Ill people can cope better with psychiatric help | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Ill people can cope better with psychiatric help

It is common knowledge that cancer, smoking-related disorders, epilepsy and diabetes have a negative and direct impact on the mental health of patients causing disorders such as anxiety and depression. But, psychiatric intervention can help people cope with these chronic illnesses better and faster.

mumbai Updated: Oct 05, 2010 02:09 IST
Sonal Shukla

It is common knowledge that cancer, smoking-related disorders, epilepsy and diabetes have a negative and direct impact on the mental health of patients causing disorders such as anxiety and depression. But, psychiatric intervention can help people cope with these chronic illnesses better and faster.

The co-relation between mental illnesses and long-term physical illnesses such as hypertension, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), epilepsy, diabetes and cancer was discussed at the workshop organised by Nair Hospital, which is observing mental health week.

Dr Alka Subramanyam, lecturer, dept of psychiatry, said Nair Hospital plans to start consultation liaison psychiatry where psychiatrists and specialists treating physical illnesses will work closely to improve the overall health of patients.

About 25 per cent of cancer patients are likely to be depressed at some point, and psychotherapy helps reduce stress.

Hypertension, caused due to excessive stress, is one of the most common health problems.

“At least 5 per cent of the adult urban population has hypertension today. If not tackled, it can lead to stroke, heart and kidney failure. Sound mental health can help one handle complex disorders very well,” said Dr Girish Rajadhyaksha, head of medicine, Nair Hospital.

Patients of COPD, a smoking-related disorder, are also prone to depression. Suicidal tendencies are 50 times more in epilepsy patients. Depression is twice as common in people with diabetes. About 27 per cent of youth have an episode of major depression 10 years after the onset of diabetes, 13 per cent develop anxiety.

“People with chronic illnesses feel lonely and insecure and psychiatric management can lead to reassurance and emotional support,” said psychiatrist Bharat Shah, Lilavati Hospital.