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Hello everyone, I am Dr Atma Ram Bansal, an epilepsy expert at Medanta Medicity, Gurgaon. Today’s topic is how to deal with epilepsy.
Epilepsy is a very common problem, it affects all age groups of the patients, starting from very small kids, infants, adults and even elderly. The most important thing about epilepsy is the diagnosis. You should know what type of epilepsy is affecting you, because the treatment, the type of medicine, the duration of treatment depends on the type of epilepsy. Majority of patients can be treated through 3 years to 5 years, but some patients if it is a very small epilepsy, benign epilepsy, we can stop the medication in 6 months to one year. If it is difficult kind of epilepsy we may have to give treatment for even lifelong.
So, whether it is focal epilepsy, that is starting from one part of the brain or whether it is generalized epilepsy where the whole brain is getting excited, it is not a psychiatric problem; it is not a problem due to supernatural powers or something like that. It is a pure neurological issue, it can be treated by medications. MRI, good quality and EEG, especially during sleep helps us to know the type of epilepsy.
There are certain things that you should know while handling epilepsy. One, first aid; when you are getting a seizure or your family member is getting a seizure, you should know how to handle it. Firstly, when there are jerkings, when the body is jerking, don’t try to hold the arms and legs to stop those jerks, that can damage the bones. Once the jerks are over, turn the person to one side so that if there is any saliva or liquid, that goes outside. Don’t give anything by mouth that includes your spoon, any kind of liquid, any kind of cloth or anything like that. Don’t put your finger in the mouth that will not help. If there is a tongue bite, you cannot prevent it. Only thing is if you give something by mouth, the liquid that can go into the lungs and that can create problems for breathing.
Regarding treatment, if we know the type of epilepsy, most of the patients with one medication can easily be controlled. Some patients may need two-three medications and there are some 10-20 blood sugar patients for whom this medication won’t work. In those cases, we will prefer to do some more tests like video EEG. In those cases, we admit the patient, stop their medication and record the seizures. By recording the seizures we know that this particular part of the brain is abnormal and then even surgery can be considered in those cases. In some patients, especially children, a special diet like ketogenic diet is also effective. So if you can make a video during that attack, or if somebody is having those attacks, that video will definitely help in making the diagnosis. It’s not that epilepsy is a big factor in stopping your growth in life, it can easily be held and it can be treated, and if you are comfortable enough, if you are confident enough in such a scenario, you can lead a normal life, you can achieve a big milestone in your life without any problem. Only thing is that you take medicine at an appropriate time, take adequate sleep, avoid alcohol, smoking, and live a healthy life, you can do whatever you want, that will not create any problem.
Be positive, stay healthy, take medicines regularly, and if you have any question, you can meet me at Medanta Medicity, Gurgaon, or you can contact via Lybrate.
My child is 4 year old. And his behavior is not normal. He can not constraints in any task. Always angry. Always arguing with us. Speak too much but that related to nothing. What should I do?
The mind or the brain is the master computer, the site of our consciousness, thoughts and memories. We often tend to think of our mind as a separate entity, but the mind and the body are linked and just like our body, the mind too is susceptible to illnesses. The idea of mental illness makes us feel vulnerable and helpless and we dismiss the possibility of mental illness as something that “will not happen to me” or “is in my control”. But like all other illnesses, mental disorders too, are ultimately not in our control. More importantly, they are readily treatable with medications and therapy.
Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions/disorders that affect our mood, thinking and behavior. They include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, eating disorders, alcohol/drugs abuse and many others. All of us feel sad, anxious, stressed and have occasional sleepless nights. So when does a mental health concern become a problem? When the signs and symptoms persist and affect our regular day-to-day activities, it’s probably time to seek help.
Awareness is the first step to treatment. Learning about the signs and symptoms will allow you to seek help early and get back to a healthy and happy life.
If several of the following symptoms are recurring, it is advisable to consult a mental health professional.
1. Withdrawal: Recent social withdrawal and lack of interest in others are a common sign that you may have a problem in hand.
2. Drop in functioning: There is a sudden unusual drop in functioning at school, work or other social activities such as withdrawing from sports, failing in school or difficulty in performing ordinary tasks.
3. The problem with thinking: You face complications with concentration, memory or rational thoughts and speech that are hard to explain.
4. Increased sensitivity: There is a heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or physical contact and a tendency to avoid stimulating situations.
5. Apathy: There is a loss of desire or initiative to participate in any social activity.
6. Feeling disconnected: You experience a vague feeling of detachment from yourself or your surrounding and a sense of unreality encircles you (paranoia or hallucinations).
7. Illogical thinking: You have an exaggerated belief about your personal powers to understand meanings or influence events. You suffer from irrational or magical thinking, typical of childhood in an adult.
8. Nervousness: You have a feeling of fear, you are skeptical of others or have a strong nervous feeling.
9. Sleep or appetite changes: You experience sleep disorders, significant tiredness and appetite changes and even decline in personal care.
10. Mood swings: There are rapid or dramatic shifts in feelings ranging from excessive anger; hostility or violence to suicidal thoughts. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist.