(Article by Dr. Himanshu Saxena for patient education purpose only and not for medical reference purposes)
As the life is becoming more mechanical, competitive and stressful, psychological problems are on the rise. Remember, if body can fall sick, why not mind? Ignoring psychiatric problems due to fear of getting labelled as “psychiatric patient”, does not reduce its bad effects on life. Many people ask, “Why should I visit a Psychiatrist? I am not mad”. Please note that the Psychiatrists are the doctors of mind and madness is just one drop in the vast ocean of psychiatric disorders. It is not the only disorder which a psychiatrist deals with. Most of the patients come with tensions, depression, fear, anxiety, adjustment problems etc. Due to this fear or ignorance, many patients instead of visiting psychiatrist go to neurologists, physicians or cardiologists. Please note that neurologists, neurosurgeons, cardiologists or physicians might be good in their own specialities, but they are not the doctors of mind. Delaying or denying the treatment by psychiatrist only adds to misery of patient and family members.
Psychiatrists not only deal with patients with psychiatric disorders, but also handle normal people with other life problems e.g. marriage problems, relationship problems, broken affairs, family problems, personality development, inferiority complex, sex education etc. Remember Psychiatrist is the only doctor who deals with normal people also. So don’t be afraid of visiting a Psychiatrist.
Many people wonder that although they don’t have any problem in life still they have symptoms of psychiatric disorders. Grossly there are two types of origin of psychiatric disorder. One is Reactive type, which is produced as a result of some life situation or stress of life. Other type (Endogenous) is caused by levels of certain chemicals going up or down in the mind; here most of the time obvious precipitating cause may not be found
Dept. of Psychiatry provides treatment of all age group patients right from children, adults to old age patients. Here we treat patients using medicines, counselling, psychotherapy, behavior therapy, hypnotism etc. Family counselling, relationship counselling, marriage counselling and counselling of care-givers are also done.We also conduct stress management and personality development programs
GENERAL AWARENESS TIPS
Early identification of symptoms of psychiatric disorders is necessary to keep life’s pace normal and to avoid patient becoming a non-productive part of society. Sleep disturbance may sometimes be one of the earliest symptoms of psychiatric disorder. Some symptoms of common psychiatric disorders are given below.
Depression- (Udaasi Ki Beemaari) - Sad mood, life does not seem to be that enjoyable as it used to be, interest in activities goes down, frequently crying, becoming excessively emotionally sensitive, irritable, motivation to work decreases, sexual desire decreased, appetite might increase or decrease, sleep might increase or decrease, lethargy, low energy level, getting tired easily, tension headache, pessimistic thoughts, suicidal ideas or attempts may be present.
Anxiety disorders- (Ghabrahat Ki Beemaari) - Excessive and inappropriate worrying, feeling of tension, restlessness, fidgetiness, decreased sleep, anxiety attacks associated with increased heart beat(panic attacks), feeling of suffocation, cold hands and feet, numbness in hands and feet, heaviness in head, headache, increased frequency of urination and/or passing stools. When sudden, severe attacks of anxiety (panic attacks) comes person feels as if he is going to die or is having some heart problem. These patients could generally be seen visiting cardiologists again and again, with bunch of normal reports and ECGs in their hand.
Hypochondriasis- (Beemaari Ka Vehem)- Excessive thoughts, fear or belief that the person might be suffering from some physical illness, despite of all test reports coming normal but patient is unable to believe that he/ she is normal. He/she believes that no doctor is able to detect the illness which is hidden inside. Even if some other person develops some physical illness, patient fears that he/she also might develop the same illness.
Obsessive compulsive disorder- (Vehem Ki Beemaari) – some symptoms of this illness are recurrent thoughts that a thing is unclean and repetitively cleaning the thing, washing hands or cloths; doubts- checking and rechecking locks, gas and other things; repetitive thoughts which patient is not able to remove from mind; uncontrolled impulses to hurt somebody; seeing obscene mental images of people and god; compulsions of doing things repeatedly. All these symptoms lead to distress in the person. Contrary to the common myth that, “Vehem ka ilaaj hakeem lukman ke pass bhee nahin hai”; this illness can be treated successfully.
Phobias (Darr Ki Beemaari)- Fear and avoidance of places, people or objects e.g. phobia of crowds, closed spaces, height, travelling in plane, train or bus; specific insect or animal, phobia of social situations, examination and interview phobia.
Hysteria- (Daure Ke Beemaari)- Getting fits of vague body movements or unconsciousness, related to stress or tension or to gain something or to gain people’s attention. Other things may be “Devi Aanaa”, or “Atmaa of dead person coming in the person”, dissociative amnesia (forgetfulness), double personality, psychogenic pain disorder.
Schizophrenia- Suspiciousness on spouse, relatives or other people; believing that ghost or spirit has come in and controlling his activities and thoughts, believing that somebody has done black magic on him; believing that people are following him and conspiring against him; hearing voices of people when they are not around; murmuring to self; laughing, crying without reason; doing odd actions; aggressive, abusive, violent behaviour, sleep disturbance. Due to their symptoms of suspiciousness and black magic and hearing voices, in India, many patients and relatives believe that their patient is suffering from some “Ooperi Hawa” or possessed by ghost or spirit; and keep on wasting their time and money in treating patients with Pundits, Ojhas and Tantriks. Ultimately, they get well by psychiatric treatment, but illness get aggravated due to wastage of time.
Mania (Josh Ki Beemaari)- Mood is excessively cheerful or irritable, grandiose thoughts and behaviour, sometimes believing that he has become a god, millionaire or great person; talking more, excessively jovial, working more, not getting tired easily, spending more, increased sexual activity, decreased need for sleep- feels fresh and energetic even when duration of sleep is less Dementia- Mostly problem of old age, sometimes occurring in middle age; forgetfulness, cooking up stories to cover memory loss; decreased understanding of things, decrease in new learning and decrease in intellectual capabilities; sometimes becomes confused, impairment of day/ night sense, losing way to house or places in house, not recognizing known people, abnormal behaviour sometimes Alcoholism and drug addiction- This is the curse and on family and society since ancient times. Alcohol, smoking, pan masala, gutka, smack, cocaine, hashish, marihuana, sleeping pills, opium are some common products used for addiction. These have adverse effects on body, mind, social and occupational functioning, and economic status of patient. A millionaire becomes begger in no time. Please note that drug addiction is a psychiatric disorder.
Childhood disorders- Some are
Dyslexia- Missing, adding or distorting words or letters while reading or writing
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