keralaayurvedashram

AYURVEDIC TREATMENT for Psychiatry & Mental Diseases


Long hours on internet tied to depression?

People who spend a lot of time surfing the internet are more likely to show signs of depression, British scientists said on Wednesday. But it is not clear whether the internet causes depression or whether depressed people are drawn to it. Psychologists from Leeds University found what they said was "striking" evidence that some avid internet users develop compulsive habits in which they replace real-life social interaction with online chat rooms and social networking sites. "This study reinforces the public speculation that over-engaging in websites that serve to replace normal social function might be linked to psychological disorders like depression and addiction," the study's lead author, Catriona Morrison, wrote. "This type of addictive surfing can have a serious impact on mental health".

BREAK THE ROD, SPARE YOUR CHILD

City experts do not approve of the latest international research on spanking, demand deeper analysis, finds Nirali Dixit-Hathi

Doubts are being expressed over the latest research by experts at the New Hampshire University stating that children who are smacked by their parents are less intelligent.

Psychiatrists in the city believe that the study has a deeper meaning that what is being conveyed through the words 'lower intelligent'.

Says clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Narendra Kinger, "Spanking definitely makes a child anxious, insecure and with-drawn from the world, but the figures the research states i.e.5 points and 2.8 points are not statistically significant. In fact when a child gets anxious, he tends to be less curious which affects his problem solving capacity, thereby reducing his intelligence. The reports could possibly be to just gain some mileage too"

In fact, actress Pooja Bedi refuses to go these finding," I was spanked by my mom and I still managed to top the class. I’ve smacked my children too. When it came to disciplining them, but that has not lowered their level of intelligence."

She finds company in television actor Manish Goyal, who says he had been battered on a number of occasions, but, "I've never suffered from low IQ," he voices, " But, the research could be a good way to further stop parents from beating their children."

Psychiatrists share that while spanking reduces confidence, affects self esteem, causes depression and often lowers the emotional quotient of a child, it also depends on the environment they are subjected too.

Explains consulting psychiatrist Dr Anjali Chhabria, "These are many more reasons for a child's lower IQ than just spanking. Probably the parents themselves may be less intelligent or they themselves could be suffering from an anxiety disorder or for that matter can't provide the right stimulus to their children. The analysis seems to very simplified reading and less likely."

Dr Kersi Chavda, consulant psychiatrist concludes, "Intelligence is what one is born with and so it can't decline simply because the child s being smacked. More than 60 per cent children undergo depression or suffer from anxiety due to spanking. Spanking affecting the emotional quotient is acceptable, but lowering the IQ of a child seems a little farfetched.

What all of them unanimously advocate is that spanking children is totally unwarranted for and parents should not pass on personal baggage on to their children.

60% of dementia patients will be from India by’10

Dementia is a syndrome due to brain disease, usually chronic and characterized by

Progressive deterioration in intellectual abilities, including memory, learning, judgment. Mainly affects older people, especially those over 65.

Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia

Ten early symptoms of dementia

Memory loss Difficulty in performing everyday tasks

problems with language

Disorientation to time and place

Poor or decreased judgment

Difficulty in keeping track of things

Misplacing objects

Unexplained changes in mood or behavior

Changes in personality loss of initiative

New Delhi: This can come as a shocker for India, which is yet to put in place health programme for the country's graying population. The global burden of dementia-disorders of the brain that affect memory and language among the elderly-has been seriously under estimated.

The World Alzheimer's Report 2009, which was prepared by King's college, London, said there would be35 million people worldwide with dementia by 2010. That number is set to almost double every 20 years to 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million in 2050.

What's worse, almost 60% of people with dementia in 2010 will be from low and middle income countries like India, rising to 70.5% by 2050. This is a 10% increase over the earlier estimate made in the earlier estimate made in 2005---meaning that the estimates made earlier for India will also increase.

Scientists had earlier said that by 2020, around 10 million Indians above age of 65 would suffer from dementia. By 2040, the number would increase to around 22 million. The report said, "The healthcare needs of older people have for too long been under prioritised. This is now changing due in part to the fact that demographic ageing of, population is proceeding more rapidly, than first anticipated, specially in India, China and Latin America. In the 30 years up to 2020, the oldest sector of the population would have increased by 200% in low and middle income countries compared to 68% in the development world."

Going by the new estimates, the report said the percentage increase of the number of people with dementia in the next 20 years will stand at 107% in south Asia, 134% in Latin America and 125% in north America and Middle East.

The report focused on impact of dementia-physical, psychological and economic-on caregivers. Statistics cited in the report suggested that 40-75% of caregivers had significant psychological illness as a result of their caregivers and 15-32% had clinically diagnosable major depression. There may also be physical health consequences: strained caregivers had clinically diagnosable major depression. There may also be physical health consequences; strained caregivers have impaired immunity and a higher mortality rate.

"Caring is a full-time job-an average of around eight hours per day for a relative with moderate to severe dementia. In India, over 50% of people with dementia require caregivers to take care of them " an official said. World-wide the economic cost of dementia has been estimated at $315 billion annually.

Anger is on the rise, therapies can curb it

TIPS TO CHECK ANGER

For immediate relief

Deep breathing

Visulaising a relaxing experience

Using a punching bag/pillow

Leaving the scene of confrontation/argument

For long-term effects

Consult a psychiatrist and seek counseling

Exercise regularly---yoga helps

Try new methods like laughter and music therapies

Avoid alcohol, smoking, spicy and oily food

Control anger at work place

Don't delegate too much work

Always have one-on-one talk

Don't shout or insult if front of others

Don't gossip which is a sign of passive anger

Keep personal and professional lives separate

How to convince children

Don't encourage or give in to tantrums

Avoid presenting gifts as a form of reward

Reprimand the child but don't give extreme forms of punishment.

FEW TIPS ON HOW TO MANAGE

1.Try to develop as many friend ships as possible.

2. Learn to not only manage relationships, but also to nature them on a regular basis.

3. Your family members and close relatives are your strong emotion all support system. Take care of your, emotional health.

4. Let your mind no make you feel lonely and work selfishly at your interest. When you work only for your interests, the people around you feel alienated. Finally you are left alone.

5. Belong to some group for discussion, expression, intellectual interaction, stimulation and enrichment.

6. Respect other people for their brilliance, talent, intellect, achievements also, and thus you will remain connected to them. Otherwise, your mind will take you deeper in your own small world.

City suicide spare spurs new depression survey

Down syndrome

As early as 2000, 24% of collegians interviewed in Mumbai for an indo-us study were found to be suffering from various degrees of depression.14% said they had thought about suicide sometime or the other

Interestingly, the youth had listed family pressure as the biggest weight on their shoulders. Peer pressure and academics followed

For help, family came last on their list. Friends were the chosen outlet, counselors came next

In 2007, Maharashtra accounted for12.4% of suicide, the highest in the country

Surgery for OCD: docs know all the brain's circuits?

One was a middle-aged man who refused to get into the shower. The other was a teenager who was afraid to get out.

The man, Leonard, a writer living outside Chicago, found himself or brush his teeth. The teenager, Ross, growing up in a suburb of New York, had become so terrified of germs that he would regularly shower for seven hours. Each received a diagnosis of severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, and for years neither felt comfortable enough to leave the houses.

Today, two years after surgery, Ross is 21 and in collage. But Leonard who had surgery in 1995, said "There was no change at all". The great promise of neuroscience at the end of the last century was that it would revolutionize the treatment psychiatric problems. But the first real application of advance brain science is not novel at all. It is a precise, sophisticated version of an old and controversial approach: psychosurgery, in which doctors operate directly on the brain.

In the last decade or so, more than 500 people have undergone brain surgery for problems like depression, anxiety, Tourette's syndrome, even obesity most as a part of medical studies. The results have been encouraging, and this year, for the first time since frontal lobotomy fell into disrepute in the 1950s, the FOOD and Drug Administration approved one of the surgical techniques for some cases of OCD.

But with a that hope comes risk. For all the progress that has been made, some psychiatrists and medical ethicists says, doctors still do not know much about the circuits they are tampering with, and the results are unpredictable: Some people improve, others feel little or nothing, and an unlucky few actually get worse. In US, one patient was left unable to feed or care for herself after botched surgery.

In one procedure, called a cingulotomy, doctors drill into the skull and thread wires into an area called the anterior cingulated. There they destroy pinches of tissue that lie along a circuit in each hemisphere that connects deeper, emotional centres of the brain to areas of the frontal cortex. This circuit appears to be hyperactive in people with severe OCD.

In another operation, surgeons go deeper, into an area called the internal capsule, and burn out spots in a circuit also thought to be overactive.

Alzheimer's breakthrough

Work on compounds shows potential to halt or reverse the disease

RESEARCHERS AND laboratories are calling for the US to boost funding for research into Alzheimer's disease saying they are on the brink of a breakthrough to beat the debilitating brain disorder.

"Therapeutically we can now realistically expect to slow or halt the disease process," said Washington neurology professor Paul Asian. "We are close enough to be confident of success in the development of breakthrough therapies. How fast we get there, whether it will take a few years of 15 depends on the resources brought to bear."

Researchers believe that at least three genes are responsible for triggering an overproduction of a neural membrane protein which degrades turns into a peptide, invading and attacking the brain cells.

This amyloid peptide, as it is known, has now been identified thanks to scientific advances as the molecular cause of Alzheimer's. " We have confidence that treatments that successfully reduce the accumulation of the amyloid peptide in human brain will slow or stop this disease," Asian told a hearing of a Senate sub-committee.

The Alzheimer's Association of America is pressing the government to step up its funding of research into the diseases, warning that with the ageing of the population Alzheimer's is set to be a major drain on health resources and insurance companies.

Some 500,000 new cases of Alzheimer's are diagnosed every year in the US, but with the first of the country’s 78 million baby boomers due to start turning 65 in 2011-the age when Alzheimer's typically sets in –the figures could rise dramatically.

By 2030 there could be eight million Alzheimer's sufferers in the US, compared with five million Alzheimer's suffers in the US, compared with five million today, warned the association's vice-president Stephen MCConnell.

But McConnell warned federal funding was going down in real terms because of the inflating cost of medical research.

"So the American Alzheimer Association is pressing the federal government to increase that commitment to more than a billion dollars annually as quickly as possible, "he said.

Pharmaceutical companies are also pouring funds into developing treatments for the disease which could reap rich benefits.

"I think the most exciting part of this research is the work we are doing on compounds than show the potential to delay, halt or reverse the progression of the disease, or even prevent it," Robert Essner, chief executive of Wyeth laboratories, told the subcommittee.

"Nearly 3,000 of our scientists are or have been involved in this work, and over 350 are focused exclusively on it," Essner added.

Aisen lauded the current progress in research saying. " We have the tools to develop effective anti-amyloid treatments… the result is that numerous promising therapies are reaching the stage of clinical testing".

ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE

Researchers said that they are on the brink of a breakthrough to beat the debilitating brain disorder

Brain affected by Alzheimer's

Diseased neuron

Neuron

1Amyloid peptides are overproduced after a genetic trigger sets off

2The peptide invades and attacks brain cells.

3Brain, cells die, certain areas of brain shrink

Amyloid peptide

Now identified as the molecular cause of Alzheimer's

In development

Drugs to remove excess peptides from the brain

In development vaccines to bolster immune system against the peptides.

CELLPHONES MAY PROTECT BRAIN FROM ALZHEIMER'S

Researchers find that long term exposure to cellphones may not only reverse damage done by Alzheimer's, but also provides a memory boost in brains not affected by the disease.

A study in mice suggests using cellphones may help prevent some of the brain-wasting effects of Alzheimer's disease, US researchers said.

After long-term exposure to electromagnetic waves such as those used in cellphones, mice genetically altered to develop Alzheimer's performed as well on memory and thinking skill tests as healthy mice, the researchers wrote in the journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

The results were a major surprise and open the possibility or developing a noninvasive, drug-free treatment for Alzheimer's said lead author Gary Arendash of the University of South Florida.

He said he had expected cellphone exposure to increase the effects of dementia.

"Quite to the contrary, those mice were protected if the cellphone exposure was started in early adulthood. Or if the cellphone exposure was started after they were already memory-impaired, it reversed that impartment, "Arendash said.

CELLPHONES HEAT UP THE BRAIN

Arendash's team exposed the mice to electromagnetic waves equivalent to those emitted by a cellphone pressed against a human head for two hours daily over seven to nine months.

The researchers found a slight increase in brain temperature during the periods when mice were exposed to electromagnetic waves each day. This increase in Brain temperature was seen only in the Alzheimer's mice, and only after months of exposure. The researchers suggest the increase in brain temperature helped erase a build-up beta amyloid, a protein that serves as a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.

"It (the electromagnetic wave) prevents the aggregation of that bad protein of the brain," Arendash said.

Arendash said his team was modifying the experiment to see if they could produce faster results and begin testing human.

Despite decades of research there are few effective treatments and no cure for Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia. Many treatments that have shown promise in mice have had little effect on humans.

Despite decades of research, there are few effective treatments and no cure for Alzhemeris the most common form of dementia. Many treatments that have shown promise in mice have had little effect on humans.

According to the Alzheimer's Association more than 35 million people globally will suffer from Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia in 2010.

ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES BOOST MEMORY

There has been recent controversy about where electromagnetic waves from cellophanes cause brain cancer.

But here too the researchers were surprised to discover that months of cellphone exposure actually boosted the memory of non-demented (normal mice) to above-normal levels.

They suspect that the main reason for this improvement involves the ability of electromagnetic exposure to increase brain activity promoting greater blood flow and increased energy metabolism in the brain.

"Our study provides evidence that long-term cellphone use is not harmful to brain," co-author Chunhai Cao said. "To the contrary, the waves emitted by cellphones could actually improve normal memory and be an effective therapy against memory implement".

Just 3,300 shrinks for 13cr with mental disorders

IT'S MIND NUMBING

Who estimates

30 crore

People globally suffer from mental health disordered in India

15-20 crore

People suffer from some sort of mental illness, the commonest being depression and anxiety syndromes, stress and psychosomatic, disorders bipolar mood disorders, schizophrenia and dementia

1.6 crore of them need institutional intervention

According to WHO, at least

3 in 4 mental health patients in developing countries receive no treatment

75% of mentally ill patients in India are treated through traditional interventions and by tantriks

8.1% of all disabilities in India are due to metal illnesses, as against 5.8% due to cancer and 4.4% due to heart disease.

32,000 India needs psychiatrists but has only 3,300 trained psychiatrists 3,000 of whom are in metros

By 2020, depression is expected to become the2nd largest illness in the world

Most countries allocate less than2% their health budget to mental disorders

Suicide is one of the commonest manifestations of mental illness

In India, 1.2 lakh people end their lives every year by committing suicide 4 lakh attempt to commit suicide

Globally, one mission people die from suicide annually

The global mortality rate is 16/100,000, or one death every 40 seconds

In the last 45 years, suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide.

Mental disorders, particularly depression and substance abuse, are associated with more than 90% of all cases of suicide

Asia accounts for 60% of the world's suicides

India , china and Japan accounts for 40% of this number

Over 71% of suicides in India are by persons below the age of 44

WWW, a ready a cure for depression?

Certain sites promise to wipe your blues away

It is common knowledge that the internet helps banish loneliness. Being lonely can get very depressing and with busy work schedules and other constraints, a internet’s support to keep depression at bay.

A recent report published by a British daily, for instance, also gives internet the thumbs-up for offering an avenue to those seeking help out of depression. The study, conducted by BUPA Foundation on 297 depressed people, showed that those who had 'online therapy' and chat options were twice as likely to eventually report their depression. This success of internet-based therapy could be a reason why few online sites that claim to help with depression have started making their debut

One example of such websites is MoodGym (www.moodgym.anu.edu.au). As the name suggests, this is a free-for everyone website that aims to be like a gym for your mood, making sure that a brain workout with quizzes and exercises here will make you leave a happier person. The site has been developed by the son. The site has been developed by the Australian National University and uses a well-known form of mental therapy (CBT). The crux of this therapy lies in the quizzes and exercise modules that jog one's brain and hence help alleviate depressive thoughts.

A good example of one of these exercises is the 'warpy thoughts' module at the MoodGym. This module examines the user's tenancy to interpret situations negatively, and shows then how to turn these around. Warpy thoughts basically uses terms like 'disqualifying the positive' and 'jumping to conclusions', which most of us might already know but often fail to apply in our own daily behavior. Additionally, they have another set of modules and exercises designed to build one's self esteem. Initially, most of the modules at MoodGym Might come across as preaching and too good to be true, but experiments have shown that persistence with this module has helped people under stress.

Psych Central (psychcentral.com) is a similar website which calls itself a mental health social network. It is mainly run by mental health professionals and offers reliable resources and over 150 support groups to people around the globe. The website gives interestingly designed quizzes such as the Sanity Score, which lets you find sanity leaves and such. Sohini Roy, a software developer from Bangalore, talks about her experience with this social network that helped her come out of a slight depressive state. "Whit mad schedules at work, my social life is almost zero. So there was a time when I had become very lonely and depressed with the life I was leading," says Roy, " this was when the resources and the support groups on Psych central really saved my sanity."

But while social networks and mental health support groups might help some, there is no way these online avenues can replace professional doctors or mental health professionals. In fact, who feel clinical levels of depression or anxiety for weeks should steer clear of these websites, say health professionals. Similarly these sites are a bad idea for teenager who lacks a certain level of maturity. Dr. Y Machiswala from Mumbai, for example, talks about an incident where a teenage had taken a challenge on such an online site seriously and had almost suffocated to death while trying to beat his group a t hold his breath.

This jury is still out on whether Internet is a good thing or a bad thing for people battling depression. On the one hand, it might be a good idea for people like mane or Roy, who find exchanging stories on social networks or taking a quick exercise routine at the Mood Gym, helping them. But, on the other hand, some might think these sites pull them deeper into the problem. All in all, however, experts say that jogging your brains a little via networking or taking small quizzes is definitely a good way to alleviate one’s mood.

City Healthcare Institutions In Private Sector Wary Of Admitting Violent Mentally Ill Patients, Say They Lack Facilities

No room for mentally ill in Pvt hospital

THE ILLNESS

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling brain disorder which may be characterised by hallucinations, disorganised speech & behaviour (like dressing inappropriately, crying frequently) delusions, social withdrawal, and congnitive deficits.People with schizphrenia sometimes hear voices others don't hear, believe that others are broadcasting their thoughts to the world, or become convinced that others are plotting to harm them.

THE ARITHMETIC

About 1% of Indians suffer from schizophrenia.

Another 1% suffer frombipolar disorder

About 3% of Indians suffer from psychological conditions(acute bouts of violence) due to substance abuse

Psychiatrists say that 50,000 people in Mumbai need hospitalisation due to a mental condition at some point in their lives.

THE OPTIONS

Masina Hospital in Byculla, 4 nursing homes in the city and major public hospitals are the only ones to admit psychiatrist patients

Patients from middle-and upper-middle-class families thus have very few options.

SUPERVISORY HEALTH BODY IN BAD SHAPE

The Mental Health Authority, a state body mandated under the Mental Health Act, 1987, does not have a permanent chairman since January. The MHA is meant to oversee the functioning of mental health facilities in Maharashtra, draw up guildelines for nursing homes and rehabilitation centres, etc."There is no chairman and the body hasn't met for several months," said a source. Joint director general of health services Dr.N.J.Rathod, holding temporary charge of the MHA said they held review meetings though he couldn't recall the date of the last meeting.

In An Indo-US Study, Mumbai Teens Said They Would Turn To Their Families For Help As The Last Resort

In Pursuit of happiness: Tense parents turn to docs

NIP DEPRESSION IN THE BUD

Factors that protect children from suicide

INDIVIDUAL FACTORS

High emotional intelligence

Good problem-solving & coping skills

High self-esteem

High personal control

FAMILY FACTORS

Positive family relationships

Good parental supervision

High levels of family cohesion & support

Frequent engagement in shared activites

Strong parental disapproval of antisocial behaviours

COMMUNITY FACTORS

Positive connections to school

Good presence of supportive peers

Good school attendance

Frequent extracurricular activites

Strong involvement in a faith community

Available counsellors or nurses in the school

Safe neighbourhoods

MAGNITUDE OF THE PROBLEM

Suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for all ages. Every year, nearly one million people die from suicide.

RISK FACTORS

Mental illness, primarily depression and alcohol use disorders abuse, violence, loss, cultural and social background, represent major risk factors.

PREVENTION


Restriction of access to means of suicide, such as toxic substances and firearms

Identification and management of persons suffering from mental and substance use disorders

Improved access to health and social services Responsible reporting of suicide by the media

A STATE OF MIND

It's invisible. It's in your brain. It's eating at your soul. And your city is not equipped to deal with depression, which is going to be one of India's largest crises by 2020, warn Santhosh Andhale

After the first delivery, a 26-year-old woman ended up with depression. She found difficulty in feeding the baby. She began to blame himself, a known symptom of post-partum depression. The gynaecologist and physician were not able to diagnose the problem. Doctors were not taking her condition seriously since the depression had occurred merely after the delivery. A relation even brought her some dry fruits as a cure. Some even massaged her, hoping it to be of some help. Soon she landed up in a hospital. During this process she even tried to commit suicide, after a failed attempt to murder her child.

This is typical case of how poorly Indians are equipped culturally to deal with the malaise of depression. For instance, even something like post-partum depression is not accounted for in many Indian households, leave alone this symptom spiralling out of control, as it did in this case. Similarly, students attempting suicide has always been a regular news snippet, prolifearting at the time of board examinations. To add to this, experts say, mental disorders are already on the upswing in Mumbai as well as the entire state of Maharashtra:depression being the top among them.

But what is most alarming is that given the dire situation in Maharashtra(and the nationa at large), the infrastructure of state health authorities is well below par.

A shocking example of this is the state-run JJ Hospital, boasting of one of the biggest psychiatry department in the state, having started in 1934. Recently, the MCI(Medical Council of India) de-recognized this department, repirmanding it for its dismal resources and manpower.

The state health department has set up a committee to review the infrastructure of all three majore mental hospitals. Another aspect that the health department is looking into reveals the social prejudices associated with being'mental': most of the people who are in the hospital have been treated and ready to go home. The problem being that there are no valid addresses to escort them to; their relations have lied about where they stay, thus abandoning their mentally-ill relatives. It is turning out to be a vicious cycle. The patients, on learning that there is no home to return to, fall back into depression, sometimes even delirium.

Dr.Sanjay Kumawat, member-secretary, State Mental Health Authority, says, "We want to upgrade the two biggest hospitals in the state, as mental illnesses are rising at an alarming rate, both in Mumbai as well as Maharastra. To seriously look into mental disease, we are looking to increase the resources in this field. We are tying up with different universities to increase the manpower for tackling this malaise. We are even starting new certificate courses for doctors, nurses and paramedical staff to deal with such kinds of disease. With the help of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) we are even trying to score more funding and develop educational tools to combat the same."

Given that India is home to many ancient cultures, one needn't look further afield, it seems, for the panacea, if this recent resort is anything to go by."We also now focus on music therapy. Because music undoubtedly brings solace to everyone; it has a calming effect on patients as the auditory sectors in the brain are activated. Patients, especially those who are in the initial stages of their illness, are more likely to respond positively to music," add Kumavat.

DOWN AND OUT

Are you always worried? If you are, it is the most diagnosable' mental condition. But there are others, which can be tough to deal with. As such, mental diseases are feared by people and unfortunately still carry a stigma. "Although mental illnesses have been around for ages and many of them run in families, lifestyles of people are to be blamed especially for disorders like anxiety and depression. Living a sedentary lifestyle, binging on junk, food and materialistic living may all lead to depression", says Mumbai based clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Seema Hingorrany.

"Today the understanding of severe mental illnesses, their treatment and care has improved. Newer and more specific drug treatments combined with psychological therapy have improved the prospects of recovery and enabling people to led a better quality of life, " she adds.

DEPRESSION

Depression is a the most common mental health condition today. It is a serious mental illness which affects both your mind and body. It can be chronic and needs long-term treatment.

Warning signs to watch out for

Feeling very sad or low, irritable, restless feeling worthless and fatigues

Crying for no apparent reason

Loss of interest in daily activities, having trouble concentrating, and feeling unable to make decisions.

Sleep trouble

Weight gain or weight loss

Loss of interest in sex

Unexplained problems such as back pain, headache etc,

Suicidal thoughts or behaviour

Treatment


1) Medications alownwith psychotherapy can give good relief. Anti-depressants, stimulants, mood-stabilising medications, anti-anxiety medications or anti-psychotic medications may be used to treat depression.

2) Cognitive behaviour therapy, interpersonal therapy, and psychodynamic psychotherapy also help. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is used for people who do not get better,. This offers fact, effective relief of depression symptoms.

3) Incase these treatment procedures are not effective, other treatments that might be sued include vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) using electrical impulses and transcendental magnetic stimulation (TMS).

ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD)


This is one of the most common mental disorders in children and adolescents. Children with ADHD reflect inattention and have hyperactive, impulsive behaviour. They may struggle with low self-esteem, troubled relationships and poor performance in school. Treatment typically involves psychological counseling, medications or both.

Although mental illnesses have been around for ages and many of them run in families, lifestyles of people are to be blamed especially for disorders like anxiety and depression.

Mental Health Care

About 85 per cent of India's mentally ill don't have access to care. As the emphasis shifts to enhancing treatment on the occasion of the World Mental Health Day, a look at the ills that afflict our healthcare system.

Neel was diagnosed with a mental disorder called Schizophrenia in 1991 and the treatment started immediately in a premier national institute. However, like most psychiatric patients, he goes off medication very often and needs to be hospitalized with police help. He lives with his widowed mother and two sisters and the family dynamics is not conducive to his progress. In 2007-2008, he once again had a relapse because of stopping medicines; and was very disturbed and angry. But the police refused to shift him this time. The psychiatrist wrote a letter to the magistrate to issue a Reception order for the police to shift him to the hospital as per law. However, the magistrate wanted to see Neel in the court before issuing the order. The police were unable to pick him up because of his threats to commit suicide or attack someone at home. Eventually he attacked his sister; The police asked the family to file an FIR for criminal assault which they did. The family moved out of the house; Neel was picked up by the police, produced before the magistrate, who refused to believe that he was mentally ill. Hence Neel was sent to the jail for criminal activity. The jailer finds him suffering from acute psychosis and so gets him into the psychiatric hospital. He was back to "normal" after a month’s treatment. If only there was some crisis and emergency help available in 2008, Need could have been shifted to the hospital without being declared a criminal with jail records! The hospital could have also admitted him under temporary treatment order under the law instead of asking for Reception Order. Though the law permits 90 days hospitalization under this order, many psychiatrists prefer to make the family get a Reception Order.

There is neither a policy, nor a programme to galvanise Mental Healthcare.

'2010 will be a rich year, but the mental health of Mumbaikars will nosedive'

Mumbai: A caustic humorist once concluded that " people look forward with anticipation to the New Year as a time to start over and a new opportunity to avoid last year's mistakes. But, eventually, we all realize that this year is going to be just as bad as last year and the year before." This realization has yet to hit Mumbaikars, most of whom are swarming to astrologers and tarot card readers in the hope of gaining an insight into 2010.

And the seers have a lot to predict given that everyone will be able to see a second full moon on December 31 a rare phenomenon aptly called Blue Moon.

By all accounts, the hangover of the economic slowdown seems to be haunting wary citizens. This year seems to have added another fear to the ever-growing list-swine flu. According to astrologers, numerologists and tarot card readers, most of their clients want to know whether the city will be attacked by the HIN1 virus in 2010.

But most of the seers TOI spoke to have predicted a good year for Mumbai, especially in the first quarter, which will enjoy the benefits of a vibrant economy. New opportunities and the economic revival will benefit businesses and aspiring professionals, prophesied the seers. However, they cautioned citizens to remain alert when it comes to security and mental health.

Astrologer Pandit Rajkumar Sharma said that it's not swine flu that is the threat, but the mential well-being of over-stessed Mumbaikars."People should watch out for depression and other psychological disorders," he said. "The New Year, as per the Western calendar, is starting with a lunar eclipse which is not a good sign. It will not adversely affect India's prospects. But Mumbai being on the sea, is mainly dependent on the moon's position, which indicates security threats to the city and its people," warns Sharma. The good news, though, is that the market is looking up, and property prices will rise considerably.

Most of tarot card reader Sunita Menon's clients have expressed concerns about fiancés, business, jobs and overall security. Her prediction?"Though Mumbai's growth is going to be very positive, there are no signs of an immediate revival in investments or the stock exchange as the market in the Western countries will take time to recover." But she, too, warns of the threat of a terror attack

Numerologist Sweeta Jumaani concurs with Sharma in that people should address health issues like anxiety, stress and monitor their blood pressure. She believes that for Mumbaikars, 2010 will be a comparatively a better year as 3,6 and 9 are compatible numbers. "As far as money and job stability are concerned, the year is going to be exceptionally good for the country, and not just Mumbai," she said suggesting that the city be spelt 'Mumbaai'. Adding an 'a' will bring better fortune to the city.

No sex please, it's bad luck

Fortune tellers are in conflict over how Mumbaikrs should celebrate the New Year on Thursday night as there is going to be a lunar eclipse past midnight at 12.24 am. According to astrologer Pandit Rajkumar Sharma, people should avoid going out between 3.22 pm on Thursday and 7 am on Friday. "Pregnant women should especially be careful," he said. "All Mumbaikars should abstain from drinking ,eating and sex." However, numerologist Swetta Jumani says people should not hesitate to celebrate the New Year, but should be in control and not over-indulge. "The moon affects your mind, and controlling the mind is necessary," she said.

Blood test can reveal Fragile X

Research gives hope to those with emotional problems caused by defective gene in the X chromosome

Mumbai: Research by a team of Banaglore-based scientists, into the emotional problems caused by inheriting a fragile X chromosome, was recently published in the online edition of the United States based Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The research offers new hope to those with autism, Learning Disability, attention deficit and other conditions caused by inheritance of a Fragile X Chromosome.

Dr. Sumantra Chattarji, who heads the team of neuroscientists at the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore, said the researchers mapped the cellular basis of emotional problems associated with Fragile X, which is a genetic mutation in the X chromosome.

"We have identified novel synaptic defects in the amygdale-the emotional hub of the brain," Chattarji said. Synaptic connections are those between two nerve cells. The team found cellular signaling deficient in cells in the amygdala.

Incidentally, this is the second important finding by the NCBS team on Fragile X. In 2007, the same scientists identified a specific enzyme that caused Fragile X.

It established that inhibiting the enzyme, called P21-Activated Kinase (PAK), reversed the debilitating symptoms of Fragile X Syndrome in mice.

This time around, the NCBS scientists, along with their collaborators at New Yort University, studied the synapses in the amygdale. "Using electro- physiological recordings from cells in the amygdale, my student Aparna Suvrathan identified synaptic defects on both sides of the synapses. Not only is there a shortage of glutamate being released, the receptors available to bind glutamate are also below normal levels," said Chattariji.

In other words, the amygdale neurons failed to communicate and code information. This could explain why most children with Fragile X- and autism- are known to have severe phobias and behavioural problems. Shalini Kedia, who heads the Fragile X Society of India said, " The brain has many enzymes that act as traffic policemen, directing information in the right direction. But this doesn't happen in children with Fragile X Syndrome as the genetic defect prevents the production of a protein that helps create synpases."

Kedia is hopeful about the new findings."These findings hold scientific hope for parents who get so desperate that they are willing to try and advice." There is little awareness about Fragile X among parents. "People don't even know that there is a screening blood test for Fragile X. There are families in which every child is born with Fragile X, even though the mother could well have got herself tested and prevented this problem," she added.

The hope seems immense, more so because the team tested mice who were old. Chattarji and colleagues used fully grown mice with Fragile X.

"Strikingly, even a brief one-hour treatment with a pharmacological blocker of mGluRs (a type of glutamate receptor) was capable of reversing the action of deficient transmitter releases. This raises the exciting possibility that synaptic defects could be corrected pharmacologically even after the disease has had time to leave its mark in the adult brain," said. Chattarji.

However, Dr. Vrajesh Udani, a paediatric neurologist at Hinduja Hospital, who treats many patients with Fragile X, was not overly impressed. "The team has only established theoretical possibilities. If at all these findings can translate into treatment, it is still very far away from human use," he said.

Incidentally, in a separate development in early May, the New York Times reported that a pharma giant had announced the results of a small clinical trial in which researchers found substantial improvements in behavior associated with retardation and autism in people with Fragile X Syndrome. Chattarji, who was in the US attending a conference on Fragile X at that time, said, "We were unaware about the Novartis trial. But their findings also give hope that a therapeutic treatment could be possible in humans in the near future."

'Pacemaker' for brain may treat Parkinson's

Washington: Disorders such as depression or Parkinson's may be helped by stimulating certain areas of brain with controlled precision, says a study, encouraging scientists to create a pacemaker for the brain.

But because controlling that stimulation presently lacks precision, over-stimulation is a concern. A Tel Aviv University (TAU) team, part of a European consortium, is trying to create a chip to help doctors wire computer applications and sensors to brain. The chip will provide deep brain stimulation precisely where and when it's needed.

The team records activity using electrodes implanted in diseased areas of the brain. Based on an analysis of this activity, they develop algorithms to simulate healthy neuronal activity, they develop algorithms to simulate healthy neuronal activity which is programmed into a microchip and fed back into the brain. The chip, Rehabilitation Nano Chip (or ReNa Chip), is hooked up to tiny electrodes implanted in the brain.

Ever wondered why certain days make you weepy, irritable, and sad angry? Whether you know it or not, but the weather plays a big role in deciding your mood. Affecting thousands around the globe, this disorder (S.A.D), which is a type of clinical depression that follows a seasonal pattern? Some people experienced a serious mood change when seasons change.

Clinical Psychologist seema Hingorrany says that this mostly occurs during the winter or rainy season. "Some experts think it's a lack of sunlight during these seasons, when days are shorter. Insufficient exposure to sunlight has been associated with low levels of melatonin and serotonin has a soothing, claiming effect on a person and its absence can bring on feelings of depression. As seasons change, there is a shift in our biological internal clocks, partly due to changes in sunlight patterns. Like all forms of depressive illness, SAD can vary greatly in severity and can be a severely debilitating condition. Many patients can be perfectly healthy during spring and summer but unable to function during winter. This leads to obvious problems with work had family life, "says Seema.

According to Psychiatrist Dr Jyoti Sangle, this disorder is a cyclic, seasonal condition, which means that symptoms come back and go away year. "Problems may start out mild and become more severe as the season progresses. The sudden onset of symptoms in an otherwise well adjusted individual and the regularity of the pattern is usually difficult to understood by family members and employers. This makes the situation worse for the sufferer, "she says.

SYMPTOMS

Feeling of hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness, anxiety, loss of energy, social withdrawal and maintaining sleep, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates maybe even leading to weight gain or the other extreme of severe loss of appetite leading to weight loss. The former is more common, difficulty concentrating and processing information, irritability and agitation.

Psychologist Dimple Shah says that the specific cause of this disorder remains unknown. "It may affect adults, teens and children. About 6 in 100 people experienced SAD. Many factors may be responsible, including our genes. A person's behavior changes significantly from the way they normally feel and act. They may become more sensitive and self critical, get upset and cry easily, lose interest in activities like and be unable to enjoy themselves as before. They may lose interest in friends and social activities, and thus isolate themselves, "she says.

TREATMENT :

Cognitive therapy is based on the idea that certain ways of thinking can trigger certain mental health problems such as depression. A therapist helps you understand your thought patterns – particularly to identify any harmful, unhelpful, and 'false' ideas or thoughts, which you have that depress you. Natural sunlight, even on an overcast day, will help alleviate symptoms. Going for a walk outside every day for an hour during the daytime may ease symptoms. Eat a well-balanced diet and include sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals. This helps you get more energy even though your body is craving starchy and sweet foods. Stay involved with your social circle and regular activities. Social support is extremely important for those with mood disorders. Seek professional counseling, if needed during these months. Severe cases may require medication, usually mood stabilizers or antidepressants. Yoga, meditation and exercise also help.

Psychedelic drugs for depression? Jury is out

London:Mind-altering drugs like LSD, ketamine or magic mushrooms could be combined with psychotherapy to treat people suffering from depression, compulsive disorders or chronic pain, Swiss scientists suggested on Wednesday. Research into the effects of psychedelics, used in the past in psychiatry, has been restricted in recent decades because of the negative connotations of drugs, but the scientists said more studies into their clinical potential were now justified.

The researchers said recent brain imaging studies show that psychedelics such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), ketamine and psilocybin-the psychoactive drug known as magic mushrooms-act on the brain in ways that could help reduce symptoms of various psychiatric disorders.

The drugs could be used as a kind of catalyst, the scientist said, helping patients to alter their perception of problems or pain levels and then work with behavioral therapists or psychotherapists to tackle them in new ways. Franz Vollenweider of the Neuropsychopharmacology and brain imaging unit at Zurich's University Hospital of Psychiatry published a paper on the issue in Nature Neuroscience journal.

Depending on the type of person taking the drug, the dose and the situation, psychedelics can have a wide range of effects; experts say from feelings of boundlessness and bliss at one end of the spectrum to anxirty-inducing feelings of loss of control and panic at the other. Vollenweider said evidence from previous studies suggest such drugs might help ease mental health problems by acting on the brain circuits and neurostransmitter systems that are known to be altered in people with depression and anxiety. But if doctors were to use them for treatment, it would be important to keep doses of the drugs low, he said.

A small study published in US scientists this month found that an infusion of ketamine can lift the mood within minutes in patients with severe bipolar depression.

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