Mental health problems have become relatively common in this day and age, a large number of people get diagnosed with conditions such as depressive illness, generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia etc.
Dr.Nusrat Habib Rana is a leading psychiatrist in Lahore. She is PhD from Spain, MD from China and MCPS from Pakistan and has 38 years of experience in her friend. In her session with oladocx, she discussed a very interesting topic related to Mental Health: Common Mental Health problems in Pakistan and treatments of Mental Illness.
Q.1: How is psychiatry different from psychology?
Psychology serves as a laboratory assessment for psychiatrists, it provides them with an examination of the patient’s past history. Psychologists help patients make sense of their past traumas and how it affects their present life. Psychologists mainly prescribe medicines to counter the chemical imbalance in the brain which occurs as a result of psychological problems.
Q.2: What are some common mental health problems in Pakistan?
In Pakistan and over the world generally, mood disorders are extremely common. An important factor that contributes to its frequency is cousin marriages, the same chromosomes and genetics are inherited by the children. Just like diabetes and blood pressure, psychological diseases travel in genetics and can plague generations altogether.
Moreover, in youngsters, depressive illness is also frequently diagnosed due to aimlessness caused by education and the economy. Environmental factors also lead to biochemical changes in the brain, resulting in disorders.
Q.3: What are some treatment options for mental illnesses?
Unfortunately in Pakistan, this field has not been developed properly because our society is more inclined towards supernatural explanations like demonic possession etcetera. These people tend to visit shrines; as a result, the patient suffers further from mental and even physical trauma, further worsening their condition.
Different schools of thought provide different treatments such as specialized medication, psychoanalysis, cognitive behaviour therapy and counselling. A combination of these treatments is recommended for best results.
Q.4: How does mental health affect the brain?
Healthy mental health is as important as healthy physical health; it is pertinent to realize that the body is connected to the mind. Mental health is looked at holistically, for example, environmental factors of the patient are also taken into account. For example, a few years ago Pakistan was under the threat of continuous bomb blasts. This caused post-traumatic stress disorder in the people and general insecurity, the environment affects the brain.
Q.5: What is depression?
Depressive illness is a biochemical change in the brain causing severely disappointed mood. The patient loses all sense of joy in their life and becomes hopeless, in later stages the patient loses their appetite, suffers from frequent crying spells, disturbed sleeping patterns and general hopelessness.
These symptoms are not necessarily caused by the environment; even if the environment is pleasant a person may still suffer from depressive illness. Biochemical treatments coupled with other supporting mechanisms are necessary and encouraged to cope with this condition. Recovery is definitely hard, but possible.
If you want to learn more about mental health problems in Pakistan and their treatments, then watch the full video.
If you have any mental health concerns, contact a psychologist at your earliest.
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