Dr. Gopal Bhatia is one of the most venerable Psychiatrists in India who is known for treating his patients with utmost care and sensibility. He has received a prodigious education before starting with his life-saving occupation. He completed MBBS (Sawai Mansingh Medical College, Jaipur) in 2001 and MD (in Psychiatry, Psychiatry Centre, Jaipur) in 2008. He has been a Senior Resident Psychiatrist in the Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences in 2011. He has 16 years of experience in treating his patients.
Dr. Gopal Bhatia is a member of IMA, Gujarat Medical Council, Ahmedabad Medical Association, Gujarat Psychiatric Society and Indian Psychiatric Society. He treats the manifold cases with services like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Anger Management Therapy, Electroconvulsive Therapy, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder treatment, treatment of Abnormal Behaviour, treatment of learning disorders and Epilepsy treatment. He provides his patients with a wholesome treatment for behaviour and thought problems, critical care procedures and management of emergency conditions.Dr. Gopal Bhatia is available at Ahmedabad Psychiatry Clinic, which is situated at F - 4, Jay Complex, Vitthal Nagar Cross Road of Shahibaug, Monday to Saturday, 9 AM to 8 PM. Besides, he also does text, phone and video consultations.
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Substance abuse is used to describe abuse of a variety of things including tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs. These produce a feeling of false well-being and therefore often misused. These are stimulants and tranquilizers, which give a “happy go lucky” feeling and so are misused.
Tobacco: The primary habit-forming ingredient in tobacco is nicotine. While it is commonly used for pleasure and as a stress buster, it also is a major contributor to a lot of health issues including heart disease, lung cancer, breathing disorders, infertility, peptic ulcers, depression, and sleep disorders. For someone who is addicted to smoking, quitting can lead to withdrawal symptoms including tremors, anxiety, and seizures.
Alcohol: Alcohol depresses the depression center in the brain and therefore produces a feeling of high. Getting addicted to alcohol leads to reduced inhibitions, slurred speech, poor muscle coordination, and reduced cognitive skills. Withdrawal can lead to tremors, anxiety, hallucinations, and delirium tremens. Alcohol ups the risk for heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver, and cancer of the digestive tract. In addition, alcohol alters a person’s eating habits and leads to considerable weight gain.
Illicit drugs (marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines): There are a large number of these drugs, which are not to be used but unfortunately are. They are used in various forms including snorting, smoking, chewing, and injections. While most of them produce a feeling of well-being, it is transient, and in the long run, they reduce alertness, energy levels, cause confusion, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. They also affect the health of all body organs including brain, liver, heart, kidneys, lungs, muscles, etc. Sharing of needles also carries the risk of hepatitis B and HIV.
Causes: Whatever the substance being abused, there are some common reasons why a person ends up with abusing them. Some of them include:
- Poor social structures: Most of the substance abusers have a poor social structure, for instance, broken families
- Poor economic environment
- Lack of parental support and/or attachment
- Lack of coping skills
- Peer pressure
- History of childhood abuse
The added concern here is the younger age group at which this problem is seen.
Family and close friends may be the first ones to identify symptoms of abuse, which may include
- Non-participative in group activities (which is new) with family and friends
- Declining performance at school/college/work
- Disappearing money or valuables
- Irritable and aggressive
All these could be indicative of an underlying problem, and if they are not open to a frank chat, medical help should be sought. It is definitely not easy to get them out but can be done, if they are willing to and have strong social support.
Do you find it too hard to figure out what to wear? Does taking some important decision leave you feeling paralyzed? These indicate that you suffer from compulsive indecisiveness. Struggling with this problem leaves you stuck in one place and causes you distress. Fear of taking the wrong decision is the primary reason, which makes people indecisive. It is also likely for you to bother too much about what other people think of you.
Here are five important steps, which you should take for overcoming compulsive indecisiveness:
- Forget your fear: Fear of something often causes indecisiveness. You need to figure out and write down your fears and what you would do if these occur. If you are indecisive about a job change or whether the new job will be paying you less, you should analyze how the reduced income will affect your life and how you can deal with it.
- Tune into your emotions: Maximum people who suffer from compulsive indecisiveness and struggle at making major decisions tend to over analyze situations a bit too much. In some cases, you cannot create an easy perception or a suitable side for a situation in spite of stressing over it from various angles. The situation will remain the same, no matter how much you think. Write down your options, think about them, rate them, and choose the top rated option.
- Practice on small things: For improving upon your indecisiveness, you should start practicing by taking small decisions every day. Aim at taking 10 major decisions everyday such as where to go for lunch, which route to take to work and more. Slowly, practice taking decisions quickly instead of pondering over a situation. Try to make instant decisions in various spheres of life.
- Learn to trust yourself: You need to list all your strengths. Write down whether you think if you are smart, creative or funny. Ask yourself whether you can infuse your strengths into your process of decision making. Try to test your strengths in all kinds of matters. Once you are sure of your strengths, you will be able to achieve your goals without hesitation.
- Pick one thing at a time: You should pick things and matters one at a time to focus on. If there are several things which bother you and add to your indecisiveness, try to handle them one by one. This way you will be able to give all your focus to one matter, and overcome your fears related to it. After that, move on to another fear.
It is important for you to let go and refrain yourself from analyzing whether a decision which you had taken is right or wrong. Instead, focus on activities which matter to you and do not ponder over old decisions. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist.
Manic depression, also known as bipolar disorder in recent days, is a major mood disorder characterized by hypomanic or manic episodes (deviation from one's usual mood along with abnormally high energy levels). Mania involves sleeplessness, along with psychosis, hallucinations, rage, grandiose delusions or paranoia. Mania or hypomania isn’t usually harmful to the patient and they might exhibit increased capacity for work and creativity. Depressive episodes however, can be debilitating and often life threatening as the person becomes self-destructive and suicidal in many instances.
The extent of mood swings can vary from extreme to very mild. They can occur progressively or suddenly and might last for few days to weeks. Patients affected by bipolar disorder may experience disturbances in thinking apart from depressive or manic episodes. Distortions of perception and impaired social functioning are also not uncommon. The cause of bipolar disorder is not fully understood like most mental health conditions and is often thought to be hereditary.
The extent of the seriousness of the bipolar symptoms varies from person to person. In some people, the disorder is not full blown and they don’t exhibit all the symptoms. Others who aren’t that lucky might have to be hospitalized multiple times in their lives as the symptoms creep into their work and personal life and make living a normal life a tough challenge.
Psychotic symptoms such as disorganized thinking, hallucinations and delusions might make a person do things that demand the urgency of hospitalization to keep them safe from their suicidal impulses. These symptoms might need to be urgently addressed by a psychiatrist and with the help of medications, the person might be able to regain control of their lives.
The symptoms of bipolar disorder are many and can be mainly categorized into two (sometimes overlapping) categories of mania or hypomania and depression:
Manic symptoms include:
- Grandiose delusions (delusion of grandeur)
- Racing thoughts which are often disconnected
- Sense of euphoria or false elation
- Irritability without cause
- Hampered social functioning
- Increased sexual inclination and risky sexual behavior
- Increase in talking volume or speed
- Impaired judgment
- Reduced sleep requirements owing to extra energy levels
- Increased productivity and creativity
Depressive symptoms include:
- Abnormal eating patterns like over or under-eating to the extent of severe medical complications accompanied by drastic changes in weight
- Difficulty in concentration, making decisions and remembering
- Lack of energy or fatigue
- Contemplating about death for prolonged periods of time and suicidal behavior
- Oversleeping, insomnia or early awakening
- Persistent pessimism
- Irritability and restlessness
- Feeling of hopeless and negative attitude
Mood stabilizers, such as lithium are commonly employed to treat bipolar disorder. Anticonvulsants, benzodiazepines and anti psychotics can also be used in the treatment. Along with medications, support from family and friends is of the utmost importance as they need to help provide all the support required in making the person functional and healthy. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist.
Feeling tired all the time? Do you feel that you can’t focus on things anymore? Have you lost interest in things and people you once loved spending time with? Does your temper fly off the hook at the drop of a hat? If it is a ‘yes’ to the questions above, then you might be slowly but steadily succumbing to depression. Depression is a psychological disorder that is characterized by symptoms of extreme sadness, worthlessness and hopelessness over a prolonged period of time.
- Lack of Interest: This is probably the starkest of all the symptoms. Hobbies or activities that you used to enjoy once no longer catch your fancy. You do not find little or no pleasure in social activities or any other hobby of yours anymore.
- A constant Feeling of Hopelessness: You tend to develop a negative outlook towards life in general, as you feel that the current situation will never get better and will only worsen.
- Loss of Appetite: Loss of appetite is a common feature of depression; it can also lead to rapid weight loss. If engulfed by depression, one generally tends to ignore food completely, remain hungry, both of which contribute to the vicious cycle that depression is.
- Changes in Sleep Patterns: Insomnia is a condition that is marked by a sheer inability to sleep, no matter how physically exhausted one is. Depression tends to exhibit this particular symptom in maximum cases. However, oversleeping, or sleeping more than the sufficient hours is also common.
- Reckless Behavior: Depression makes one more prone to reckless behavior; one generally develops an angry and irritated persona; this in turn, may make one to exhibit reckless and rash behavior.
- Lack of Energy and Focus: Depression causes one to feel fatigued and sluggish the entire day. Factors such as a total loss of appetite contribute to this particular symptom. Stemming from these symptoms are two other major occurrences; an inability to focus on anything and an inability to decide on anything.
Self-help, Coping tips and Treatment-
- Connect with different people: Being isolated from the rest can and usually aggravates symptoms of depression. So, reach out to other people and your loved ones; talk to your loved ones and try to empty your mind when you are having a one-to-one with them. Interacting and talking to others will make you feel better and should go a long way in taking that huge rock off your chest.
- Try to ditch that sedentary lifestyle; go out in the open: An early morning jog can feel daunting at first but the benefits are immense. Exercising regularly has been proven to be as effective as anti-depressants in combatting depression. Even a 20 minutes jog early in the morning releases ‘endorphins’ in the body, also known as the ‘feel good hormones’. These hormones induce a feeling of happiness and relaxation, thus taking your mind off any particular event or circumstance that has been ruining your sanctity of late.
- Avoid Alcohol and Drugs: Avoid alcohol and drugs to come out of your sadness; they have never helped and will never help. Taking these substances provides a temporary solution to depression, as it will again show up once the effects of the intoxicants wear off. It will also interfere with other medications that you may be taking to combat depression, thus reducing their potency.
- It’s high time you bought the meditating mat: Sleep has a beneficial effect on your mental health as it has been proven to improve memory and other cognitive and brain functions. Another way to improve brain function and be more relaxed is to meditate regularly. Meditation induces a state of relaxation, and if done on a regular basis, can be an effective treatment for depression. Meditation also helps with an improved focus and reduced anxiety.
- Medications can always help: Medications such as anti-depressants are administered to treat depression. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), including citalopram, fluoxetine and sertraline are the most commonly administered medications to cure this condition. However, it is advised to try the abovementioned methods first so that you do not have to depend on medications alone; the reason being that these medications do have their fair share of side effects.
We all have mood swings but not all mood swings have the same intensity. People who have extreme mood swings ranging from depression to manic highs are said to be suffering from bipolar disorder. These extreme moods are known as episodes and usually, last for a few days or even a few weeks. A person suffering from bipolar disorder could have an episode several times a year. This is a very common psychological problem and can affect both children and adults. Though it cannot be cured, this disease can be managed with medication.
There are no known causes for bipolar disorder but genetics may play an important role in triggering Bipolar Disorder. Hence, if a parent or sibling suffers from this condition, you have a risk of developing it as well. An imbalance in the neurotransmitters in the brain may also play a part in the development of this condition. Stress or traumatic events like the loss of a loved one can also increase your risk of suffering from this condition. Given that mood swings affect almost each one of us, bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose. Some of the things to look out for are:
- Change in self-esteem
- Unusual talkativeness or quietness
- Being increasingly prone to distractions
- Decreased need for sleep
- Recklessness in terms of spending decisions, relationships etc
It must be kept in mind that a person must display at least 4 of the above symptoms simultaneously to be diagnosed as bipolar. Also, none of these symptoms should be a result or side effect of any kind of medication, drugs, alcohol or other intoxicants.
There are four main types of bipolar disorder:
- Bipolar I: In such cases, the person has at least one episode of elevated moods and associated abnormal behaviour in his or her life. This may be preceded or followed by depressive episodes.
- Bipolar II: In these cases, the person must have suffered from at least one depressive episode. It is very similar to bipolar I except that in bipolar II the highs never reach the manic stage.
- Rapid Cycling: Some people can have 4 or more manic and depressive episodes a year. In such cases, they are said to be rapid cycling. This condition affects 10-20% of bipolar cases.
- Mixed Bipolar: Usually, bipolar patients show mood swings that alternate between manic and depressive moods. However, sometimes a person may experience both elation and depression simultaneously or in rapid succession of each other. These cases are known as mixed bipolar.
Once diagnosed, bipolar disorder can be managed with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. In some cases, electroconvulsive therapy may also be needed.
Start day with gratitude. Include physical activity in daily schedule. Read a book daily. Avoid extra planning. Congratulate yourself over small victories also. Devote some time to family also. Control mobile time. Have good sexual life. Stay connected with people and nature around.