Am I Depressed?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) considers depression as becoming the second most common cause of morbidity by 2020. It affects various aspects of the individuals life- social, work, the prospects to work, the carers and friends around the sufferer and thus lowers the overall quality of life. In addition, it is also linked with an unfortunate mode of death i.e. Suicide amongst other causes of suicide.

But if screened early, it can be treated early. There have been advances in the modalities of treatment of depression including pharmacological i.e. medications, psychological therapies. More recently, there are non- invasive neuromodulation treatments like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to help with depression and other psychiatric & neurological disorders. This new treatment is a major step towards the use of other non-invasive techniques in the future before one needs to consider ECT (Electric Convulsive Therapy). ECT brings up all sorts of debates but as a practicing Consultant Psychiatrist, I am of the opinion that it remains an efficient treatment when considered at the right time of depression treatment.

So if we can pick it up early, the prognosis is better. Here’s a tool to help you screen for depression and seek help early.

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Gambling Myths

MYTH– One has to Gamble everyday to be a Problem Gambler


A problem gambler may not need to gamble everyday. Problem gamblers may gamble everyday, frequently or infrequently. When gambling starts causing psychological, social, legal, employment and financial difficulties for the individual and/or for the people around them, then they may have a problem with gambling.

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Gambling Myths- 2

Problem Gambling is not a problem if the individual engaged in Gambling behaviour is able to afford it.

Affordability has got no association with Problem Gambling. When the relationship to gambling takes priority over other areas of life eg spending more time in Gambling and less time with significant others to fulfil the roles such as the role of a spouse, partner, parent, employee etc. that becomes Problem Gambling.

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Laughter is still the best medicine

Let’s end the 12 posts today with the best medicine- Laughter. Laughter does a lot of good to our mood and health. And a healthy mind is one that has the capability of seeing humour in most things and being able to see the lighter side of life.

Thinking of the old adage Old is Gold, here’s Abbott & Castello lightening up the mood with their classic baseball video.

Keep smiling always!

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Visualisation for Achieving Goals

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions

~ Albert Einstein

So you are motivated and have set goals. Now let us see if visualisation can help reinforcing the outcomes you wish to achieve.

We use visualisation in various models of psychotherapy including therapies for psychological trauma eg for PTSD, for health behaviour change eg using Solution Focussed Therapy in Addictions to name a few. Visualisation in simple terms simply means mental image rehearsal of the desired outcome. Not only used in Psychiatry, it can be used in everyday life by anyone to keep a positive attitude and reinforce behaviour required for the goals set by them.

For this to work, there are two essential elements

1. Detail

A detailed picture or image is needed. Carrying on from the original example of improving fitness, one has to develop a detailed image in their mind of what all would be done and how would it be achieved. The more the specific and detailed the image, the better are the chances of its achievement.

2. Rehearsal

After a detailed image, the next step is to practice visualising yourself doing that on any opportunity as possible.

So if you have made some resolutions for the New Year, make them SMARTand practice Visualisation to achieve them.

All the best!

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