I know someone who is showing symptoms, but he or she is not willing to visit. How will you help me

The close relatives of the concerned patient have to be taken into confidence. They have to explained the nature of the illness and the consequences and complications which can occur in due course. If they are able to understand the outcomes of not treating, they may be able to convince the patient. Most of the times, the relatives and friends are able to convince the patient. If to no avail, a house visit will help.

I have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. Will I ever be able to live a normal life?

Definitely, based on the diagnosis of the disorder. Regular intake of medicines along with counselling where required will help. Most of the psychiatric illness require long term treatment. Hence regular follow up is a must.

How long will I be on medication?

It depend on the disorder you are being treated for. For eg First episode depression requires treatment for 6-9 months, Anxiety disorders for minimum 6 months and disorders like Schizophrenia may require treatment life long. Disorders of childhood and old age problems treatment is as per the diagnosis.

What are the side-effects of my medication?

Mostof the side effects of medication are transient and selflimiting. The chances of addcition and dependence are less when they are supervised. Common side effects are dryness of mouth, constipation, blurring if vision, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, and letrhargy and increased sleep in some. These common side effects are not seen in around 10% of the patients.

What can I expect on my first visit?

In your first visit you will experience a comprehensive evaluation by the treating doctor or psychologist. Your problem or issues will be evaluated. You will be explained the nature of your problem and the interventions required to treat the same. Whether you require medicines or counselling or both will be told to you. Treatment approach is towards evaluating the cause of the problem and explaining the severity of thr problem.

How much would a visit cost?

The visit cost will be dependent on the nature of your problem, its intensity and the age group e.g. client coming to manage professional stress is different a child being brought to evaluate for learning disability. The cost will be conveyed to the client when they call up for the appointment on the contact numbers.

How do I know if I need to seek help?

All of us experience stress and anxiety in our regular lives, and may feel bogged down dealing with our problems. However, when the issues are more severe or last for much longer than is warranted by the circumstances, they may become ‘symptoms’, and hence, be a cause for concern. There could be several indicators that may suggest that you make need to seek help for a mental health professional.
  • You find that you are experiencing many of the symptoms of a particular disorder
  • You find your sleep/appetite/day-to-day functioning is getting severely affected but you’re not sure why
  • You’ve tried dealing with your problems in your usual manner but nothing seems to work
  • You’ve been experiencing inexplicable aches and pains and haven’t found the reason despite several visits to your General physician and other specialist doctors
  • Members of your family or friends feel that ‘something is really wrong’ and are asking you to seek help.
  • You are experiencing emotions that are disproportionate on intensity to the problem you are facing.
In any case, the issue you bring up will be evaluated in a comprehensive manner, and treatment, if required, will be initiated only after collaboration with the panel of mental health professionals in MPC. We have described the common mental health concerns on our website. You can go through these or make use of the test yourself facility to assess if you need to seel help from us.

What is the difference between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist?

Mental health problems stem from a complex interaction of a person’s biological, psychological as well as social make-up. A psychiatrist and a psychologist often work together as a team, addressing mental health issues at several levels to ensure the best possible care for you. A Psychiatrist is a medically trained mental health professional, who can prescribe medication for your symptoms. A Psychologist is a mental health professional who receives training in psychology, and is typically involved with conducting assessments to gauge mental health and with therapy and counselling. Whether you would benefit from medication, psychotherapy or counselling would depend on the nature, severity and duration of your condition.

What is the difference between counselling, and psychotherapy?

Counselling and psychotherapy are terms used to describe a very similar process of identifying issues and working towards the resolution of the same, in a structured manner, based on scientific research. While counselling is generally short term and specific to a certain issue, psychotherapy could go on for a longer duration and may involve addressing issues such as ways to deal with a specific disorder, identifying recurrent stressors and analysing patterns of thinking or behaviour that may be causing severe mental distress. Thus, whether you need counselling or psychotherapy depends on the nature and severity of the problem that needs to be addressed.

Why should I pay for counselling when I can talk to a friend for free?

Counselling is done by a mental health professional who is trained in assessing your problem in an unbiased manner. A counsellor will not only help you identify what triggers the problem, but also help identify what you are doing to maintain the problem so as to bring about a change in faulty lifestyle patterns. A counsellor takes into account your life history and is better equipped to deal with sensitive information. A counsellor is also bound by confidentiality – meaning that your problems cannot be discussed with anyone else without your permission, unless it possesses a threat to life. While a friend could help you by giving you some advice, counsellors do not engage in advice-giving. The goal of counselling is to empower you by enabling you to tackle your problems in the most efficient and healthy manner. A counsellor will assist you in discovering your strengths and guide you towards using them to solve your issues in order to lead an enriched life.

What if my personal problems are shared with others?

As a rule, we do not disclose any issues brought up in the course of treatment with anyone, unless you give us permission to share the same. The only exception to this rule is when a person poses a danger to himself, someone else or to the society in general.

Will you tell my problem to my parents/husband/wife/ without my consent?

No. We maintain strict ethical standards, and hence will not disclose any information to your relatives unless you give us specific permission to do so. In some cases, when the child is a minor, we may be obliged to disclose information to the parents. In case, if your information needs to be shared with your caregivers, this will be discussed with you prior to sharing information. Only in conditions where there is a threat to your safety or the safety of someone else, can we (your mental health professionals) disclose any information. This disclosure is intended to take measures to keep you and your loved ones safe and sound.

Will I become dependent on medications?

Ans. If medications are strictly taken under the supervision of a psychiatrist, not through self-prescription or as over the counter drugs , then there are minimum chances of dependency on drugs.

Will medicines affect my sexual life?

Ans. Sexual dysfunction in patients with psychological problems can be due to the problem itself and due to medicines also. Sexual dysfunction due to medicines is transient and go away when the medicines are stopped. Sexual side effects are never permanent. In long term treatment patients may benefit from a change of medicine.Proper counseling and explanation to the client helps allay their doubts and fears.

Can prayers help me better than counselling?.

Ans. Counselling is a process where you are guided by professionals who are trained in guiding and helping people. This process can help get answers to a lot of questions that you might have, it helps in exploring yourself, the problem areas to understand the cause of the problem as well as what id maintaining the problem. Through various process and planned strategies improvement can be brought about. It would also help in staying on the right track required for improvement, monitor and give feedback about current improvement, doing follow ups and maintaining improvement. Praying is a good thing to do and the counsellors can be the answers to your prayers.

Yoga, meditation and exercise will help me better than medication. Why should I take medicines?

Ans. Yoga, meditation and exercises along with medication are a very good idea but if you are not in a state to get up and do yoga, meditation and exercises than what? Medication helps in regulating your body in a way that you are able to get up and do other things like yoga, meditation and exercises.

I get suggestions from my family and friends and I know what has to be done, then what is the need for me to come for therapy and counselling?

Ans. There is a big difference between taking suggestion from a relative or a friend and undergoing therapy with a psychologist. The psychologist has done a masters degree in various types of psychological difficulties that a person may have and what are the possible ways of dealing with it, whereas the relative and friend may be as unaware and ignorant about the difficulty that you are facing as you are. He/she might not know any more than you do and in that case there are chances that you will be wrongly advised or suggested something that is not meant for you. You do not go to your relative or friend when you have fever, you go to the doctor; you do not go to the doctor when you need to construct a house, you go to the civil engineer or an architect. In the same way psychological difficulties are to be treated by a psychologist or a psychiatrist not friend or a relative who has no training in it.


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