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4 years ago · · Comments Off on Maintaining screen time in children during COVID-19 and Lockdown

Maintaining screen time in children during COVID-19 and Lockdown

With more time being spent over the internet new set of concerns related to children have emerged. These include, will the increased screen time lead to internet or gaming addiction,  childhood obesity due to inactivity, what if children are viewing age inappropriate content, will they be mentally affected by the deluge of information and misinformation on the pandemic  how do we protect  children online from  abuse and cyberbullying.  

While parents at times may feel that the dangers of using internet outweigh its benefits, however, a world without internet doesn’t seem possible. Most schools have started online classes. Research indicates that online games and social media provide escape and Social engagement. Internet is a major tool for learning, acquiring new hobbies and meaningfully engaging them even when confined indoors.

Around 3 billion people in 130 countries are under lockdown or have restricted movements due to COVID-19 and 90% of children are homebound and cut off from school reports UNICEF. For them Internet has emerged as a critical tool for education, entertainment, recreation, information and communication.

Adopting a balanced approach is more beneficial  for   children to take  advantage of the  internet and social media while reducing the potential risks.  For that parents should:

Establish a daily routine even during lockdown. Fixed time for sleep and staying awake hours, family time, engage in hobbies, exercise , study  and internet .

Be aware of the content the child is viewing.  Parents can  control the screen time, set up restricted modes to  limit inappropriate content,restrict direct messaging on certain social media platforms so that the children do not fall prey to predators. Parents should set up strict rules about which areas in the house the child is using internet, what they are viewing, talk to them about cyber safety  and have an open conversation.

Ensure that the child has adequate physical activity everyday.

This lockdown has also provided us with an oppurtunity    to spend quality time with the children either playing games or doing some activity as a family or simply listening to the children so that their concerns   related to the current pandemic and lockdown can be addressed.

Encourage children to stay in touch with their friends so that in such uncertain times children are able to maintain their positivity and can stay away from fear and anxiety.


5 years ago · · Comments Off on WARNING SIGNS OF SUICIDE


Suicide does not have one single cause. Certain factors like substance abuse and untreated depression can lead to higher risk of suicide just as having a trusted group of friends can help protect you. Read more about the warning signs of suicide, risk factors and protective factors of suicide.

The warning signs of suicide are indicators that a person may be in acute danger and may urgently need help.

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself;
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself;
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose;
  • Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain;
  • Talking about being a burden to others;
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs;
  • Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless;
  • Sleeping too little or too much;
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated;
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge; and
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

Risk Factors

Risk factors do not cause or predict a suicide, rather they are characteristics that make it more likely an individual will consider, attempt or die by suicide.

  • Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and certain personality disorders
  • Alcohol and other substance use disorders
  • Hopelessness
  • Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
  • History of trauma or abuse
  • Major physical or chronic illnesses
  • Previous suicide attempt
  • Family history of suicide
  • Recent job or financial loss
  • Recent loss of relationship
  • Easy access to lethal means
  • Local clusters of suicide
  • Lack of social support and sense of isolation
  • Stigma associated with asking for help
  • Stigma associated with asking for help
  • Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
  • Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)

In many cases, suicide can be prevented. Research suggests that the best way to prevent suicide is to know the risk factors. 

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, recognize the warning signs for suicide, and intervene before the person can complete the process of self-destruction.

People who receive support from caring friends and family, and who have access to mental health services are less likely to act on their suicidal impulses than are those who are isolated from sources of care and support. 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.

What should I do if someone I know is talking about committing suicide?

If someone you know is threatening suicide, take the threat seriously.

  1. Do not leave the person alone. If possible, ask for help from friends or other family members.
  2. Ask the person to give you any weapons he or she might have. Take away sharp objects or anything else that the person could use to hurt himself or herself.
  3. Try to keep the person as calm as possible.
  4. Call emergency help.

Take any mention of suicide seriously. If someone you know is threatening suicide, get help right away. 

Helping Someone You Love Cope With Mental Illness

5 years ago · · Comments Off on Helping Someone You Love Cope With Mental Illness

Helping Someone You Love Cope With Mental Illness

It can be very difficult, sometimes even heart-wrenching, to see a loved one struggling with symptoms of mental illness. And often it can be hard to understand how to best help and support your loved one cope with mental health problem.

How mental illnesses can affect family and friends?

It’s difficult and overwhelming to be diagnosed with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and major depressive disorder. It’s also difficult when a loved one is experiencing one of these diseases. When a person is living with a serious mental illness, the whole family may be affected.

How do I know if someone has a mental health problem?

Most often it will seem obvious when someone is going through a hard time, but then, there is no simple way of knowing if they have a mental health problem or if they are suicidal. It’s important to respond sensitively to someone who seems troubled than to find out whether or not they have a diagnosis.

Although certain symptoms are common with specific mental health problems, no two people will show the same symptoms or behave in exactly the same way when they are unwell. If you know the person well, you may notice changes in their behaviour or mood.

How can I help?

There are a number of ways you can help a friend, relative or colleague who has a mental health problem:

Talking about mental health

If you are worried about someone it can be difficult to know what to do. When you are aware there is an issue, it is important not to wait. Waiting and hoping they will come to you for help might lose valuable time in getting them support.

Talking to someone is often the first step to take when you know they are going through a hard time. This way you can find out what is troubling them and what you can do to help.

Eight Tips For Talking About Mental Health

  1. Set time aside with no distractions
    It is important to provide an open and non-judgemental space with no distractions.

  2. Let them share as much or as little as they want to
    Let them lead the discussion at their own pace. Don’t put pressure on them to tell you anything they aren’t ready to talk about. Talking can take a lot of trust and courage. You might be the first person they have been able to talk to about this.

  3. Don’t try to diagnose or second guess their feelings
    You probably aren’t a medical expert and, while you may be happy to talk and offer support, you aren’t a trained counsellor. Try not to make assumptions about what is wrong or jump in too quickly with your own diagnosis or solutions.

  4. Keep questions open ended
    Say “Why don’t you tell me how you are feeling?” rather than “I can see you are feeling very low”. Try to keep your language neutral. Give the person time to answer and try not to grill them with too many questions.

  5. Talk about wellbeing
    Exercise, having a healthy diet and taking a break can help protect mental health and sustain wellbeing. Talk about ways of de-stressing and ask if they find anything helpful.

  6. Listen carefully to what they tell you
    Repeat what they have said back to them to ensure you have understood it. You don’t have to agree with what they are saying, but by showing you understand how they feel and they are going through; you are letting them know you respect their feelings.

  7. Offer them help in seeking professional support and provide information on ways to do this
    You might want to offer to go the GP with them, or help them talk to a friend or family member. Try not to take control and allow them to make decisions.

  8. Know your limits
    Ask for help or signpost if the problem is serious. If you believe they are in immediate danger or they have injuries that need medical attention, you need to take action to make sure they are safe.

If it is a family member or close friend you are concerned about, they might not want to talk to you. Try not to take this personally: talking to someone you love can be difficult as they might be worried that they are hurting you. It is important to keep being open and honest and telling them that you care.

Why Choose Us

We measure our progress by the number of people in whom we restore the hope of a healthy tomorrow. Our doctors are highly skilled, experienced, compassionate and will be there when you need them most. We have the best talent and a team of best psychiatrist and psychologist in Noida and are rated one of the best psychiatry clinic in Noida.

We understand the decision to seek psychiatric/ psychological care can be stressful and is just not easy. However, be assured as, at Pathfinders Clinic, you will be treated with sensitivity and respect to meet your individual, unique needs.

Book an Online Appointment

Pathfinders Clinic, through its team of mental health professionals, offers proven and latest medical advances in an environment that promotes mental health and enhances a sense of wellness.

Pathfinders Clinic provides online appointment facility to its patients and also for those who wish to seek a second opinion from our mental health experts.

Overcoming Addiction & Drug Abuse

5 years ago · · Comments Off on Overcoming Addiction & Drug Abuse

Overcoming Addiction & Drug Abuse

Addiction disorders are a group of disorders that can cause physical and psychological damage. Receiving treatment is essential for breaking the cycle of addiction.

Drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a dependence on a legal or illegal drug or medication. There are many reasons why drug usage soon gets changed to drug abuse. At a very basic level this happens because the person concerned feels a desperate need to deal with stress, to get a momentary high or to just ‘fit in’ with his or her peers, as happens in the case of youngsters. It soon reaches a stage where this need becomes much more than other needs in life and the person begins to believe their survival depends on those drugs.

The most major impact of drug abuse is on the brain, which consequentially affects every other aspect of life of the person addicted to drugs. Severe drug and alcohol addictions do not only destroy an individual’s body but also have an effect on their surroundings and society.

Drug addiction symptoms or behaviours include, among others:

  • Feeling that you have to use the drug regularly — this can be daily or even several times a day
  • Having intense urges for the drug
  • Over time, needing more of the drug to get the same effect
  • Making certain that you maintain a supply of the drug
  • Spending money on the drug, even though you can’t afford it
  • Not meeting obligations and work responsibilities, or cutting back on social or recreational activities because of drug use
  • Doing things to get the drug that you normally wouldn’t do, such as stealing
  • Driving or doing other risky activities when you’re under the influence of the drug
  • Focusing more and more time and energy on getting and using the drug
  • Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to stop taking the drug

Remember, the opposite of addiction is connection. All substances of abuse tend to isolate the user from his/her connections. Every addict is alone in his/her addiction.

Drug addiction can cause serious, long-term consequences, including problems with physical and mental health, relationships, employment, and the law.

You may need help from your doctor, family, friends, support groups or an organized treatment program to overcome your drug addiction and stay drug-free.

Prevention is the best bet. In fact, it is one affliction that can be easily prevented according to medical experts and practitioners. Prevention programmes involving entities such as families, schools and the immediate communities are important in this regard. Media – especially the entertainment segment – also needs to understand its role in this context and play a positive role by resisting the urge to earn millions by glorifying drug abuse.

Sustained treatment is the only option for people who have already gone down the road of drug abuse and are highly into it. 

The treatment program should be based, not merely, on de-coupling the addict from the drug or his/her addiction, but should also concentrate on helping the addict to reappraise his/her past, help develop coping skills to deal with stress and boredom and to increase his/her self-esteem. Family therapy must be an integral part of a treatment program.

Normally rehabilitation lasts from nine months to a year, sometimes more, depending on the prognosis of the patient and intensity of drug abuse.

The treatment program should be a holistic one and help the chemically dependent addict to better all four planes of him, i.e. physical, mental, social and spiritual.

Substance-related disorders are chronic, complex diseases that require prolonged, intensive treatment. The type of substance involved and the severity of the addiction will dictate the course of treatment

Treatment often begins with detoxification, using medicine to reduce withdrawal symptoms while a substance leaves the system.

Different types of behavioural therapy and counselling can also support treatment, helping to deprogram certain behaviour and circumstances related to drug use.

If your drug use is out of control or causing problems, get help. The sooner you seek help, the greater your chances for a long-term recovery. Talk with your primary doctor or see a mental health provider, such as a doctor who specializes in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry, or a licensed alcohol and drug counsellor.

Why Choose Us

We measure our progress by the number of people in whom we restore the hope of a healthy tomorrow. Our doctors are highly skilled, experienced, compassionate and will be there when you need them most. We have the best talent and a team of best psychiatrist and psychologist in Noida.

We understand the decision to seek psychiatric/ psychological care can be stressful and is just not easy. However, be assured as, at Pathfinders Clinic, you will be treated with sensitivity and respect to meet your individual, unique needs.

Book an Online Appointment

Pathfinders Clinic, through its team of mental health professionals, offers proven and latest medical advances in an environment that promotes mental health and enhances a sense of wellness.

Pathfinders Clinic provides online appointment facility to its patients and also for those who wish to seek a second opinion from our mental health experts.

Does Your Marriage Need Counselling?

5 years ago · · Comments Off on Does Your Marriage Need Counselling?

Does Your Marriage Need Counselling?

Once upon a time a boy met a girl. They fell in love, got married and lived happily ever-after. We’ve all read such fairy tales. Or, “Marriages are made in Heaven” I think almost everyone of us must have heard these lines at some or the other point of our lives, right?

Unfortunately, every marriage does not culminate in being an ever-lasting, heavenly, beautiful affair. Sometimes the strands of the marital relationship just break off for reasons known and at times, unknown. 

Marriage provides people with a sense of belonging, support, security and responsibility. BUT NO MARRIAGE IS FREE OF CONFLICT. All married couples will deal with conflict. What enables a couple to endure is how they handle conflicts, manage problems that inevitably arise.

What is Marriage Counselling or Couples Therapy?

Marriage counselling, also called couples therapy, is a type of psychotherapy. Marriage counselling helps couples of all types recognize and resolve conflicts and improve their relationships. Through marriage counselling, you can make thoughtful decisions about rebuilding and strengthening your relationship. Marriage counselling is for those married couples who have experienced “in- love” euphoria, who entered marriage with lofty dreams of making each other supremely happy but in the reality of day to day life are in danger of losing that dream entirely.

Why it’s done?

Marriage counselling can help couples in all types of intimate relationships — regardless of sexual orientation or marriage status.

Some couples seek marriage counselling to strengthen their partnership and gain a better understanding of each other. Marriage counselling can also help couples who plan to get married. Premarital counselling can help couples achieve a deeper understanding of each other and iron out differences before marriage.

In other cases, couples seek marriage counselling to improve a troubled relationship. You can use marriage counselling to help with many specific issues, including:

  • Communication problems
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Conflicts about child rearing or blended families
  • Substance abuse
  • Anger
  • Infidelity

Marriage counselling might also be helpful in cases of domestic abuse. If violence has escalated to the point that you’re afraid, however, counselling alone isn’t adequate. 

What Happens During a Typically Marriage and Family Therapy Session?

Marriage counselling typically brings couples or partners together for joint therapy sessions. Working with a psychologist or a therapist, you’ll learn skills to solidify your relationship, such as:

  • Open communication
  • Problem-solving
  • How to discuss differences rationally

You’ll talk about the good and bad parts of your relationship as you pinpoint and better understand the sources of your conflicts. Together you’ll learn how to identify problems without blame and instead examine how things can be improved.

Making the decision to go to marriage counselling can be tough. If you have a troubled relationship, however, seeking help is more effective than ignoring your problems or hoping they get better on their own. Sometimes taking the first step by admitting the relationship needs help is the hardest part. Most individuals find the experience to be insightful and empowering.

Why Choose Us

We measure our progress by the number of people in whom we restore the hope of a healthy tomorrow. Our doctors are highly skilled, experienced, compassionate and will be there when you need them most. We have the best talent and a team of best psychiatrist and psychologist in Noida.

We understand the decision to seek psychiatric/ psychological care can be stressful and is just not easy. However, be assured as, at Pathfinders Clinic, you will be treated with sensitivity and respect to meet your individual, unique needs.

Pathfinders Clinic, through its team of mental health professionals, offers proven and latest medical advances in an environment that promotes mental health and enhances a sense of wellness.

If you want to know some of the success stories of people who survived broken marriages and who are leading a fulfilling life today, then check out my next blog folks!

Book an Online Appointment

Pathfinders Clinic provides online appointment facility to its patients and also for those who wish to seek a second opinion from our mental health experts.

Depression is REAL

5 years ago · · Comments Off on Depression is REAL

Depression is REAL

Depression is a diagnosis given to someone who is experiencing a low mood and who finds it hard or impossible to have fun or enjoy their lives. Depression can make it tough to enjoy life, especially when feelings of despair and hopelessness always persist.

We don’t talk about it as much as we talk about other diseases, but you’ll be shocked to know that 300 million people worldwide are suffering from depression. Depression and bad mental health have been ignored as a serious issue since ages. But, do you know, depression can also lead to death if it gets worst?

The number of people with common mental disorders globally is going up, particularly in a country like ours, where mental illness is confused with ‘madness’ and considered a taboo topic. That is one reason why, cases of depression, anxiety and other serious mental disorders go largely unreported in a country like ours.

Depression is ranked by WHO as the single largest contributor to global disability. It is also the major contributor to suicide deaths. A recent WHO report provides evidence about the same. India is the most depressed country in the world, leaving USA and China behind. Of course, you can’t actually ‘see’ depression and anxiety the way you might do a physical ailment on the body.

What is depression?

Depression is not the same as being sad or experiencing grief, although it can be triggered by specific events. Many people will talk about not knowing why they feel the way they do, or not having any idea how to feel better. They will have been feeling like this for a long time, to the extent that it is interfering with their everyday life and stopping them doing things they would do normally.

To describe what living with depression and anxiety is like to anyone who doesn’t understand or hasn’t experienced it before is to imagine a heavy weight pulling your body down, so heavy that every-day you have to summon up the strength to push against it and to lighten the impact.

A doctor will diagnose someone with depression by asking questions about whether they have certain thoughts and feelings, and how often.

A diagnosis is not a label. It is simply a tool to help professionals decide what types of treatment and support to offer. Diagnoses may also change over the course of someone’s lifetime.

How common is depression?

Depression is one of the most common mental health problems. It is hard to say how common, as people often talk about it differently and some will never receive an official diagnosis, but it is estimated around 3 in 100 people will be experiencing depression in any given week. 8 out of 100 people will be experiencing a mixture of anxiety and depression.   

This will be many more of us over a course of a lifetime and the likelihood of you knowing someone who has or has had depression is very high. 

How does depression affect people?

Someone who is experiencing depression will often describe feeling down, hopeless or empty. They can feel like they don’t have any motivation and that it’s impossible to enjoy anything anymore.

Everyone responds to depression in different ways. But some common behaviours that people with depression and their friends and family describe are:

  • Cancelling plans with friends, or giving up hobbies they normally enjoy
  • Staying in bed for long periods of time
  • Changes in appetite
  • Using drink or drugs more often
  • Snapping at family and friends
  • Avoiding or calling in sick to work, school or university.

There’s no easy cure for depression but support and therapy are one of the most effective cures for depression. Often confused with sadness and pessimism, it is easy to mistake this mental disorder for just a “low point” in life. People experiencing depression can undergo intense emotions of anxiety, hopelessness, negativity and helplessness. Loved ones, caring for someone with depression, should get alert if they notice signs of severe depression, such as alcohol or drug abuse, sleep disturbance, thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts.

When to see a doctor?

If you feel depressed, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as you can. Depression often gets worse if it isn’t treated. Untreated depression can lead to other mental and physical health problems or troubles in other areas of your life. Feelings of depression can also lead to suicide.

If you’re reluctant to seek treatment, talk to a friend or loved one, a health care professional, or someone else you trust.

With treatment and support, most individuals with depression can fully recover.

Identifying and Improving Mental Health in the Workplace

5 years ago · · Comments Off on Identifying and Improving Mental Health in the Workplace

Identifying and Improving Mental Health in the Workplace

Managing stress — and seeking professional assistance from mental health experts when needed — can help combat mental illness on the job.

What is workplace stress?

Workplace stress is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as ‘the response people may have when presented with work demands and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and which challenge their ability to cope’, and elaborated that it can be caused ‘by poor work organization (the way we design jobs and work systems, and the way we manage them), by poor work design (e.g., lack of control over work processes), poor management, unsatisfactory working conditions and lack of support from colleagues and supervisors’.

While workplace stress, stigma and attitudes towards employees suffering from stress or mental illness have been researched and interventions developed to address them better, globally, it still remains an often neglected aspect across different industries and countries, including India, and only a few of the learnings are actually implemented.

Common Sources of Work Stress

What causes this stress? From research and various surveys, heavy demand, lack of control over work, low level of support from colleagues and management, bullying and harassment, constant change, are the culprits. You can know you are stressed when you start worrying about work at home, dread going to work, lose sleep and /or appetite and become increasingly short-tempered.

Certain factors tend to go hand-in-hand with work-related stress. Some common workplace stressors are:

  • Low salaries.
  • Excessive workloads.
  • Few opportunities for growth or advancement.
  • Work that isn’t engaging or challenging.
  • Lack of social support.
  • Not having enough control over job-related decisions.
  • Conflicting demands or unclear performance expectations.

Tips to Manage Stress

Here are some recognised and proven Stress Busters to help you combat the strains of work-related stress:

  • Recognise signs early
  • Don’t bring work home
  • Learn to say no
  • Always take breaks
  • A few minutes of exercise every day goes a long way
  • Speak to your supervisor; employers have a duty of care
  • Create a network of support: family, friends & colleagues
  • Get involved in activities you enjoy outside work, ex: hobbies, voluntary work, learning new skills, something positive to cherish
  • Avoid smoking/drinking excessively to cope. Alcohol worsens low mood
  • Use time management strategies to work efficiently
  • Accept things you cannot change, like a full ‘in tray’, irrespective of how hard you work
  • Learn Relaxation Techniques. Meditation & Yoga can help
  • Contact your occupational health department, they may be able to access professional counselling for you
  • Attack the root cause. Ask questions like: Do I like my job? Could I be better somewhere else?

If all above fails then it is advisable seek professional mental health advice. Depression and anxiety disorders can come in the guise of stress. These are treatable disorders, requiring assessment, treatment and support.

What can employers do?

Employers can address and reduce excessive workplace stress by focusing their efforts at the following three levels:

  • Prevention level: by developing organization-wide policies and practices in the following key areas:
    • Training for leaders and supervisors on effective ways to reduce stress;
    • Working with employees to create challenging but realistic goals for optimal performance;
    • Communicating clearly and managing conflicts respectfully;
    • Identifying and using employees’ strengths and skills for career advancement;
    • Compensating fairly;
    • Ensuring safe work conditions;
    • Modelling work-life balance;
    • Building in opportunities to formally recognize individual and team goal achievement;
    • Creating a work climate that encourages social support and connectedness; and
    • Developing ways to reflect on positive daily workplace events and accomplishments.

Adopting effective stress reduction strategies also holds promise in preventing depression13 which can be costly to employers.

  • Targeted early identification and intervention level offer employees the following options:
    • Stress screenings and information on stress reduction and the early warning signs of mental health conditions;
    • Effective intervention programs like cognitive-behavioural therapy for stress management;
    • Programs that effectively address stress like mindfulness, relaxation, yoga and tai chi and encourage exercise, emphasizing the value to mental and physical health; and
    • Programs that improve resiliency.

When is the right time to bring up mental health concerns with your supervisor?

Disclosing a mental health condition is no different than disclosing any other medical condition. It depends on the purpose of the disclosure. Think about why you want to disclose your personal information. Share it on a need-to-know basis. Like any medical information, it is up to you about whether you want to be confidential. You might need to ask for time off, and you will need to share this with your manager. Sometimes you need to disclose because hospitalization is required.

How will you know when it is time to get professional help?

If you have experienced a change in mood for two weeks or more, you should speak with your primary care physician, a psychiatrist or another mental health professional.

Workplace stress can significantly impact the bottom line. However, it can be managed to improve productivity, employee health and to create a more positive workplace climate and culture.

5 years ago · · Comments Off on Five Common Myths related to Depression

Five Common Myths related to Depression

By Dr. Ananya Choudhury

January 28, 2019

Myth: Depression only happens to people who are weak and do not have a strong mind. Reality:Depression in a disease arising from imbalance in the neurotransmitters in the brain and has nothing to do with weak mind.

Myth:Depression only happens when there are lot of stressful situations in your life. Reality:Depression is not always preceded by stressful situations in fact many people may have a very stable and uneventful life prior to its onset.

Myth:People can snap out of Depression. They just need to think positively and engage in positive activities and do yoga to recover. Reality: Engaging in yoga and positive lifestyle is useful for everyone but once there is an illness its needs treatment and people cannot just snap out of it.

Myth: Depression is an illness found only in rich/ affluent people. Reality:Depression affects people of all ages, gender, caste, creed and socio economic stratas.

Myth:Once you start medication for depression you will become dependent on them and will never be able to leave them. Reality: Medication given for depression are not dependence producing and they are tapered off once the patient is well.

5 years ago · · Comments Off on Over four million Indians suffer from schizophrenia

Over four million Indians suffer from schizophrenia

Dr Ananya Choudhury

June 27, 2018

Schizophrenia is one of the most devastating illnesses known to mankind. As with other illnesses, this one too does not discriminate on the basis of gender, religion, community, socio-economic strata or race. Statistics say one in 100 people suffer from schizophrenia. Shockingly, of the total 25 million schizophrenia cases, India accounts for anywhere between 4-8 million! Sadly, about 40-50% of such cases are untreated.

Schizophrenia patients show a variety of symptoms. These include delusions (false beliefs), hallucinations (seeing, hearing, feeling things which do not exist), disorganised thought (irrelevant or incoherent speech), disorganised behaviour (aimlessly moving about or grossly abnormal behaviour), lack of emotional expression, motivation and initiative.

While the exact cause of schizophrenia is not known, a number of genetic as well as environmental factors are responsible for it. Generally, it starts in adolescence and may carry on for months and years before being recognised. A person may remain normal in between the attacks of schizophrenia but with each successive attack a little of brain is damaged. So it is important the disease be recognised and the treatment started at the earliest.

It has been seen that though the disease is equally prevalent in men and women, men respond poorly to medication as compared to women. However women face more discrimination, abuse and delayed treatment. Many such patients either leave their homes on their own or are thrown out of the homes. So homelessness among such patients is rampant.

There is a variety of treatment available, and if you notice a person with schizophrenia, you must advise the family to go for treatment. The treatment includes medications (oral antipsychotics, long acting injectables), individual therapy (aimed at providing understanding about the illness and supportive sessions), family therapy (educating the family about the illness and how to manage the patient and to manage their own emotions), lifestyle changes (adopting a healthier lifestyle) and psychosocial rehabilitation (aimed at successful reintegration into the society).

Dr Ananya Choudhury is senior consultant psychiatrist at PsyCare, Jasola Vihar (New Delhi) and has over a decade of experience in treating people diagnosed with schizophrenia