Mental health is in alarming state in India, needed urgent steps to bridge the mental health care gap–Dr. Madhusudan Singh Solanki

World mental health day was celebrated on 10th october 2018 at Max Smart Saket New Delhi, addressing on the occasion senior consultant psychiatrist Dr Madhusudan Singh Solanki emphasized how young people in our country are succumbing to mental health issues and how large is the treatment gap.The seminar was attended by esteemed doctors from Max Hospital and delegates from outside. Dr Madhusudan used music, song and movies to highlight and make the doctors understand what a mentally ill person goes through and how the symptoms can be recognized. Dr Solanki emphasized the importance of recognition of mental health issues by physicians and doctors from other specialties as people often hesitate to seek psychiatric help due to stigma and lack of awareness. They are the ones who can help greatly reduce the stigma and motivate patients to seek help.

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He added –Mental health issues are on the rise due to social change, migration, unemployment, loneliness, work/educational stress, dissonance in aspirations and capabilities and rising substance use. Biological factors like genetics and neurotransmitter disturbances (Serotonin, dopamine and many others) also play a significant role as do the psychological factors like your temperament, coping styles and cognitive errors and defense mechanisms. But almost all mental health disorders are fairly treatable and most of the patients live a quality life with treatment. He also dispelled the widely held myth that “all medicines used to treat mental health issues are addictive and are just sedatives”, the fact is that apart from the sleeping pills–which most patient take without hesitation and physicians also readily prescribe (for eg. how many people you know who have taken something like alprazolam and have been taking it for a long time) none of the other medicines are habit forming. However he also emphasized the importance of correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment tailored according to the patient profile and that can include counseling, psychotherapy and medications depending upon what suits the patient and how severe is the condition and what can provide the greatest relief based on the latest scientific evidence. It is alarming that more than 75% of people suffering from mental health disorders in our country remain untreated, this is a huge gap. “There is an urgent need to address the mental health treatment gap in our country” he stressed.

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Depression is an all pervasive global burden now: Dr Madhusudan Singh Solanki

Speaking on the occasion of World Health Day 2017 and addressing senior faculty members and doctors from other specialty Dr Madhusudan Singh Solanki emphasized that depression is not only a burden in itself when occurring alone it is a significant comorbidity that has a huge impact on the outcome of various other physical health disorders.

For example

In cardiovascular settings 20-30-% patients have depression along with heart diseases

High prevalence of depression is found in COPD and other lung disorders like bronchitis and asthma

high prevalence of depression in peptic ulcer patients or ciliac disease patients

30 % diabetic people have depression which makes their diabetes worse and diabetes in turn makes their depression worse

Hypothyroidism has strong association with depression

30-35% of post stroke patients have depression, in dementia almost 20-30% have depression

10-20 % CANCER patients have depression -making their outcome worse

20-40% of patients with HIV have depression

30-60% of skin disorder patients have depression

depression is very common in postpartum, pregnancy and post menopausal periods in females

 

when depression occurs with these conditions it affects their outcome very badly, it makes the disorders worse , their symptoms increase, response to treatment becomes poor and it also affects patient’s adherence to treatment.

How to recognize if someone you know is having some physical disorder but also developing depression

look for these signs—

-person remains low, sad most of the time

-crying spells triggered by trivial stimuli

-person loses interest in pleasurable things as well as interest in treatment

-talks indicate hopelessness, worthlessness, helplessness (I am a burden..not good for anything..this is my end kind of statements)

-sleep disturbance

-treatment or food refusal

-aches and pains out of proportion to the physical illness

-becoming slow in activities

-remains withdrawn, not interacting much

-expresses death wishes or suicidal thoughts

 

if you find these mood and behavioral changes in someone close to you..take him/her to a psychiatrist as early as possible

Remember if we do not treat the COMORBID-DEPRESSION, the other disorders will also not respond to the treatment as expected.

Remember depression is a disorder like any other physical illness and it is treatable.

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Mental health in Work Place – Dr Madhusudan Singh Solanki

The theme for this year’s world mental health day 10th October 2017 is “MENTAL HEALTH IN WORK PLACE”. we spend more than half of our active adult life at our work place hence it becomes very important to take care of our mental health at work place, cause your work place affects your mental health and your mental health affects your work place.

Mental health issues are currently one of the major contributors to global disability world wide

One third of illness-related worker absenteeism is tied to mental rather than physical disorders.

Depression is currently ranked fourth amongst global burden of diseases

India currently has the largest number of depressed patients in the world

India is also the suicide capital of the world with most suicides occurring in the age group of 15-29.

Majority of these suicides are preventable if the underlying mental health issue are addressed

Mental health disorders are disorders like physical disorders

Brain is an organ of the body that can get sick just like liver, heart or kidney. Chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters which regulate how people think, feel and act can get out of balance and hence result in mental health disorders like depression or anxiety etc.

Anyone can get a mental health issue regardless of age, race, economic status or environment. Stress can play a part in triggering or exacerbating a mental health issue.

One should not be ashamed of having a mental health issue like one is not ashamed of other illnesses like heart disease or diabetes

Shame and stigma are the main reasons people don’t seek and get the help they need.

 

Warning signs that point to a mental health problem

if you notice these new behavioural changes in yourself or someone close to you…

Frequent changes in the mood that is inappropriate to the situation eg feeling excessively low

Losing interest in things that were earlier enjoyed

Remaining withdrawn, not talking or interacting much

Frequent irritability, anger outbursts or violent episodes

Death wishes or suicidal ideas or plans

Increased alcohol or other substance use

Changes in sleep or appetite

Difficulty concentrating or forgetfulness

Restlessness

Excessive anxiety worry or apprehension

Not taking care of self or hygiene

 

Some tips for positive mental health in work place

Exercise regularly

Follow a routine

Prioritize things in life

Inculcate stress bursting activities like music, gardening etc

Take small breaks during work to de-stress

Do not take work to home or vice versa

Stop smoking and cut down alcohol

Share and ventilate your feelings with your loved ones

Seek professional help if you notice excessive stress or warning signs of mental health issues

How the organizations can improve mental health well being at work place

Reward and recognition for good work.

Making the employees partner in major decisions affecting their jobs

Improving communication at all levels of organization

Ensure right for and role for the employees.

Providing right opportunities for career growth

Flexible work timings

Promoting healthy lifestyle

Mental health awareness programs

Providing accessible mental health care through tie ups or reimbursement.

 

The time has come when organizations should realize the benefits of mentally healthy and committed work force for long term gains, hence mental health should be given the priority it deserves.

Dr Madhusudan Singh Solanki

Consultant Psychiatrist

Max Smart Superspeciality Hospital

Saket New Delhi 110017

01171212121

 

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Happy Independence day!! “Desh Mere” is Dr Madhusudan’s salute to our beloved nation

Today Our country India is celebrating 70th  Independence day…its a great day to salute our nation, to salute and feel proud..to remember the responsibility that comes with freedom and to take a pledge to contribute in the best way we can to further build this great nation with whatever role an effort one can contribute positively with. Dear friends I wrote and composed this song “Desh Mere” to convey what I feel about my country and to salute the nation, its people and the people who laid their lives for our freedom- lets stay united and strong…Jai Hind!! – Dr Madhusudan Singh Solanki

Do share your valuable feedback and share further if you like it!!

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Dr Madhusudan Singh Solanki addressed Delhi University students on role of music therapy

On 8th march 2017 Dr Madhusudan Singh Solanki addressed the students of Delhi university Aryabhatta college on the interesting topic of music’s role as a therapeutic modality. Dr Madhusudan who has done international reviews and commentaries on the topic explained vividly about how music is not only an entertainment, a cultural phenomenon but it is a valuable adjuvant therapy providing and enhancing healing in cases of pain, cancer, ICU settingsas well as psychiatric illnesses like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, autism and many others. The students participated with vigor and the interactive session saw many interesting questions being asked and answered. the students of the college also performed few songs and Dr Madhusudan also shared his music with students. Dr Madhusudan also unveiled the magazine published by psychology department of Aryabhatta college.

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Depression: Lets talk

Depression: why don’t we talk about it?

The other day when I was watching television I saw an advertisement telling how people discriminate with people suffering from HIV/AIDS and how they should not do that, that advertisement comes very frequently and I have seen signage’ and advertisement boards at various places about how HIV spreads and what to do to prevent it and how people suffering from it should not be stigmatized. I felt good about that at least there are efforts to reduce the stigma and myths regarding HIV/AIDS but at the same time I wondered no one talks about an even more widespread, stigmatised and taboo domain of mental health. We see no advertisement, no reminders, no campaigns to address the area of neglected mental health riddled with stigma and myths. Depression for example is the leading cause of disability and morbidity worldwide and as per latest World Health Organization (WHO) estimates India has the highest number of people suffering from depression. More than 250,000 people commit suicide every year in our country making it the capital of young suicides in the world, and it’s a known fact that depression is the a major cause contributing to suicides. We don’t have exact data about how many hours of work are wasted, how many people lose their quality of life including work, leisure, health and relationships due to depression in our country but going by WHO data for the world, depression is the single largest contributor to global burden of diseases affecting quality of life of over 300 million people worldwide.  Unfortunately most of the patients remain untreated, as per WHO less than ten percent of patients with depression are properly treated or seek treatment. Reasons for this gap are many, lack of resources, lack of awareness, lack of mental health care professionals and most importantly stigma associated with being a mentally ill patient in our country. Hence there is a need to talk about depression, there is need to stop this silent suffering. WHO’s theme for world health day 7th April 2017 is “Depression: Let’s Talk” that rightly highlights WHO’s concerns about depression being a major contributor to disability and morbidity worldwide and the need to put in efforts to address this issue.

So what is depression?

Depression is not the usual temporary sadness we experience in dealing with day to day unpleasant situations but rather it’s a combination of the following lasting two weeks or more

Sad mood most of the time

Lack of interest in activities which earlier provided joy

Sleep disturbance in form of increased or decreased sleep

Increased or decreased appetite

Feeling hopeless, worthless, helpless or guilty

Lethargy and decreased energy

Thoughts of self harm or suicide

Forgetfulness or lack of concentration

Apart from these symptoms a person suffering from depression may have significant anxiety, restlessness, irritability or unexplained medical symptoms like aches and pains in the body or gastric disturbance.

 

 

What to do if you recognize these changes in someone close to you?

Talk with the person, listen… listen… listen. Don’t be judgemental, don’t rush…you just being there and just being a good listener will provide some relief to the person affected with depression. Try to empathize and understand what the person is going through. Encourage the person to indulge in activities that the person used to enjoy earlier. Help the person receive professional mental health care.  If the person expresses death wishes or has done self harm recently do not leave the person alone and remove all potentially harmful objects like medicines etc away from the person and take the person to a mental health care professional or a psychiatrist as soon as possible.

What should you do if you find you are having depression?

First of all talk to someone you trust as talking and expressing helps a great deal in dealing with depression. Indulge in activities which earlier provided you joy although it’s difficult but it definitely helps. Understand that you are depressed and hence you are suffering from a clinical disorder hence you may not be able to do certain things the same way you were doing earlier. Take professional help as soon as possible; meet a psychiatrist or your local physician if psychiatrist is not available. Remember with right treatment you will get better. Exercise regularly and keep in touch with your friends and family and stay away from alcohol or any other substance.

Is depression treatable?

Yes depression is fairly treatable with medicines and psychotherapy or talk therapy. Treatment is decided depending upon the severity of depressive episode. Most of the patients recover and lead a quality life with proper treatment.

What can I do as an individual to help this cause?

You can help a great deal by becoming aware and sharing and spreading this fact in the society that depression or mental illness is just an illness like any other physical illness which should be properly treated and a depressed patient deserves the same respect and dignity that a physically ill patient deserves.

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Dr. Madhusudan Singh Solanki receives the “Most Loved Doctor” award in psychiatry at Max…

“There comes a moment when you realize how much your colleague and staff and the organization values you. Receiving the most loved doctor award in psychiatry at my work place Max Smart Superspeciality Hospital is one such moment. I feel really humbled and touched and wish to thank from the bottom of my heart all my colleagues, seniors, juniors, nursing staff and management for this kind and loving gesture”- Dr Madhusudan Singh Solanki

most loved docchi

 

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World mental health day celebrated at Max Smart Superspeciality Hospital

On October 10th 2016, the department of mental health and behavioral sciences, Max Smart Superspciality Hospital celebrated world mental health day. The event was a huge success and it was attended by Patients, caregivers and community leaders and medical professionals. Dr Madhusudan Singh Solanki who envisioned the event gave an eye opener talk on the importance of  mental health issues and how the stigma is the biggest barrier for mental health. The talk was followed by question answer session and people shared and asked a lot of interesting questions pertaining to mental health issues. Dr T S Jain medical director Max Smart highlighted the importance of mental health while welcoming the delegates to the seminar. In the end to the delight of all present Dr Madhusudan sang one of his own composed songs “Bhor ke panchhi” which was very well received by the delegates and they all crooned along with him. Dr Madhusudan Singh Solanki thanked everyone including Mr. Aashish, Dr T S Jain and all the  delegates  for making it a successful event.

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Unchecked & prolonged Stress can lead to mental health and physical health problems: Dr. Madhusudan Singh Solanki

Stress is the physiological and psychological response of your body and mind and one experiences it when the demands exceed ones capacity to deal with them. Some amount of stress helps us to grow and become stronger and increases our resilience. Problem happens when the demands or stressors are excessive or they are continuing for a long time and the resources or the capacity to deal with them is exhausted in the process and at that time stress manifests and a breakdown happens leading to Negative consequences like…

  • Sleep problems
  • Feeling tired, fatigued
  • Digestive problems
  • Forgetfulness
  • Headache and aches & pains
  • Feeling low
  • Irritability
  • Constant on the edge kind of feeling
  • Mind going blank or inability to concentrate
  • Feeling overwhelmed by the same activities which earlier you could manage.

If unchecked and untreated stress can lead to various mental health problems  like Major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, substance use & addictions to many other mental health and behavioural issues.

Furthermore stress can deteriorate your physical health and can not only lead to increased risk of Diabetes, Asthma, COPD, heart problems to even stroke and many other physical health issues it aggravates the problems if it coexists and negatively affects the treatment outcomes.

What can you do?

Stress is part and parcel of life and it can’t be removed, what one should aspire is to learn to deal with it effectively so that one grows and becomes stress resilient.

In general

  • Prioritize and learn to maintain a balance between various aspects of life.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Take healthy nutritious food including fruits and salads.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Yoga and meditation.
  • Nurture a positive attitude towards life and don’t let negative emotions and thoughts dwell for long in your mind.
  • Take breaks and relax for few minutes during working hours.
  • Inculcate your hobbies and find new ways to relax and unwind.
  • Invest in relationships and nurture a good social support system.
  • Maintain regular sleep timing.
  • Cut down caffeine and stay away from alcohol and smoking and other substances.

 

 

When to seek professional help?

If you notice that despite your best efforts the symptoms of stress as listed above are not going away or they are worsening or you find that in recent times your smoking or alcohol or substance use has increased, consult a psychiatrist and get a proper evaluation done.

Remember for mental health issues the early you intervene the better the outcome.

Dr Madhusudan Singh Solanki

MBBS MD (Gold Medalist)

Consultant Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist

De-addiction specialist

Max Smart Superspeciality Hospital

Saket New Delhi

for appiointment

Call 01171212121

 

 

 

 

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lets fight the stigma together…mental health should be given the respect it deserves!!

it was way back in 2006 when I was doing my post graduation in psychiatry and soon I realized the biggest barrier stopping people to seek mental health care or to continue treatment was “Stigma”. People used to come after years of suffering from a mental health issue. the family members will take the patient to faith healers, temples, dargahs and where not but they will never bring the patient to mental health care. The disease continues to progress, gradually damaging the person, his persona, his profession, his relationships, his capacity to initiate things or work everything getting damaged, ruined, the patient suffering but neither the patient nor the patient seek mental health care, and finally at last when they do, its often too late. The disease has done the damage and we mental health care professionals wonder why? what if the patient would have taken treatment at an earlier stage and continued with it? most of the time things could have improved substantially, life could have been saved, quality of life could have been saved. I remained perturbed for many days thinking what can I do for this and then I thought why cant I use my creativity for this purpose and then  I wrote this song “Phool kho gaye” and then finally made a video to address this issue in whatever little way I could to spread awareness and reduce the stigma.

Stigma and ignorance is so deep that we don’t have the notion that mind can also suffer like any other organ of the body. for example the function of kidney is filtration, so what happens when kidney is malfunctioning? its function suffers that is filtration of toxins from our bodies suffer and their levels start rising up. so on the same lines one of the finest functions of brain is thinking and feeling, so when the brain chemicals are altered in subtle ways thinking and feelings starts getting affected and that’s one of the reasons how  mental illness happens, apart from psychological and social reasons. but we tend to take our brain for granted as if it came with a guarantee that it will never malfunction while other organs may do. So when someone starts experiencing a change in thinking or mood or behavior, people don’t take it seriously and pass it off as a habit change, or a change in stars or black magic or patient deliberately showing the symptoms while he suffers from nothing and the “stigma” that once you are a mental patient your wisdom, your intellect and acts will always be seen with a suspicion of inadequacy and inefficiency forces the patient also to deny the existence of any such illness and delay or refuse treatment for the same. This is really unfortunate and needs to change, we need to give the same respect to the mentally ill as we give to physically ill patients and mental illness needs to be treated with same level of professionalism, dignity and seriousness as physical illnesses, then only the stigma will go away and holistic health will be a possibility.  Remember there can be no health without mental health.

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