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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

'Myths act as barriers for treating psychiatric problems'

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, March 31, 2013
First Published: 20:44 IST(31/3/2013) | Last Updated: 20:45 IST(31/3/2013)

Around 15% of the population in India suffers from psychiatric problems revealed doctors at a seminar organised jointly by Manas Foundation, an NGO, and Rotary club Ludhiana to focus on common psychological problems and their treatment.

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Doctors said psychiatric problems can be treated but since there was no awareness among people they start falling prey to several myths, which act as barriers for treatment.

They advised people to live a healthy and stress-free life. Dr Sunil Mittal, a Delhi-based psychiatrist said that more than 15 crore people in India are suffering from psychiatric problems adding that there were only 4,000 psychiatrists available in India for their treatment, which was less according to the number of patients.

“Many patients do not go for treatment as there is no awareness at all. There are several myths and misconceptions prevalent in society and people often think that there could be a ghost or black magic behind a certain problem, but the fact is that these are only myths. The treatment is available and mental disorders can be easily be controlled with medicines. Many people suffer due to depression these days,” Mittal added.

Doctors expressed that young people, including children were facing psychiatric problems due to modern lifestyle and stress due to competition in various fields especially in studies. Psychiatric problems arise in some when they start thinking that his/her neighbour has a bigger car or a smarter phone, they said.

Dr Rajeev Gupta, a city-based psychiatrist and president of Manas Foundation said, “Inherited traits, environmental pressures, negative life experiences are responsible for psychiatric illness. In most cases people suffer more when they face a situation when a close person dies, or due to divorce, strained family life, job changes or schools and substance abuse.”

Dr Nitin Gupta, another expert, said, “Sometimes the symptoms can be so confusing for a person that they do not realise that they are ill. Treatment can help a person to recuperate.”
 
Treatment barriers
Lack of awareness
Myths and misconceptions
Accessibility and cost for treatment
Availability of services
 
Symptoms
Extreme mood or behavioural changes
Overwhelming hopelessness, sadness, anxiety, fear
Delusions, hallucinations, disorganised thinking.
Severely impaired perception, judgement
Problems with concentration, attention and memory
Drug and alcohol abuse
Suicidal behaviour

Tips to avoid psychiatric problems
Avoid use of intoxicants and alcohol
Take proper sleep
Take protein-rich and fat-free diet
Do regular exercises and walk
Avoid negative people
Avoid negative thinking, negative programmes on TV
Avoid a stressful life
Be positive

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