Articles on world mental health day

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.

Good Sleep for Good Health

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Nothing makes you feel more refreshed than a good sleep in night. It is a natural cyclic state of resting for mind and body. There’s more to an ideal 7-8 hrs of sleep than just preparing our bodies for the next day. Adequate sleep is an essential part of good health and plays an important role in all body functions hence ensuring a better mental and physical fitness.The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) reported that good sleep is essential for a person’s health and well being.Lord Chesterfield very well said that “A light supper, a good night's sleep and a fine morning have often made a hero out of the same man, who, by indigestion, a restless night and a rainy morning would have proved a coward."Now, the question is “Can good sleep make good health?”Yes, sleep makes you feel better. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. Without it, one becomes more susceptible to health problems, such as heart disease, obesity, depression and many more. Some facts of sleep which lead to a healthy life are -Good Sleep Keeps Heart Healthy: Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol so some experts say that heart will be healthier if one gets between( 7 -9 hours) of sleep each night.Sleep Helps to Make Body Repairs: Sleep is a time for your body to repair damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays and other harmful exposures. Your cells produce more protein while you are sleeping. These protein molecules form the building blocks for cells, allowing them to repair damage. This is the time when the cells undergo wear and tear and that’s what makes you feel refreshed in the morning.Good Sleep Reduces Stress: When your body is sleeping deficient, it goes into a state of stress. Therefore it is recommended to have good sleep in order to allow your body to cope with day’s stress and manage it in a better way with a relaxed mind. It is found that any amount of sleep deprivation reduces mental performance.Sleep & Weight Loss: Lack of sufficient sleep affects the appetite regulating hormones. It also aggravates cravings for high-fat and carbohydrate rich foods, making a route to weight gain. It also affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels, a key factor in weight management. So, if you want to be on a healthy weight, make sure you get a good sleep every night.Good Sleep Reduces Depression: Lack of proper sleep and depression is inter-linked. Depression may lead to insomnia and lack of sleep increases depression. Sleep impacts serotonin levels (feel-good hormone) which affect the mood of an individual.Sleep Prevents Cancer: People working for long hours have a higher risk for breast and colon cancer. There is evidence stating that good sleep can alter the balance of hormones in the body which may influence cancer progression.As very well said by Benjamin Franklin, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy & wise.”

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.

Conditions That Can Harm Oral Health

Dr. Ishwari Bhirud, Dentist
 Medical conditions that can harm your mouthFrom diabetes to stomach ulcers, a number of illnesses can wreak havoc on your oral health.Acid attack!Carbonated beverages, fruit juice and acidic foods can harm teeth. Acid in our food can cause enamel to wear away.Aloe vera soothes mouth soresAloe vera can treat common oral health conditions, including cold sores and fever blisters (outside of the mouth) and canker sores (in the mouth), according to the Academy of General Dentistry.Are oral health issues genetic?Dental problems can run in the family. Here's a look at five oral health issues that have a genetic link.Anxiety disorders contribute to oral health problemsPeople are anxious about going to the dentist for different reasons, including worrying about the effectiveness, feeling dentist is rushed, neglecting concerns, anticipation of pain, negative past experiences, or atmosphere.Causes of "dry mouth" and how to relieve itDid you know that medications are the most common cause of dry mouth? Learn how to relieve the symptoms.Cavities are not just for kidsThe threat of cavities is something that you never outgrow. The contributing factors may be different for adults (receding gums, weakening fillings) and children, but cavities can be a problem at any age.Diabetes and oral healthStudies show that diabetics are more susceptible to the development of oral infections and periodontal disease. Oral infections tend to be more severe in diabetic patients than non-diabetic patients.Don’t give in to gum diseaseGum disease can lead to tooth loss. Regular brushing, flossing, dental exams and diet can help keep gums healthy.Fighting bad breathBad breath or halitosis is something almost all of us suffer at one time or another. Possible causes to watch are infected gums, dirty teeth, foul tongue, empty stomach, and smoking.Sensitive teeth: Do hot and cold bother you?If a taste of ice cream or a sip of coffee registers tooth pain, you may have sensitive teeth. This condition is common and it is treatable.Jaw-dropping facts about TMJ/TMD disordersMany Americans experience pain related to their temporomandibular joints (TMJ). Learn the symptoms of TMJ/TMD and how your dentist may be able to treat them.Nail biting can lead to bruxismBruxism, or teeth grinding, is the unintentional grinding or clenching of teeth that may cause facial pain. Your dentist can determine whether you may have bruxism and, if so, can suggest the best method of treatment.Oral cancerYour dentist can perform a screening for oral cancer, which is most frequently found on the tongue, the floor of the mouth, soft palate tissues in back of the tongue, lips, and gums. Early detection and treatment is essential.Overbrushing: Watch out for too much of a good thingBrushing too long, using too firm a toothbrush or brushing improperly can injure your teeth and gums.'Tooth squeeze' — Your teeth under pressure.Your teeth can feel pressure too. "Tooth squeeze," or barodontalgia, is tooth pain caused by air or water pressure in extreme environments.Reference: www.care32dental.com

Better Sleep Better Health !!

Dr. Trupti Vedpathak, Psychiatrist
Given that an average person sleeps for 8 hrs in a day, that means we spent on an average one third of our life sleeping. Everyone has problem with their sleep at times. This is perfectly normal. In most cases, this problem often gets resolved by itself; however, if it last for long, it is likely to impact day-to-day functioning and eventually affect the quality of your life. A large percentage of people suffering from sleep disorder often opt for temporary solution by having sleeping pills which later becomes a habit.Following are few easy tips to deal with sleep problems:Establish a routine: Set a strict bedtime schedule by getting up at the same time every day, this will help as your body will start to associate times of the day with sleeping.There should be minimal variations in sleep timings during weekends & holidays.Make your bedroom a calm place: Relax your mind & body by keeping the bedroom dark & quiet & cool.Turn off electrical screens: Mobiles, computers, TV stimulate the brain, making it hard to relax. 'wind down' time of 1 hr before going to bed is preferred.Avoid naps: Do not nap during the day or confine naps to early afternoon; no longer than 40 minutes.Notice what you eat or drink: Avoid tea or coffee after 4pm. No smoking or tobacco for atleast 1 hr before bedtime. Do not eat heavy meals near bedtime. A glass of warm milk or banana or warm bath at bedtime will help induce sleep.Avoid clock gazing: Do not repeatedly look at the clock at night, it will make you more anxious. If an alarm clock is needed, place it in the drawer where it can be heard but not seen.Try to do some exercise: Exercise daily. Do not exercise too close to bedtime, as it can disrupt your sleep.Try to resolve your worries: Write your worries on a piece of paper & allot a time during the day to think over it.Check for physical cause: If any pain,  physical illness or mental illness or medication is making it difficult for you to sleep, see a doctor.Don't force yourself to sleep: This will make you more anxious. If sleep doesn't occur in bed for more than 20 min then move out of bed without switching on the light & return back only when sleepy.Sleep plays a critical role in immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and other vital functions. So lets SLEEP WELL & STAY HEALTHY..

Do You Know the Importance of Oral Health?

Dr. Ruchit Thakar, Dentist
Regular dentist visits can do more than keep your smile attractive – they can tell dentists a lot about your overall health, including whether or not you may be developing a disease like diabetes.New research suggests that the health of your mouth mirrors the condition of your body as a whole. For example, when your mouth is healthy, chances are your overall health is good, too. On the other hand, if you have poor oral health, you may have other health problems.Research also shows that good oral health may actually prevent certain diseases from occurring.Gum disease and health complicationsAccording to the Academy of General Dentistry, there is a relationship between gum (periodontal) disease and health complications such asa stroke and heart disease. Women with gum disease also show higher incidences of pre-term, low birth-weight babies.Other research shows that more than 90 percent of all systemic diseases (diseases involving many organs or the whole body) have oral manifestations, including swollen gums, mouth ulcers, dry mouth and excessive gum problems. Such diseases include:DiabetesLeukemiaOral cancerPancreatic cancerHeart diseaseKidney diseaseSince most people have regular oral examinations, their dentist may be the first health care provider to diagnose a health problem in its early stages.Poor oral health can lead to other problemsIf you don't take care of your teeth and gums, your poor oral hygiene can actually lead to other health problems, including:Oral and facial pain. According to the Office of the Surgeon General, this pain may be largely due to infection of the gums that support the teeth and can lead to tooth loss. Gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease, and advanced gum disease affect more than 75 percent of the population.Problems with the heart and other major organs. Mouth infections can affect major organs. For example, the heart and heart valves can become inflamed by bacterial endocarditis, a condition that affects people with heart disease or anyone with damaged heart tissue.Digestion problems. Digestion begins with physical and chemical processes in the mouth,and problems here can lead to intestinal failure, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders.What you can do-Seeing a dentist regularly helps to keep your mouth in top shape and allows your dentist to watch for developments that may point to other health issues. A dental exam can also detect poor nutrition and hygiene, growth and development problems and improper jaw alignment. Provide your dentist with a complete medical history and inform him or her of any recent health developments, even if they seem unrelated to your oral health.At home, you can practice good oral hygiene:Brush for two to three minutes, at least twice a day, with fluoridated toothpaste.Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can't reach.Eat a healthy diet to provide the nutrients necessary (vitamins A and C, in particular) to prevent gum disease.Avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, which may contribute to gum disease and oral cancer.Exercise preventive care and schedule regular dental checkups — the surest way to detect early signs of periodontal disease.

28 September Is 10th World Rabies day. Is Your Pet Vaccinated?

Dr. Neelam Nath Bhatia, General Physician
Rabies is a fatal Viral disease transmitted by saliva of mammals including pet dogs,cats,cattle who are Not vaccinated for Rabies and Stray animals like dogs,cats & others like monkeys.It is not transmitted through birds or reptiles. Some scientists tried to transfer virus to birds but Birds got no symptoms and lived after getting the germs, something which is not yet possible in infected human/ dog. Once bitten by a domesticated animal, one needs to get vaccination ASAP and follow the schedule for 10 days at least. If the animal lives beyond 10 days , does not show any symptoms , one can be free from anxiety of getting this Fatal Illness which has got No Treatment Yet.Only Mantra is Prevention.Stray dogs and other animals like monkeys or stray cattle cannot be observed for 10 days.If bitten by them-Complete the schedule of vaccination for 3 months.Vaccine is expensive and our Government cannot meet the demands of every person bitten by stray dogs.Yes it is available at certain Government hospitals in every city.Why not be Cautious about stray animals ?Vaccine was made available more than 100 years ago by scientist- Louis Pasteur who told the world about process named after him-Pasteurization meaning fighting against bacteria and other germs present in food. Milk is Pasteurized and can be taken straight from the pack.Once bitten by animal , wash the wound with soap and water. No stitching should be done as wounds are superficial.The disease causes inflammation of brain leading to hallucinations, confusion,violent movements,inability to move,fear of water( hydrophobia) & loss of consciousness leading to Coma and  ....It is a Painful Death.25,000- 60,000 deaths are reported from all over the world due to rabies.Incubation period can range from 1-3 months.Human to human Transmission is Rare.Do Not be an animal lover at cost of Humans. If you love dogs, get them vaccinated as scheduled.Do Not Feed Stray Dogs on the roads. If you love stray animals, bring them home & keep them under  your care and supervision.Killing Stray Dogs has become an emotional issue on FB & on Social Media. People are displaying pictures of dogs killed to save humans , only to get nasty comments in return.We are mature humans who can take decisions about looking after strays in a friendly way or to feed them on the road, only to forget about them after packets of Biscuits/ Milk is Fed to animals on the roads till next day morning,to cause trauma to innumerable Humans passing by the same road during the day.