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Psychiatry/MentalHealth

Consultant Psychiatrist: Dr.  Sandeep. B, MBBS, DPM, MD (Psych).

Out-patient Registration Timings   : Monday, Wednesday & Thursday  8 am-12.30pm, and Saturday 8 am-10.30am  at Karigiri Hospital (10km away from the Katpadi Railway Station).

                                       : Tuesday and Friday: 8 am-10.30am at Katpadi Clinic (Paul Brand Integrated Health Centre or PBIHC), Old Katpadi (between Chittoor Bus stand and VIT).

In-patient Services    :  General wards and private rooms are available in the Karigiri Hospital.

Clinical Psychologist is available from Monday morning till Saturday noon in the Karigiri Hospital.

Facilities Available:

At Karigiri Hospital, there is a separate Department with Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Psychologist for treating mental health (psychiatric) problems as out-patients as well as in-patients.

Some problems need only counselling, whereas some other problems require medicines as well as counselling. At this centre more emphasis is given on counselling (psychotherapy). Only if needed, medicines are prescribed in the minimum effective dosage.

Deaddiction is given for those who are dependent on alcohol, beedi or cigarette smoking, tobacco chewing and other drugs. Deaddiction Clinic is there on all Wednesdays.

A Counselling / Suicide Helpline is also functional.

Salient Features:

Here we

  • treat every patient as a whole person, integrating biological, psychological, social as well as spiritual perspectives and interventions according to the needs of each individual’s socio-cultural background.

  • bring about a Christian approach to mental health problems.

  • give more emphasis on psychotherapy (counselling) and tries to maintain the patients on the minimum effective dosage of medicines whenever needed.

  • conduct teaching and practical sessions on Psychiatry and Psychotherapy to students in nursing, paramedical, theological and MSW (Master of Social Work) courses from various universities.

  • cater to the psychiatric needs of patients referred from other departments.

Research: 

The department explores the potential benefits of a new school of psychotherapy called “Christ Centered Psychotherapy”.

Taking Psychiatric Services to the Community

As part of the Puthuvazhvu (New Life) Mental Health Programme by the State Government of Tamil Nadu, the departments of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology, along with the department of Community Health, train volunteers from the community to detect people with mental illness and mental retardation, and conducts free mental health camps. The detailed reports of the same are available here.

With the help of community health volunteers, the department seeks to create awareness in the community about various mental health problems, thereby reducing the stigma of the same and emphasizing the need to take the right treatment at the right time.

Mental Health Camps for deaddiction, adolescents’ counselling and other mental health needs, are also conducted in the community.

Frequently Asked questions

1) Are mental health problems similar to other health problems? If so, why is there so much stigma about it?

Mental health problems (psychiatric disorders), in one sense, are similar to other diseases like neurological disorders, heart disease, kidney problems etc. Commonly if anyone develops a disease, he or she goes to the concerned doctor immediately. Also he tells other people about the disease.

But if anyone is affected in his mind, he does not tell anybody about it, nor does he go to a doctor. This is because if it is known to others that somebody is having a mental health (psychiatric) problem, our society gives him titles like “mad” or “mental”.

We need to remember that any one of us can be affected in our minds at any point of time. So, each one of us needs to change our attitude towards those innocent people whose mental health is affected. Then only we can take them to the right doctor at the right time and help them.

2) How do people commonly develop mental health problems?

There is no one in the world who does not have any problem. Any person at any time can be affected in his mind through some loss or failure or other problems in life. Some people come out of those difficulties. But some people keep on thinking about the problems and are affected in their minds. There will be neurochemical changes in their brains. And there will be changes in their behaviour, which manifest as mental health problems.

3) What are the common symptoms of mental health problems?

The common symptoms are fear, suspicion, depression, anxiety, stress, sleep problems, suicidal thoughts, hearing voices in the ear when all alone, talking/ muttering/ smiling all alone, violent behaviour, suspecting spouse’s (wife’s or husband’s) fidelity (faithfulness) falsely, other strange experiences and behaviour etc.

People also can have memory problems, problems in food intake, sexual problems, diseases for which no cause could be found, addiction to alcohol, nicotine (smoking), drugs, social media, video games, internet etc., personality disorders, anger control problems, interpersonal conflicts, family problems, marriage related problems, career and job related problems, learning problems, guilt, spiritual conflicts etc. Children and teenagers also can develop behavioural and emotional problems because of various reasons.

4) How should these symptoms be approached?

All of these should be treated promptly and appropriately. Mental health problem is not something to be covered up. One has to take treatment and counselling for mental health problems just like one takes treatment for other diseases. Then it can be controlled effectively.

5) Is mental health so important?

Many of you would be familiar with this famous proverb “Sound mind in a sound body”. It points to the proven fact that our body and mind are so deeply related to each other. If you have problems in your mind like fear and anxiety, it can affect your body by making you physically weak and prone to various bodily illnesses. Likewise if you have physical ailments, it can affect your mental health also. Research shows that many physical disorders are predisposed, precipitated and exacerbated by many mental health problems.

6) People say that if you start taking psychiatric medicines, then you have to take life long. Is it true?

No; not at all. This is a common myth. Once the symptoms become better with medicines and counselling, your Psychiatrist can taper medicines slowly. But, please don’t stop or adjust the dose without Psychiatrist’s advice. If you do that, the symptoms may come back and you may need higher doses of medicines.

7) Are all psychiatric medicines addictive and having serious side effects?

No; not at all. This is another common myth. Only Benzodiazepine group among psychiatric drugs, is addictive. It includes Alprazolam, Diazepam, Nitrazepam, Lorazepam, Clonazepam etc. A good Psychiatrist will prescribe these only if they are really needed for you for controlling severe symptoms, and he will try to taper them at the earliest, so that you do not get addicted to it.

If psychotherapy (counselling) is also given along with medicines, you may need only smaller doses of medicines. A good Psychiatrist will choose a medicine which suits each particular patient so that side effects would be minimum or almost nil. He will always monitor you for any emerging side effect. If needed, he will adjust the dose of medicines, or change over to other medicines with lesser possibility of side effects, or add another medicine to counter the side effects.

For more information:

Phone number: 0416 2274 223-229; extension: 2193, 1205

If you have more questions to ask, you can mail them to   sandeeppsychiatry@gmail.com .

Webpage:  http://sandeeppsychiatry.blogspot.in

Puthu Vaazhvu Project