Healthy environment, diet, regular exercise help cure mental diseases

ISLAMABAD: Healthy environment, healthy diet, active daily routine such as regular exercise greatly help cure mental diseases, Senior Psychiatrist Aysha Mokim Qurashi said on Friday.

Talking to PTV on the eve of World Mental Health Day, she said the active daily routine patterns and a person’s surrounding atmosphere play a singnificant role in maintaining mental health and curing mental diseases.

She elaborated that the key reasons for mental diseases largely are an unhealthy lifestyle, smoking, alcohol, poor diet and lack of regular exercise.

“Schizophrenia is a long-term mental health condition that causes a range of different psychological symptoms, including hallucinations, delusions, muddled thoughts based on the hallucinations or delusions, and changes in behaviour”, she added.

Schizophrenia is often described as a `psychotic’ illness because a person with the disease may not be able to distinguish their own thoughts and ideas from reality.

According to report on PTV, around the world, some 21 million people suffer from schizophrenia, a disorder that affects perception, cognition, behaviour and emotions.

In places where health and social services are unable to provide support, schizophrenia and other severe mental disorders can banish people to the borders of society, leaving them unemployed and homeless.

Schizophrenia is treatable. Appropriate mental and physical health care, along with regular monitoring and psychological and social support can make a profound difference, she said.

This year the theme for 2014 is `living with schizophrenia’ a disease that is often misunderstood by many in society.

In Pakistan there is required a proper political will and proper mental health policy as it will leave beneficial affects on the integration of care delivered by government health care professionals for patients with mental illnesses.

Major mental disorders in Pakistan are depression (6%), schizophrenia (1.5%) and epilepsy (1-2%).

She said the main reason for mental disorders in Pakistan are growing insecurity, poverty, violence, terrorism, economical problems, political uncertainty, unemployment, stressful working conditions, gender discrimination, unhealthy lifestyle, physical ill health, genetic factors, unrestricted urbanisation, and disruption of the social fabric and loss of protective family networks.

Women in Pakistan often face domestic violence as well as restriction in equal rights, particularly in rural settings.

Other risk factors being divorced or widowed status, conflict with in- laws, financial strain and the status of being a housewife rather than employed.

Studies reveal that depression is characterized by persistent sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feeling of guilt or low self worth and respect, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness, and poor concentration.

As per information available herre depression can be long-lasting  or recurrent, substantially impairing an individual’s ability to function at work or school or cope with daily life.

At its most severe, depression can lead to suicide. Almost one million people take their own lives each year world wide.

The report put emphasis on the dire need of developing psychological facilities and faculty in teaching hospitals where posts of psycholgists and consultant psychiatrists should be created.

Source: APP