The field of Psychiatry is one of the most fascinating yet neglected one. This is also a field in medical science where, in addition to medical knowledge, a person needs empathy, ability to connect with their patients and they also need to have a deeper understanding of the human psyche. By treating a patient you are not only helping the patient but also his/ her entire family. As it is said that a healthy mind can exist only in a healthy body so also a healthy body cannot function without a healthy mind.
I am Dr. Ananya Choudhury, (MBBS, DPM, DNB, has an experience of 10 years in the field of Psychiatry) During my work I have realized that not only do you treat the patient but you also learn the most from your patients. Every patient is unique and you learn something new with each patient.So, taking part in extended Doctor’s Day celebration with PsyCare,I would take this opportunity to talk about four most common anxiety related disorders that deserve our acknowledgement and empathy towards the patients affected from them.
According to the latest World Health Organization report, more than 38 million people suffer from anxiety related disorders in India. In India, however, there are various misconceptions and stigmas associated with these mental conditions. Take a look.
1. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Probably the most known anxiety related mental disorder, OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder affects grownups and children alike. Individuals having this condition often have obsessions, unwanted thoughts, or urges that make them anxious or uncomfortable. Such individuals, thereafter engage in compulsions (repetitive physical or mental behaviours) as an attempt to reduce their discomfort or anxiety. Compulsive behavioural traits such as repeated hand washing, tapping, or mental routines (counting backwards from 100 or thinking about “good” images) are usually observed in patients with OCD.
2. Hoarding Disorder
At PsyCare, we receive a number of cases wherein individuals experience ongoing and significant difficulty in getting rid of their material possessions regardless of their value. This condition is coined as the hoarding disorder, and patients suffering from this condition display strong urges to acquire non-essential items, specifically. If they fail to do so or are prevented from acquiring them, it leads to extreme distress. Subsequently, the patients not only experience social and occupational impairment, but also end up cluttering their living space with junk.
3. Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia
In my career, I have come across many individuals who complain about a sudden onset of intense fear, or panic attack, and then spend at least a month, being anxious about having some kind of bad incident. Symptoms of panic disorder include difficulty breathing, excessive sweating, racing heart, an urge to escape, sense of danger, and chest pain. In addition, we also have patients diagnosed with Agoraphobia or the fear of being in at least two locations where escape appears difficult or they might be unable to get help. Agoraphobic patients, therefore, try to avoid such situations as much as possible.
4. Body Focused Repetitive Behaviours
Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviours, or BFRBs, can be defined as a cluster of habitual behaviours such as hair pulling ( or Trichotillomania), skin picking (or Skin Excoriation), nail biting, lip or cheek biting, and nose picking. In patients suffering from this condition, it is common to observe repetitive and ongoing physical engagement that results in noticeable hair loss, lesions, or skin abrasions.
In today’s fast-paced and competitive world, it is almost impossible not to feel anxious at some point or the other. If however, you tend to experience anxiety for extended periods, it might take its toll on your mental and physical health both. As we celebrate a month of spreading awareness about mental health disorders honouring the Doctor’s Day, I would like to say that people suffering from mental disorders should not be looked down upon. There are a variety of anxiety treatment options available such as psychotherapy, coping strategies, and medication, for treating anxiety related mental disorders, through which people suffering from anxiety disorders can lead a productive and healthy life.