Articles on mental health professionals

Today Is Mental Health day.use Intuitions and 6th Sense.

Dr. Neelam Nath Bhatia, General Physician
There is No person with 100% correct mental /physical health. Every test carried out in blood has a range. A person is labeled diseased only if the limits exceed normal range or fall below the rangeThere are 3 types of personalities according to Ayurveda.Type A is like Air , Flighty ,always on the go , multitasking ,and result oriented. Type A need not be physically active all the time to achieve their goals. A racing mind is also associated with type A personality. Creative people ,leaders , intellectuals are Type A and the world is dependent on Type A types because They are the Leaders.Type B is like Water, flowy but slowly , working but without much strain on body or mind & We can call them Cool !Type C is like Earth , steady, accepting , not keen or adventerous ,dependent ,ready to please or get pleased.It is a colorful world consisting of all of the 3 types of people.Be Careful of manipulative people who can read the mind and trap the person , knowing well his/her vulnerabilities , exploit them and label the supposedly 'weak ' person as Mad.Remember the programme- Kamzor Kadi Kaun ? ( Who is the Weakest in the link ?)Bottled up Stress can make any normal human behave like Mad.Every Mental Illness does not require Medicines . A good counsellor can do a wonderful job.Who is a good counsellor? An MD doctor, An MA Psychology or an elder in the family or a close friend?It can be any of the above. I am sure one retains some of 6th sense / intuition to know about whom to confide without getting exploited More to get really Mad.Stay away from medicines for anxiety if possible.If none of the above is available as in our country Mental Disease is still a tag , unlike other physical diseases like heart and lung disease or the ones the person is borne with.Start writing a diary about positives and negatives that has happened in life so far. Write a page daily. It is like cleansing our souls. Give a pat to self for good job done daily and a slap for being bad and nasty.One has to maintain both Physical and Mental Health & we take care of physical health by going for a walk /exercising /eating the right food etc. Similarly Mental Health needs to be Protected by each one of us through our own ways.Know yourself before knowing others and analyse self before being Judgemental.Social isolation can increase the risk of both cardiac and mental illness and sometimes it can be a Deliberate attempt to Isolate Seniors of family for Selfish purposes. Do Not Yield in. Remain connected with like minded people and do contribute to society like volunteering,mentoring,joining a civic club or scheduling outings with friends.Medicines should be the last resort of cure of mental disease for a person of any age, a mother can read her child and analyse the demands,adult child of same mother can be able to read the mind of mother. Never mind if child is settled well far away.Dementia or forgetfulness are 1st stages of routine mental illnesses and these are preventable by just doing simple Self Analysis.

7 Steps You Can Take for Mental Well-Being

Akshata Bhat, Psychiatrist
Take care of yourselfAs simple as it may sound, the mere act of taking care of you is the first step to good mental health. Eat healthy, exercise and get adequate sleep every day. These are the building blocks to good physical health, which translate into mental well-being.Prioritize It is not possible to do everything. The constant effort to do so creates unrealistic expectations. It eventually results in disappointment. Life is too short to waste on unnecessary things, so figure out what your priorities are and focus on them.Invest in yourselfEnvision yourself as a company set up and funded by you. Whatever you invest, you will get the returns accordingly. Give yourself the best; whether it is moral support, top notch grooming or courses to equip you with skills in the field of your choice. Hold nothing back when it comes to you.Let it goHolding on to anything, be it anger, pain, jealousy, failing relationships, dead end jobs or toxic friends will only bring you unhappiness. Let it go. Cut the cord. Break the cycle. Letting go will make you receptive to newer and better opportunities in your life.Take a breakGetting caught up in the daily grind leave you with little time for yourself. Your mind and body need to recharge from time to time. Take time out for yourself everyday to do something you enjoy. ‘Me’ time will help you relax, and motivate you to meet your daily challenges.Be ridiculousLaughing helps to reduce stress and is an instant mood elevator. Having a good sense of humor helps you see the bright side in difficult situations. It makes you optimistic and hopeful. Humor is also a very attractive quality, and it will draw people towards you.Ask for helpOften people feel that asking for help is a sign of weakness; or that by doing so, it lowers your prestige. Thus, even in very tough times, we tend not to ask for help and try to handle everything by ourselves. The truth is that it takes immense courage to admit that you need help, and there is nothing wrong in asking for it.

Clinical Psychologist vs. Psychiatrist, Who Should You See?

Ms. Aarathi Selvan, Psychologist
Clinical Psychologists and Psychiatrists often work together to ensure the mental health and well-being of a client is taken care of. While their job descriptions often overlap, there are many crucial differences between a psychologist and psychiatrist. The most important difference is the nature of treatment within the two professions. Treatment differences between Psychologist and Psychiatrist:PsychiatristA psychiatrist is a trained medical doctor. In India, a psychiatrist completes MBBS degree and additional gets trained in psychiatry at a post graduate level. Psychiatrists prescribe medication for mental illnesses like Major depressive disorder, Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,  Anxiety Disorder and more. They spend much of their time on medication management as the primary course of treatment. Psychiatrists are medical doctors first. Most of them do not have additional training in counselling or talk therapy as a clinical psychologist. It is important to understand this: I have had several clients reach out to me and express that when they went to a psychiatrist, the doctor did not spend time listening to their deeper issues which lead them to the mental illness (like depression/anxiety,etc). Psychiatrists focus on the presenting symptoms of the patient. In conditions where the mental illness is severe and basic self care is impossible, taking medications to stabilize becomes necessary. They are not trained as clinical psychologists to approach mental illness with talk therapy.Clinical PsychologistIn India, clinical psychologists have a license by the Rehabilitation Council of India to practice professionally. They typically have a Bachelors & Masters in Psychology and an MPhil in Clinical Psychology.  A PhD in clinical psychology/psychology is not a licensing degree for practicing as a psychologist.Clinical Psychologists are trained to understand a variety of aspects of mental health and are also trained in different evidence based therapies to work with clients with mental illness or difficult life situations.Clients with severe mental illness will be concurrently seen by both Psychiatrists and Clinical Psychologist for best results. Often times clients/patients with less severe kinds of mental health problems don’t like to use medications, they’re afraid they’re going to get addicted. These clients are more likely to see a psychologist first.Clinical psychologists help clients learn different tools to help transform their attitudes, behaviours, thoughts and emotions into those that support optimal well-being. As opposed to a psychiatrist who may spend less than 15 minutes in medication management with a patient per session, clinical psychologists typically spends over an hour per session in working with the client. Clinical psychologist are additionally trained in Testing and Assessment, that helps in diagnosing clients with mental illness. Clinical psychologist also work with individuals with normal life issues that seem to cause stress, anxiety and depression.  Talk therapy is the most effective for clients in these situations.I am a National Certified Counselor in the US and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in India with additional certifications in Evidence Based Therapies. If you are still wondering who you should see in therapy, get in touch with me to help you assess your situation and recommend to you the accurate form of therapy for your situation.

Mental illness, Time to Talk About It!

Dr. Anamay K. Bidwai, General Physician
Today is mental illness day.Incidences of mental illness are going up in India, a recent study shows that every fourth Indian might be having some symptom or might have had some symptoms like depression, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias etc.The reason for increase in the number of patients with mental illness is change in life style, increasing day to day stress, break down of joint family structure resulting in less moral support.Another reason is increasing awareness about mental illness, more and more people are coming out to get treated, more and more are being diagnosed, so those who were hiding their disease and suffering in silence are now getting treatment and enjoying better quality of life.Mental illness has been the taboo associated with it, time has come that we understand that brain too is an organ like any other organ like heart, liver or kidney.So if heart, liver, kidney can develop malfunction why not brain? Like other organs brain too might have some problem, like heart, liver, kidney diseases, even brain can be treated with medicines and other measures.There is nothing wrong if you have depression or anxiety, talk to your family members or close friends about it, see a psychiatrist, if you neglect your problem it will only increase with time.There was a time when any one who went to a psychiatrist was considered " pagal" or " mad", it is not so any more, we must remove the taboo created around mental illness and accept it as any other health issue.Many great people who had mental health issues like schizophrenia, dyslexia, autism, bipolar disorder, organic depression have gone on to win noble prizes, have made great inventions, gone to become heads of states, all this because they got treated in time, used their will power to come over the problem and made best use of their potential.If you suffer from loss of sleep, unexplained loss of weight, loss of apatite, urge to remain alone all time, loss of interest in work, loss of interest in sex, mood swings, anxiety of going to crowded places, lethargy, unwillingness to meet new people, you must see a doctor and seek advice.It is always very important to have a person with you during the steps of treatment, it may be your wife, mother, father, close friend or some one you trust. Today, lets resolve  not to treat mental illness as taboo, lets open up and understand that a person with mental illness can be treated, with treatment he/she can enjoy a good quality of life and contribute positively to family and community.

Mental Health Care for New Mothers

Ms. Pallavi Tomar, Psychologist
Arrival of a baby is supposed to be one of the happiest and joyous experiences in a mother’s life. However, some women may experience postpartum disorders following childbirth that may deeply affect their mental health and well-being, in turn also affecting the care of the baby. Having a baby is a significant life change and for many new mothers the lack of sleep and fatigue may take its toll on them. Many new mothers experience what is commonly known as ‘postpartum/ baby blues’. These are mood swings the new mother experiences as a result of hormonal fluctuations post childbirth. Postpartum blues are very common and may be experienced by majority of women. The onset of postpartum blues usually occurs a few days after delivery and should begin to subside as hormone levels stabilise in a weeks’ time. Simple ways in which postpartum blues can be managed:Ensuring a somewhat fixed schedule every day.Help from the partner or other family members. Making sure the new mother gets adequate rest and sleep. Diet must be adequately nutritious.Making sure the new parents get some time to themselves to relax and unwind. Spending time together is also important to reconnect and share feelings.Exercise is effective in uplifting mood. Easing back into some physical fitness routine would be immensely helpful.However, a few new mothers may develop more serious concerns such as peripartum and postpartum depression, anxiety or even psychosis. Hence, it is imperative for new mothers, their partners and care takers to also pay attention to their mental health and feelings of well-being. Peripartum refers to those mood symptoms that occur during pregnancy and postpartum are those that may develop in 4 weeks following delivery. If a person continues to experience mood swings or feelings of depression for more than two weeks post childbirth, the problem may be more serious and special attention must be paid. Signs and symptoms of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety to look out for:The symptoms of postpartum depression are the same as clinical depression, involving persistent low mood, decrease in interest, excessive fatigue and lethargy, crying spells, feeling helpless and inadequate, loss of appetite and sleep, increased irritability, anxiety and panic attacks, intense worry about the child or lack of concern. In rare cases, some women may also experience Postpartum Psychosis. A few signs and symptoms to look out for are:Postpartum psychosis involves presence of psychotic symptoms post childbirth. Women experiencing these symptoms may develop strange beliefs or ideas without any basis, they may hear or see things that are not really there (hallucinations), may become suspicious and paranoid and fear harm from others, they may experience rapid mood swings involving euphoric mood with overactivity to high irritability and anger, may feel disorganised, may have decreased need or inability to sleep. If you or a new mother you know are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to get help. Both these conditions require intervention by a mental health specialist and hence the patient and their families/friends should seek help immediately. These conditions can be managed well with proper treatment and care.

Don't Have a Problem? Heres How Counselling Is Still For You

Ms. Manavi Khurana, Psychologist
Mental health is a topic that remains largely ignored and brushed aside by society at large. Most people are unaware that depression is the second leading cause of disability worldwide, second only to back pain. Mental health problems such as depression can have far reaching consequences and affect people’s ability to carry out basic functions like cooking, eating and even getting out of bed in the morning. The tragic incident of the severely depressed pilot of the Germanwings Airline, deliberately ploughing his aircraft into the Alps and plunging 150 people to their deaths is a grim reminder of the harsh reality of mental illness.While mental health problems like depression and anxiety certainly warrant attention, it is a myth that only people suffering from a mental health condition should seek professional help. Counsellors offer help in coping with all aspects of life such as stress over a job, relationship problems, death of loved one, substance abuse and eating disorders among others. Just like people undergo a general health check-up at regular intervals, undergoing a mental health check-up should also be the norm. Counselling enhances the daily life of people by equipping them to handle their day to day problems better and increasing their self esteem and sense of self worth. Take the case of 26 year old marketing executive, Anita :-Being a high achiever, right from school to her workplace, she was surprised when she started experiencing feeling of self doubt with regard to her work. She found herself missing deadlines, her concentration suffered and she was increasingly on edge and irritable. On her friend’s advice, she decided to seek counselling. Talking to the counsellor, Anita realized her excessively high standards of perfection and the enormous pressure she put on herself had been giving her sleepless nights. She learnt to ease the pressure on herself by making smaller goals. The therapist helped her work through her fear of failure and accept that some things are out of her control She further learnt to stop being controlling & delegate tasks to her co-workers instead. This helped her focus & prioritize her tasks, thereby increasing her work performanceAnita wasn’t suffering from any serious mental disorder. However, professional counselling helped build her resilience and strengthen her coping mechanism. Professional counselling is especially relevant in today’s fast paced world where people are constantly rushing against time and trying to juggle multiple roles, both in the family and work domain. With the advent of technology and social media, people are finding it increasingly difficult to switch off from work even when away from their workplace. The blurring of work and family life takes a toll on the mind. We are living in an age where family ties are loosening and younger people are no longer afraid to move to different cities and even countries to explore new opportunities, leaving their friends and family behind. Adjusting to a whole new world often takes a toll on their mental health. It is a common myth that only children are in need of and benefit from counselling. In reality, counselling is just as important for adults as the stresses of life only increases as we age. As people get older, their responsibilities multiply and they often find themselves questioning their life choices. Talking to a counsellor helps people explore their feelings and understand the ways in which their emotions affects their actions and behavior.The world is slowly waking up to the need for professional mental health support. Most fortune 500 companies provide free and confidential counselling service to their employees. Corporate employees, school children, sportspersons and physically ill patients are all being offered mental health support.Opening up about issues or problems to others can be a liberating experience. Research shows that people find it easier to discuss their problems with professionals rather than family members/friends. The confidentiality, unconditional acceptance of the client and the non-judgmental attitude adopted by professional counsellors may play a role in that.

6 Ways to Maintain Your Everyday Mental Health

Dr. Mehak Nagpal, Psychiatrist
When we feel physically unwell, most of us visit the doctor. But many of even when we feel we are in the wrong frame of mind, have bad moods, feel sick of ourselves,etc. we simply get on with life, not really being aware of the effects our behaviour and thoughts might be having on our general sense of wellbeing. With that in mind, here are six steps aimed at keeping you in top psychological condition. These are the areas that are important for building self-confidence and living a life that is not thwarted by anxiety or low moods. Where to focus your efforts and to seek help if that doesn't work. Work on accepting your situation: Accept what you don't like in your life. That doesn't mean you can't try to change it, but acceptance helps everything feel far more bearable as you work towards a happier situation.Be nice to yourself: Every human deserves the same kindness, love and understanding, even you.Make the effort to stay fit: There exists a definite link between mind and body. Your ability to cope with life is improved by a nutritious diet and a regular exercise programme.Connect with others: Lonely people are at greater risk for immune and cardiovascular system disorders, and sleep is often more of a problem for people affected by loneliness. Making connections with new people as well as tending to family ties is extremely important.Take time out for yourself: Work out what truly interests you and make sure it is a genuine decision, not one forced by anyone else's desires or limitations.Stay organised so you have to worry less.

No Health Without Mental Health - Clinical Case

Dr. Amitabha Mukerji, Psychiatrist
This is the story of a 33 year old woman who was brought into the emergency room by her husband who found her to be undergoing what he described as “another cycle of depression”. She was a mother of two children and a stock analyst. Her husband noted that for the last 10 days she had no sleep and was moved to tears easily. He had also noticed that she had been reacting negatively to almost anything with the slightest provocation. Such “dark” periods had been occurring ever since the husband had known her, but its frequency had increased to six episodes in the past year alone. Each time, a few weeks after taking medicines, the woman would appear better. But during such phases, she would also have a tendency to consume alcohol and sleeping pills which seemed to worsen her symptoms.Recently, the husband was surprised to find his wife taking decisions and committing acts which were not only potentially risky but also contradictory to the woman’s innate nature. She had been actively working on risky ventures while neglecting her children and responsibilities at work, as she thought that her endeavours would make them very rich.Since her college days, the woman had been having phases of sadness interspersed with recurrent spells of sleeplessness, hyper alertness and unusually rapid speech. This had started right after her alcoholic father, whom she was very close to, had committed suicide. Her paternal grand-mother was also known to have suffered from “nervous breakdowns”.In the past, she had consulted a psychiatrist when she experienced a low phase and tried anti-depressant medication, as well as psychotherapy, but the fluctuations in her mood were deteriorating. A part of this could be because the woman was irregular in her visits to the doctor and in following the treatment advice. She would only visit her doctor during the low phases but never during the times of sleeplessness, irritability and restlessness which allowed her doctor limited scope evaluation and a lack of holistic view.During evaluation in the emergency room, the woman’s mood was angry and she was restless. She declared she was fine and wanted to be excused so that she could go home and attend to urgent work. She mentioned that she had the special ability to make predictions regarding the stock market suggesting inflated self-esteem, typically seen during an excited phase. Although she admitted that she was not getting any sleep, she denied that it was a “problem”. Her speech was rapid, pressured and difficult to interrupt. She refused to cooperate for any psychological testing and insisted that the whole thing was a miscommunication. Does this case seem to require a more detailed evaluation?i) Have you seen this kind of person around you?ii) What you think about it? Is it a psychiatric problem which needs treatment?iii) Is it a normal variation of mood and behaviour?iv) Possible diagnosis?

Mental Health & Bonding Among Women-Americans vs. Indians.

Dr. Neelam Nath Bhatia, General Physician
It is Not about Economy but Jealousy.Trump vs.Hillary may Not win not because Trump is More Deserving but Desperate Housewives may be having a Jealous Streak against an Independent woman.Why are Male doctors for women More Popular? No doubts that they are more kind, sympathetic to sufferings of women. It is not about demand and supply , lady doctors are less in numbers in every medical college. The ratio of males vs. females being 10:1.Our women have got No Spirit of Bonding among them. The worst Critic of aWoman in Distress is the Well Protected woman who is first to find blames in woman who Desperately needs Help & Sympathies from her own ,but One should Never Live in a False Sense of Security that The Women will Come Forward to Help Each other.This time Elections in America are made out to be a Tamasha on TV,like it happens in our own UP.The streak to help a woman in distress is seen in rare women who too survive minus a man in their lives but why waste precious lives by running down each other? Do help but do not be wary of male doctors, ultrasound specialists , obstetricians, surgeons etc.Good male doctor Never Encourage Dirty talk from a woman patient but Bad male doctor encourages. Do have power to Stay away from such pompous dirty doctors ,both male & female talking Dirty, so that a Rush is always there outside their clinics.Mental health is as important as Physical health. Do Visit the doctor if need be.This is written to help every patient & every human.One should use instinct, reputation of doctor before visiting On an average doctors are here to help but few rotten apples have ruined the entire basket.