater range of motion to tight muscles. Your hamstrings, back, shoulders, and hips should all get more flexible with time.
  • Boosts cardiac health
    Heart disease is the world’s top cause of death, and research suggests that daily yoga practice helps older persons with metabolic syndrome decrease cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity and high blood pressure.
  • Improves sleep
    Many people who practice yoga report that it helps them to sleep better and a large body of scientific evidence supports this claim. It helps fight insomnia and reduces incidents of troubled sleep.
  • Eases back pain
    Increased flexibility and strength can help prevent the causes of some types of back pain. As more and more people work and study from home and lead sedentary lifestyles lower back problems are becoming increasingly  common.
  • Builds strength
    Many yoga postures, such as balancing on one leg or holding yourself with your arms, require you to carry your body weight in novel and often difficult ways. Holding these poses for multiple breaths aids in the development of muscular strength and endurance.
  • Improves joint health
    Yoga requires low-impact motions that allow you to use your joints without damaging them. Yoga also strengthens the muscles that surround the joints, reducing the load on them.
  • Promotes better breathing
    Different types of breathing exercises in yoga help focus your attention and take deeper and longer breaths that help improve your respiratory health.
  • Boosts your mental health
    Yoga is a combination of exercise, meditation, relaxation and helps reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Yoga also teaches you how to meditate, focus on your breath and disengage from your thoughts helping your mind relax. This helps you cope better with stress.

Here is how yoga benefits people across gender and age:

Yoga for students

Practicing yoga is said to come with many benefits for both mental and physical health. Virtual learning has led to more and more students leading sedentary lifestyles that have caused increased incidents of stress, nervousness, indigestion, sleep disorders. Learning yoga at an early age helps students increase concentration levels, boosts their memory power, improves adaptability, and helps channelize their energies correctly. Here are 5 yoga exercises recommended for students:

  • Matsyasana (Fish pose)
  • Virasana (Hero pose)
  • Suryanamaskar (Sun salutations)
  • Bhramari pranayam (Bee breathing)
  • Vajrasana (Diamond or thunderbolt pose)

Yoga for women

Women experience various reproductive health concerns namely menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Yoga helps deal with these different life changes smoothly.

  • Menstruation – Several women experience some negative emotional, physical, or relational symptoms in the days prior to menses, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Mood changes, irritability, fatigue, bloating, and breast tenderness are common symptoms. Regular yoga practice helps alleviate discomfort associated with periods.
  • Childbirth (pregnancy and postpartum) – Research suggests that prenatal yoga helps decrease the perception of pain during labor, reduces physical discomfort during pregnancy and childbirth and improves the overall quality of life. Prenatal yoga has been associated with reduced risk of postpartum depression.
  • Menopause – The most common menopausal symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, pain, decreased libido, and mood swings, etc. Perimenopausal women often turn to yoga to reduce the unwanted side effects of menopausal symptoms. 5 poses yoga exercises recommended for women:
  • Adho mukha svanasana (Downward facing Dog)
  • Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)
  • Malasana (Garland pose)
  • Utkata Konasana (Goddess Pose)
  • Navasana  (Boat pose)

Yoga for seniors

You are never too old to practice yoga and even get started with this form of exercise. For seniors who are looking for a safe, effective way to enhance their physical health and overall wellness, the stretching, breathing, and meditation practices of yoga are highly beneficial. Yoga helps strengthen your joints, improve balance and flexibility, lowers stress and promises better sleep. 5 poses yoga exercises recommended for seniors:

  • Trikonasana (Triangle pose)
  • Tadasana (Mountain pose)
  • Vrikshasana (Tree pose)
  • Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
  • Titli asana (Butterfly pose)

2021 International Day of Yoga focuses on the theme “Yoga for well-being”. As we struggle each day from the ups and downs of life and are still recovering from the impact of a pandemic physically and emotionally, yoga can be of immense help. Embrace yoga as a new way of life to stay healthy, fight various mental health challenges, and also help conquer fear and anxiety. Regular practice of yoga helps strengthen your body’s immune system that helps fight various infections.

World Suicide Prevention Day

Thursday, September 10th, 2020

Every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide.

It is not a mental illness in itself, but a serious potential consequence of treatable mental disorders that includes major depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, substance use disorders, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia nervosa.

The World Suicide Prevention Day is observed every year to raise awareness regarding the precautions that can be taken to prevent these tragedies. “Working Together To Prevent Suicide”, the theme of  World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 educates everyone that each one of us has an important role to play to help prevent suicides across the world and save more lives.

Suicide warning signs
If you know someone showing any suicidal signs, reach out to them. Suicidal warning signs should be taken very seriously. Early detection of warning signs can lead to professional help and mental health treatment and can even save a life. Here are the most common potential warning signs for suicide:

  • Feeling a deep sense of hopelessness about the future
  • Changes in personality and/or appearance
  • Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone
  • Having extreme mood swings
  • Changing the normal routine, including eating or sleeping patterns
  • Doing risky or self-destructive things, such as using drugs or driving recklessly.
  • Saying goodbye to people as if they won’t be seen again
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities the person previously enjoyed

Who is at risk?
Suicide rates are highest in teens, young adults, and the elderly. There are certain situations, conditions, and other factors that put some people at a greater risk of becoming suicidal. Here are a few of them:

  • Having a untreated mental illness, particularly depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder
  • Having a substance use disorder
  • Sudden stressful or traumatic situations, like the loss of a loved one
  • Loss of job or financial crisis
  • Being seriously ill, living with a chronic or terminal illness
  • Relationship problems
  • Having experienced childhood trauma and abuse

Timely counselling can prevent suicides
In many cases, suicide can be prevented. Research suggests that the best way to prevent suicide is to know the risk factors, be alert to the signs of depression and other mental disorders, notice any signs of suicidal behaviour and take action before the person can attempt suicide.

If someone you know is exhibiting warning signs for suicide, don’t be afraid to ask if he or she is depressed or thinking about suicide. In some cases, the person just needs to know that someone cares and is looking for the chance to talk about his or her feelings. You can then encourage the person to seek professional help.

Suicide statistics
As per World Health Organisation (WHO) 8 lakh people across the globe end their life by committing suicide every year. One of three among them is an Indian. As per reports, India reported about 381 suicides daily for the year of 2019, marking an increase of nearly 3.4% suicide deaths as compared to 2018. In the year 2019, 139,123 suicides were reported, as compared to 2018, which saw 134,516 suicides and 2017 which recorded 1,29,887 fatalities.

Suicide does not discriminate. Anyone of any race, gender, age, or socioeconomic status may feel suicidal at any point in their lives. Even someone who seems to be happy or to “have it all” can be vulnerable to suicide. If you or a loved one needs help, feel free to consult our highly trained counsellors for professional help at our Department of Psychiatry.

Your Mental Health Matters

Saturday, July 18th, 2020

Mental health refers to cognitive, behavioural, and emotional well-being. It is all about how people think, feel, and behave. A good mental health also means the absence of a mental disorder. Your mental health affects your ability to cope with stress, overcome challenges, build relationships, and recover from life’s setbacks and hardships. According the World Health Organization (WHO), mental illness makes about 15% of the total disease conditions around the world.

Common mental health disorders

One in four people in the world will be affected by mental disorders at some point in their lives. Treatments are available, but nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder never seek help from a health professional. Stigma, discrimination, and neglect prevent care and treatment from reaching people with mental disorders.

The most common types of mental illness are:

Anxiety disorders
People with these conditions have severe fear or anxiety, which relates to certain objects or situations. Restlessness, fatigue, tense muscles, disturbed sleep are some physical symptoms.

Mood disorders
People with these conditions have significant changes in mood, generally involving either mania, which is a period of high energy and elation, or depression. Examples of mood disorders include:

  • Major depression: An individual with major depression experiences a constant low mood and loses interest in activities and events that they previously enjoyed. They can feel prolonged periods of sadness or extreme sadness.
  • Bipolar disorder: A person with bipolar disorder experiences unusual changes in their mood, energy levels, levels of activity, and ability to continue with daily life.
  • Postpartum Depression: Postpartum depression (PPD) is a type of depression that affects some women after giving birth to an infant. Symptoms include sadness, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, anxiety, and irritability.

Panic disorders
People with a panic disorder experience regular panic attacks, which involve sudden, overwhelming terror or a sense of imminent disaster and death.

There are different types of phobia:

  • Simple phobias: These might involve a disproportionate fear of specific objects, scenarios, or animals. Fear of closed spaces called claustrophobia is a common example.
  • Social phobia: Sometimes known as social anxiety, this is a fear of being subject to the judgment of others. People with social phobia often restrict their exposure to social environments. 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
PTSD can occur after a person experiences or witnesses a deeply stressful or traumatic event. During this type of event, the person thinks that their life or other people’s lives are in danger.

Schizophrenia disorders
Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. Schizophrenia may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behaviour that impairs daily functioning.

Top tips for good mental health
Taking care of your mental and emotional health is as important as your physical health. Here are a few health tips to keep yourself mentally healthy:

Get plenty of sleep
Sleep helps to regulate the chemicals in your brain that transmit information. These chemicals are important in managing your moods and emotions. Lack of sleep can make you feel depressed or anxious.

Eat a healthy diet
Certain mineral deficiencies, such as iron and vitamin B12 deficiencies, can make you feel low. Have a healthy and balanced diet.

Avoid alcohol, smoking, and drugs
Drinking and smoking negatively impact your mental health. It can make you feel more depressed and anxious.

Get plenty of sunlight
Sunlight is a great source of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your brains to release chemicals that improve your mood, like endorphins and serotonin.

Manage stress
Stress is often unavoidable, but knowing what triggers your stress and knowing how to cope is key in maintaining good mental health. Meditation helps reduce your stress level.

Activity and exercise
Activity and exercise are essential in maintaining good mental health. Regular exercise promotes the release of feel-good brain chemicals.

Do something you enjoy
Take out some “me time” to do fun things you enjoy. Listen to music, take up a hobby or watch a TV show you enjoy to relax and unwind.

Stay connected
Staying in touch with friends and family is important not just for your self-esteem, but also for providing support when you’re not feeling too great.

Mental health in India

India shares a huge global burden of mental health diseases. Be it childhood mental disorders like autism or adult conditions such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and psychosis or dementia in old age, the world is facing a challenge in the form of mental illness. The deep stigma around mental health in India contributes to denial and shame among the patients. They fear seeking medical help for their problems. People experiencing mental health problems must seek timely medical help just like they would for other physical health problems.

Seek professional help

One of the most important ways to keep yourself mentally healthy is to recognise when you’re not feeling good and to know when to ask for help. Remove the stigma around mental health. If you’ve made consistent efforts to improve your mental and emotional health and still aren’t functioning optimally at home, work, or in your relationships, it may be time to seek professional help.

Consult highly trained psychiatrists and psychologists at our Department of Psychiatry to help address your mental health problems. At Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital we also provide online consultations through video calls from the safety of your home. Please find below link for more details: