New Delhi (India), October 10: On World Mental Health Day, delving into the complexities of mental well-being is imperative. Depression, anxiety, and memory loss stand as formidable adversaries in the contemporary psyche. Seeking advice from experts is crucial in navigating these challenges. Acknowledging one’s mental state and embracing vulnerability are vital steps toward healing.
These experts’ advice will act as a guiding light, offering support and clarity. As we grapple with internal struggles, the wisdom of professionals becomes a lifeline, helping us find balance and resilience in our mental well-being journey.
Dr. Avinash Desousa, MD, DPM, MPhil, PsyD, Consultant Psychiatrist, Founder Trustee – De Sousa Foundation, Mumbai
Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health conditions that are seen in the general population. It is very important that the moment one feels sad or anxious, they seek help from a mental health professional. One must not wait for symptoms to escalate or worsen. One in three people in the world experience depression, and one in five people in the world experience anxiety. In today’s fast-paced world, one multi-tasks and uses so much digital media, cognitive difficulties and memory loss are also common. One must undergo a thorough evaluation the moment they experience memory loss in any form. Mental health problems and education about them must be done at a public level. Awareness about mental health issues is a must, and there is a need for mental health awareness across all sectors. Let’s talk about mental health issues openly.
Dr. Karan Dhawan, MBBS, MD PSYCHIATRY (Gold Medalist), MIASMP, Consultant Psychiatrist at Healing Soul Clinic, Chandigarh
This year’s theme, “Mental health is a universal human right,” underscores the crucial role of mental well-being in our lives. It emphasizes the dire need to improve awareness about depression and anxiety. Many ignore the symptoms like sadness, lack of interest, feeling tense all the time, hopelessness, decreased appetite, and sleep and end up confusing them with life events or calling it a phase of life and blaming our partner or family, but we do not acknowledge these symptoms as any other illness like hypertension or diabetes. So the advice is to first acknowledge that you are having a psychiatric illness, then get it diagnosed by a professional and take appropriate treatment (medications and therapy).
Prioritize your mental health on a daily basis by making a few lifestyle modifications like doing yoga, breathing exercises, physical activity in the form of a brisk walk or gym, and eating foods rich in tryptophan (eggs, pineapple, tofu, nuts, and spinach). Remember that mental health is a journey, not a destination, and smile because You Matter.
Dr. Mithila Desai, MA, PhD, Clinical Psychologist and Therapist, Mumbai
The basis of mental health is to understand our and others emotions and feelings. Being self-aware, practicing self-care, self-love, and self-reliance are four pillars of a healthy life that lead to a growth mindset and a balanced attitude. If I were to give any advice on Mental Health Day, it would be to be aware of changes in your emotional state, for example: motivation, mood, self-esteem, deep-rooted fears, perceived competency, irritability, anger, alcohol, or any other dependence, decision-making, happiness, and decreased hope quotient. Mental health begins with empathy, compassion, care, and learning better coping strategies. Developing emotional intelligence and resilience is the key to healthy relationships and better mental health within individuals, organizations, and overall communities.
Dr. Prerna Kohli, MPhil, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Gold Medalist, Niti Aayog Nutrition Committee Member, Awarded by the Hon. President of India, Founder – Mind Tribe, Delhi
World Mental Health Day offers a valuable opportunity to reflect on the intricate landscape of mental well-being. It has been seen how conditions such as depression, anxiety, and memory impairment can cast a profound shadow on individuals’ lives. These issues demand not only attention but a nuanced approach grounded in science and compassion. Depression and anxiety, far from mere emotional states, are complex mental health disorders with diverse causes and manifestations. Recognizing the signs and symptoms and accessing appropriate treatment are critical steps in the path to recovery. While therapy and pharmacotherapy are effective tools, a holistic understanding of an individual’s life context is equally vital. Memory loss, whether related to aging or other factors, is a multifaceted concern that warrants careful evaluation. Assessing cognitive decline requires a multidisciplinary approach, combining neuropsychological assessments, lifestyle modifications, and therapeutic interventions.
As we observe World Mental Health Day, let us remember that mental health is an intrinsic facet of human existence. The professional community stands ready to guide and support those navigating these challenges, foster resilience, and promote well-being. It is through compassion, knowledge, and collaboration that we can collectively advance the cause of mental health.
Dr. Siva Anoop Yella, MBBS, MD Psychiatry, FISM, FIAPP, ICAP, CCBT, CiGLC, Consultant Psychiatrist, Sexologist and De-addiction Specialist, Medicover Hospital, Hitec City, Hyderabad
In today’s fast-paced world, our mental health is facing challenges like never before. The pandemic’s impacts, social pressures, stigma towards mental health and constant digital connections have brought mental health to the forefront of our concerns. Mental health isn’t just the absence of mental illness; it’s a state of well-being in which an individual can cope with life’s challenges, work productively, and contribute to society. These are the things that can foster balanced mental health. Self-Care: Engage in activities that promote relaxation and reduce stress, such as exercise, mindfulness, and hobbies. Social Connection: Maintain strong relationships with friends and family.
Don’t hesitate to seek assistance from psychiatrists when needed. Medications and counselling can provide valuable tools for coping with life’s difficulties. Remember, seeking help for mental health issues is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Dr. Shabiullah Syyed, MBBS, MD (Psychiatry), WPA Young Fellowship (Germany), Consultant Psychiatrist, The Definitive Mind Clinic, Madhukar Rainbow Children’s Hospital, Continua Kids, Hygiea Hospital, New Delhi
Mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn and work well, and contribute to their community. It is all about how people think, feel, and behave. Mental health specialists can help people with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, addiction, and other conditions that affect their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Depression, a persistent mood disorder, goes beyond regular mood fluctuations and is often rooted in genetic features, neurotransmitter changes, environmental factors, and psychological elements. Recognizable symptoms include a lingering sad mood, a loss of interest in enjoyable activities, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, and feelings of worthlessness.
Anxiety, a common emotion, becomes a concern when physical symptoms like shaking and sweating emerge. It evolves into a disorder when persistent, affecting daily life and manifesting as restlessness, uncontrollable worry, irritability, and sleep disturbances. Depression and anxiety are disorders of the functioning of the brain, and you should never hesitate to seek timely help from a specialist doctor treating you like a psychiatrist. Treatment started as early as possible would yield faster and better results.
Ms. Saumya Sharan, MPhil, Clinical Psychology (Gold Medalist), Senior Consultant – Clinical Psychologist (RCI regt.), Gurgaon
As we all see the light of another World Mental Health Day, it’s even more important to remind ourselves of the fact that awareness alone is not important until we’re taking steps to work on our mental fitness, just like we prioritize physical fitness. If you’re wondering where to begin, know that our mind and body are connected, and happiness and well-being take effort but are not impossible. It’s time we incorporate the daily practice of mindfulness meditation (even 2 minutes of work), create a regular space for reflection through journaling about thoughts and feelings, prioritize social engagement and being around people, limit screen time, and understand how the rest ethic is as important as the work ethic.
Remember, our mind is the most valuable resource we have, so it’s time we nourish it by working on our mental fitness.
Dr. Bhavna Barmi, PhD, MPhil (NIMHANS), Sr. Clinical Psychologist, HOD Psychology Dept. – Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Founder – Happiness Studio, New Delhi
Some conditions, like anxiety and depression, are influenced by intricate neurochemical and/ or neurotransmitter dysfunctions. Genetics, environmental factors, early life experiences, and stress-coping skills may act as triggers and regulators for depression and anxiety. Mental models also contribute significantly; those affected tend to have persistent self-doubt and negative views of themselves and the world around them. Some extremities include loss of sleep, poor appetite or increased appetite, persistent feelings of unease, palpitations, suicidal ideation, etc. Effective treatments include psychotherapy, lifestyle modifications, and psychiatric medications. Cognitive therapies, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based therapy, and talk therapy, provide individuals with the tools to develop coping strategies, challenge negative thoughts, and manage their symptoms well.
Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, good social support, unconditional giving, and stress management are very important components of improving mental health. Lastly, if you or your loved one is diagnosed with anxiety or depression, seek treatment from a qualified, experienced team of clinical psychologists and psychiatrists to get back on the road to a healthy, happy life ahead of you.
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