World Mental Health Day is a day that should get more importance. The rise in urban anxieties, pressures and social stigma create ripple effects in everyone’s minds. So why not address the elephants living in our rooms?
Dr Adita Dagaria Agrawal, a Consultant Psychiatrist specialised in the treatment of anxiety, depression, headache, adolescent / teenage problems, de-addiction and relationship problems, talks to GHP from her extensive experience.
Her approach is empathetic and compassionate towards patients and works on improving the quality of life for patients as well as their family members.
Dr Adita Agrawal has done various research studies and workshops on depression and diabetes, anger management, personality disorders, childhood issues (child-parent relationship), stress management.
Her paper presentation on Emotional Intelligence In Students in Bombay Psychiatric Society was awarded top honours. Dr Agrawal is a member of Bombay Psychiatric society, Indian Psychiatric society, Indian Association Of Private Psychiatrists.
In this chat with Oshiwara-based Dr Adita Agrawal, I have some basic questions to address on world Mental Health Day
GHP: What are ways small and on a daily basis that can help us keep anxieties from building up?
DA: Stress is something which each one of us feels at some point of time. People may feel worried, tensed, upset, sad when they are stressed.
This is a very normal feeling but when it starts affecting physically, socially, mentally and day to day functioning it needs attention.
So on a daily basis lot of things can be done to prevent anxiety such as:
– Eating a well-balanced and healthy diet.
– Doing everyday of physical activity such as brisk walking, exercise for at least 30 minutes.
– Deep breathing exercises.
– Yoga or meditation.
– Having adequate sleep.
– Taking out sometime for relaxation and doing things you find pleasurable.
GHP: How do you advise youngsters coping with pressures, to overcome them and take less stress?
DA: Youngsters are very much prone to face anxiety. They should learn how to cope with stress in a positive way. Here’s what the young ones can do:
– Physical activity/Exercise.
– Talking to someone and sharing things with someone you trust.
– Learning to manage time.
– Avoiding alcohol, drugs for relaxation.
– Penning down your feeling or points that trigger your anxiety.
– Relaxation in form of listening to music, going for a movie, dinner or whatever you like doing.
GHP: How conscious do you think India is, of mental health and its significance?
DA: India is country of diverse culture. But still, due to lack of education and poverty, people have a lot of stigma for mental health. 50-60% of people are not aware of all mental illness and ignore the symptoms which leads to many suicides every minute.
GHP: Terms like Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, etc., are also very loosely used and applied today by people. How does one actually recognise signs of a serious problem?
DA: Early signs and symptoms of Depression and Anxiety can be noticed like sadness of mood, crying episodes without any reason, emotional instability, decreased concentration in work, loss of interest in pleasurable activity, ideas of hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness, suicidal thoughts, ruminating negative thoughts, restlessness, physical symptoms like weight loss, decreased appetite, palpitations, tremulousness, anger outbursts and mood swings.
GHP: What would you term as the single biggest contributor to adverse mental health in urban India?
DA: The biggest contributor is stress in urban life. Negative competition, use of alcohol and drugs for coping, stigma of not taking proper treatment create mental health problems.
GHP: Does Social Media help to reduce or augment mental health issues? What is your opinion?
DA: Social Media has played a great role everywhere. Now as celebrities are also coming in support of mental illness, various awareness programs, doctors’ interviews and more such have changed the scenario in today’s world.
So if mental illness is portrayed in a positive way on any media, it can have a positive outcome. It is the most influential way which affects human life.
Address: Navicare Clinic,
107, Oshiwara Link Plaza,
Off New Link Road,
Landmark: Next to Heera Panna Mall & Behind Oshiwara Police Station,
Mumbai – 400053. Map It
Call: 022 3934 1705