Dr. Rohan Bokdawala talks about identifying mental ill health and the need for its treatment

Dr. Rohan Bokdawala explains his valuable expertise in treating mental health issues with awareness and being empathetic instead of sympathetic with patients. He gives insight into the tell-tale signs of mental health and explains the need for treatment for mental health issues.

According to the World Health Organisation, globally around 280 million people suffer from depression, whereas around 1 in 5 of the world’s children and adolescents have a mental disorder. According to the information by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2018, India has just 898 psychologists against the requirement of 20,250. Moreover, the country has 1,500 psychiatric nurses against the requirement of 3,000. Ministry also states that in India, 1 in every 12 elderly persons have symptoms of depression. Patients together with their families and caregivers continue to experience stigma and discrimination.

World Mental Health Day (WMHD) is celebrated annually on 10 October, is organized by the World Federation for Mental Health, and endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO). The theme for World Mental Health Day 2021 is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’. COVID-19 pandemic has a major impact on people’s mental health, therefore the need to observe this day becomes even more important.

On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, we at Medicircle are celebrating World Mental Health Day Awareness Series to raise awareness about mental health issues that are currently affecting the world and ensure people enjoy good mental health and wellbeing.

Dr. Rohan Bokdawala is a consultant psychiatrist at Masina Hospital. Dr. Rohann Bokdawala is a renowned psychiatrist from Mumbai with an overall experience of 11 years. Dr. Rohann Bokdawala currently practices at Mind Solutions, Marine Lines in Mumbai. Dr. Rohan is an honorary consultant at NGO Sneha which deals with domestic violence. He is a gold medalist in psychiatry from MUHS Nashik in 2013

Normal Mental Healthy 

Dr. Rohan Bokdawala says, “Mental health is normal social, emotional, psychological well-being of a person. Here social means behavior towards other people, emotional involves feeling and psychology is the study of the human mind. Normal mental health would be if your mind is functioning at an optimum level. There is important to maintain a healthy professional and personal life with a good lifestyle. One should understand the thoughts, mood, and feelings throughout the day. This is normal mental health. It also means that you are not addicted to any substances.”

Mental health issues 

Dr. Rohan Bokdawala says, “There has been much awareness about mental health in the last decade. Initially, people used to get scared talking about mental health. This is a good thing for everyone because anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, angry, sad, and tense for a long time is called a mental health issue. It is caused by - 

Chemical imbalance eg depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar disease Physical injury leading brain damage  Drugs and alcohol addiction  Anxiety and tension  Anger and sadness  Sleep problems  Sexual problems Personality issues  Stress 

Now, people know about different types of mental issues.”

Signs of mental illness

Dr. Rohan Bokdawala says, “There are many signs like-

Unawareness of physical patient symptoms  The sustained pattern of change in behavior  Interference with daily activities Anger and sadness  Irritable  The suicidal tendency should never be taken lightly

In case of this, speak to the elderly and counselor and then consult the psychiatrists.

Stop being judgemental  Stop being prejudicial  Look out for signs  Help the person with a mental issue Look at this problem Be empathetic and not sympathetic.”

Alzheimer’s Diseases and Schizophrenia 

Dr. Rohan Bokdawala says, “Alzhmeirs is generally seen in old age where there is recent memory loss and long-term memories remain intact. There is weakness in memory in old age. Many people like family members consider that they are lying. There is the involuntary passage of urine and stool in such patients. Similarly, schizophrenia patients have an illusion that people are watching them or talking to them and there is a loss of functioning. Everybody wants to fit in the perfect mentality.”

Treatment for mental health 

Dr. Rohan Bokdawala says, “This year theme 2021 for World Mental Health Day is Inequality of Mental Health Healers by World Health Organization. In India, there are around 15 k psychologists and 15k psychiatrists for 150 crores of the population.  The state of Chhattisgarh has 30 psychiatrists with more than 4 crores of population. The government is getting involved in the promotion and awareness of mental health. Awareness of mental health during pandemics was very important. The number of patients in cases of mental health is doubled in the last march. The people are opening up wanting to express depression and mental health issues which is a good thing. Awareness and destigmatization are important. Mental health is a stigma for the world. There are many types of treatment like- 

Medicines  Counseling  Therapy  Admission to hospital in case of addiction  Rehab center 

In 2018, there was a law passed where if the patient does not want to take treatment then he or she has full rights to mental health.”

(Edited by Dr. Rati Parwani)

Contributed by Dr. Rohan Bokdawala, Consultant Psychiatrist, Masina Hospital & Mind Solutions
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About the Author

Dr. Rati Parwani

Dr Rati Parwani is a Practising Professional BHMS Doctor having experience of 8 years in the medical field. Her approach towards each and every patient is the utmost professional with high standards of practice. She has nurtured her writing skills and proves it as an asset to her professionalism. She has experience in content writing and likes her writing ethical and scientific-based.

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