Can I develop a psychiatric illness ?

Any one us can develop Psychiatric illness like any other medical illnesses. It is seen across all age groups, gender, profession and socioeconomic classes

I have never heard any one else suffering with this condition-Am I the only one?

It is unlikely. Many psychiatric conditions are common but because people don’t discuss it, is sometimes thought that no one else suffers from it. A lot of individuals perceive stigma if were to discuss about it. Please discuss with your doctor about this. You may also discuss the possibility of interacting with other individuals dealing with this particular disorder

Are medications the only way of treating Psychiatric disorder?

Medications are an important part of the treatment in Psychiatric disorders. However, there may be certain conditions where in only Counseling/Psychotherapy cab be tried. Also, frequently a combination of medications and Psychotherapy is used

If I start treatment, do I need it for life?

That is not necessarily true. Based on the type of illness, past history and previous episodes-your doctor will discuss the possible duration of treatment and if there is really a need for long term “maintenance” medications

Can I go to work or pursue further academic courses if on Psychiatric treatment

Absolutely-if your health is well and you are keen to pursue, you can definitely continue with your goals. It is recommended to discuss with your doctor regarding if new roles or programs can have any impact on your health and necessary precautions to address it.

Can I get any lab tests /brain scans to diagnose my Psychiatric problem

There no specific blood tests or brain scans that are available to diagnose mental health disorders. Normal scans or blood tests do not rule out a Psychiatric disorder. At an individual level, you may still be investigated to rule out other contributory medical conditions or monitoring medication related effects

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a common Psychiatric condition affecting about 1 % of the world’s population. It is commonly seen in the late teens and 20’s but can also present at other ages.

What are common symptoms of Schizophrenia?

Individuals with schizophrenia commonly present with either
1.“Positive symptoms”-Characterized by hearing voices, seeing or smelling things which others don’t perceive and may be suggestive “hallucinations”. In addition, they may have fears related to be talked about, harmed, their thoughts being known to others or being controlled.
2.“Negative symptoms”-This more often comes in with progression of the illness and is characterized by lack of motivation to do things, reduced social interaction, reduced emotional expression, reduced self-care etc.
3.There may be other symptoms such as anxiety, low mood, irritability, concentration difficulties.

Can schizophrenia be treated with counselling alone?

Medications are an important cornerstone for treatment of Schizophrenia. However, Counselling and Psychotherapy will have an additional important role in dealing with some symptoms of this illness and also coping better with it

I hear there are too many side effects of treatment-should I take at all?

While it is true that medications may have their side effects like in any illness, you and your doctor will have to discuss side effects that needs to be watched for and address them .It is also important to note that not being on adequate treatment can have serious implication on ones health

What are long acting injections” in Schizophrenia?

Individual with Schizophrenia often go through relapses and the commonest reason is Noncompliance/not being on regular medication. There are certain medications that are available as “Long acting Injection” and can be given as either a monthly or fortnightly injection. Discuss with your doctor as to whether this option will be good for you

I suffer from OCD since may years and have not gotten better. What are my treatment options?

It is important to evaluated in detail and see if it is only OCD or is there any other associated co morbidity. A detailed review of treatment so far will need to be done to assess reason for not having had adequate recovery. Medications and Cognitive behavioral therapy are mainstays of treatment and these need to be discussed

Do I need to be admitted for OCD related treatment?

OCD is usually treated on an outpatient. At times however, if there are severe symptoms, associated depression being severe admission may need to be considered. In individuals with Severe OCD admission may be considered to initiate Intensive behavioral therapy and subsequently it can be continued on an outpatient basis