(2) Why you should know/read about psychiatric diseases?
(3) How do I recognize the psychiatric diseases?
a) Prevention of psychological diseases like depression, dementia, addictions of alcohol, internet etc.
b) Stress management
As per World Health Organization psychological health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”
The WFMH ( world federation for mental health) established World Mental Health Day on 10 October 1992. This day is celebrated all over the world with one theme every year to increase awareness about the mental health and psychiatry. Recent themes were :
- 2017 : “Mental health in the work place.”
As one in five people in the workplace experience a mental health condition.
- 2018 : young people and mental health in a changing world.
Because half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14 and growing recognition of the importance of building mental resilience.
a) common occurrence of psychiatric diseases :
In India approx 20 crores people suffers from psychiatric diseases (approx 200/1000 population).
The families are facing social isolation, burden, stigma, poor quality of life and enormous psychological strain (definitely more than other physical illnesses ).
b) Misconceptions about the cause for the psychiatric diseases :
Still most people in our society believes that psychiatric diseases are the product of over thinking / evil spirit. But the reality is these diseases are purely of biological origin same as that of physical illnesses like diabetes, malaria and hypertension. And these are very much treatable with the help of medicines.
c) No treatment seeking or delayed approach :
Unfortunately, fewer than half of the people who have depression and other psychiatric disorders receive the treatment they need.
Stigma, many myths/misbelieves, cultural attitudes and lack of proper understanding / awareness of these diseases contribute to a reluctance to seek help and delayed approach to the psychiatrist / treatment.
d) No proper guidance :
Most of the patients are getting inadequate, improper, non-specific treatment from the non-psychiatrists including faith-healers, self proclaimed life-coach/doctors, quacks, etc.
e) Outcome of the illness :
In psychiatric disease earlier the treatment started better will be the outcome. Delayed recognition/approach to treatment can worsen the outcome/ end result badly.
f) Lack of awareness :
This is the biggest problem.
People suffering from the psychological disorder and their relatives has no idea about
- what they are suffering , is just the normal thing or an illness ? and
- to whom to approach if its an illness?
Before looking at the symptoms of predominant individual psychiatric diseases on other page,
First lets see, in short, what are the commonly seen changes in behaviour/ symptoms which can be a part of psychiatric diseases. And they are –
- Feeling sad/ low/ depressed for most of the time,
- Not interested in activities like chatting, watching TV, doing office work since last few days,
- Sleep getting disturbed either sleeping too much or not getting enough,
- Not eating well or excessively eating,
- Getting irritable easily on minor issues,
- Aggressive, abusive, assaultive behaviour,
- Stopped completely or decreased interacting with friends, relatives, others.
- Excessively suspicious without reason against relatives, neighbour or anybody,
- Seen talking, laughing or gesticulating to self,
- Excess consumption of alcohol, tobacco, cigarettes, ganja, sleeping pills, afeem etc.,
- Persistent headache,
- Excessively fearful,
- Getting anxious in any one specific situation like travelling, group talk or in multiple situations,
- Bodily/ physical symptoms without any medical cause like chest pain, headache, body pains etc.,
- Persistent physical symptoms after too many investigations, too many consultations with different doctors,
- Feeling worthless, suicidal, thoughts of death, not feels like living anymore.
It is the need of the hour as up to one in five young people live in families with a parent who has a mental illness. And over and above the effect of genetic transmission, there is significant potential for parental mental illness to adversely affect children (reduced attention, disruptive behaviour, emotional problems etc.).
So few of the following things can prevent / reduce the psychiatric diseases in our society :
- Early detection of behavioural changes / symptoms of psychiatric diseases and its timely treatment. It is the first and most important thing, as late or delayed the treatment, poorer is the final outcome or recovery from the disease.
- Once the disease gets better 90 to 100 %, do not stop the treatment without consulting your psychiatrist, as one needs to complete the treatment course to avoid the recurrence of the diseases.
- Pre-marital / genetic counselling in case of family history of mental retardation, autism or any other major psychiatric diseases.
- Parents role : As bad childhood experiences is one of the causative factor in psychiatric diseases, few things to watch out in family are –
- To stop all addictions (like alcohol, cannabis etc) and family quarrels associated with them.
- No extra harsh parenting or excess pampering.
- More outdoor sports activity than screen time like TV, mobiles for children.
- Don’t rush to fulfil your child’s each demand. They should learn to digest your or others “NO” to some of their damands. Child should learn to accept refusals
- To reinforce their good behaviour with rewards but remember rewards should be what they like ( eg. Eating out, favourite dish preparation at home, playtime etc) and not the monetary gains. Even a pat on back, words of appreciation will make a huge difference.
- To reinforce their bad behaviour with punishment. But remember, punishment should not be physical and very harsh. It should be immediately after the behaviour with explaination of why he has received the same.
- Do not overprotect your child. For eg. Do not give your protection cover to his/her mistakes.
- Inculcate good sleeping/eating habits in your child.
- Remember that Parents are the role models for children (social learning). So every good habit which you want your child to adapt, you should have it first.
- Workplace bullying leads to depression, lowered work motivation, decreased ability to concentrate, poor productivity, lack of commitment to work, and poor relationships with patients, managers and colleagues.
- To stay away from all the addictions like alcohol, cigarettes, ganja, sleeping pills, tobacco, internet etc.
- Few of the lifestyle changes can help in preventing old age diseases like dementia and those are :
- brain exercises ( solving puzzles, playing cards, learn new things like for exa. to play musical instuments, writting stories, reading newspapers daily to get in touch always with the world, attend different seminars, always be in touch with relatives and friends etc)
- Proper treatment of increased blood pressure/diabetes/thyroid diseases/other major medical illness.
- physical exercise
- good diet( pulses, vegitables,fruits)
- avoid medicines without doctors advise
- NO to alcohol,smoking
- join some group of elder peoples, laughter groups.
- always be active ( pursue some hobby, social work after retirement).
First of all, what is stress? And is it always bad ?
- There is something called as Eustress that is necessary in our life to live/ work/ complete any task. Stress to certain limit is necessary and that is Eustress.
Problem occurs when it exceeds certain limit and becomes Distress. Distress hampers our body physically and mentally.
There are some coping skills to deal with such Distress. Lets see some of those :
- Time management
- Assertiveness i.e. learn to say NO to things you don’t want. Some of the ways might be like to give an honest explanation, to clarify your reasoning , to give an alternative, asserting our refusal etc.
- Ask for help. No shame in that at all.
- Cognitive reappraisal of emotion provoking situation e. to reassess the situation in different perspective.
- Exercise, meditation, relaxation techniques, leisure activities helps.
- Social interaction helps relieve stress.
- No comparisions ( study methods, marks, carrer, earnings etc. )
- Nutrition and good sleep are of prime importance in dealing with stress.
And finally , if its going out of control and causing physical and psychological symptoms in you. Better take a help of psychiatrists in counseling and medications if required.