Mental Health Professionals

Kinjal Jain


Weight Management

“You look so thin! Are you sick? Are you trying to be a model? Is your family too poor to feed you?”

“You’ve become so fat! Stop stuffing your face. Doesn’t your mum care about your health or what?”

Let us start by saying one thing, your weight doesn’t decide your value as a human being. Beauty comes in all sizes, shapes and forms. The decision that you made to put on weight ot lose it should depend solely on yourself and your health should be your priority. The words ‘Weight management’ comes with a lot of unpleasant connotations thanks to the shallow modern standards set by society.

Let us talk health, mental and physical. Out of all individuals who suffer from mental disorders, 80% of them are reportedly obese or overweight. A sedentary life style, unhealthy eating habits and genetics play a role in obesity. People who are upset or going through some difficulties tend to eat more amounts of food than what is actually required for the body. If we are being honest, none of us will want to reach for a slice of cucumber or broccoli when we want to stress eat, not when the fried chocolaty goodness is luring you in. Unhappy with their body image people tend to develop eating disorders as well. Anorexia Nervous, an eating disorder characterized by obsession with losing weight by starvation or extreme exercise affects about 1 million individuals per year in India. Bulimia Nervous, a potentially life threatening disorder that makes the one affected binge on large amounts of food and then purge the body of the extra calories by induced vomiting or by using laxatives affects more than 1 million people per year in India. Always make sure that your weight loss journey doesn’t have the potential to kill you. Eating healthy, drinking lots of water, exercising or consulting a dietitian is the best and the healthiest way to manage your weight. Also throw in a basket full of self love your way every now and then.

Stress Management

When you have your boss breathing down on your neck over a deadline, a long going squabble with your significant other or the mountains of assignment and tests that’s dumped over your head, you might feel like butter that’s spread too thin. When you feel exhausted and drained both mentally and physically, hindering your clear thinking, effectiveness and happiness, you can say that you have a problem managing your stress. Stress is your body’s response to the changes around you. Stress has some amount of beneficial qualities that may be of help for an individual.  Eu-stress or good stress can help you motivate yourself to meet your daily goals, it triggers your fight or flight response which can protect you from certain situations and make you work more efficiently. Distress or bad stress has quite a negative effect on the mind as well as body. Bad stress can cause memory loss, trouble concentrating, constant worrying, negative thinking, depression, anxiety, moodiness, anger, loneliness, isolation etc. It can also affect the body by messing up your digestive system, give you headaches, chest pains, weakened immune system, loss of sex drive and various types of pain. It also increases the risk of burnout in people. It is necessary to have a healthy mind and a well as a balanced life and therefore you need to know how to manage your stress appropriately. You need to identify the stress in your life and try to cut out the source if you can. You can develop stress relieving habits like exercise and meditation which will help you deal with stress in a healthy way. Keeping a positive attitude sounds incredibly generic and difficult but the effects of having a positive attitude has proved to be helpful for many people. Eating healthy meals, cutting of sugary drinks or junk food and making sure you have the time to rest well is integral in managing stress efficiently. If you feel like you have trouble coping with stress and controlling it, it is recommended that you seek out a professional who is trained in stress management.

Smoking addiction

What is so destructive about smoking that we have to watch a public service add everytime we watch a film? We have become so familiar with how our lungs are like sponges and the scary cases of former smokers that we dont even notice its existence anymore. Smoking is a habit that is widely condemned but it is widely accepted as well. The Nicotine present among other poisonous chemicals in cigarettes has an  addictive effect. Almost all of us must have seen how smokers finish a whole packet  in one sitting when they are stressed. This unhealthy habit makes them dependent on the cancer sticks of death to deal with their emotions. People also go through withdrawal when they decide to quit smoking, much like other drugs. It may have started as a cool look back in highschool with your friends but soon enough it can end with you coughing your lungs out or unconscious on an operating table. Once your body gets used to the nicotine, it will crave the chemical even more to trigger the release of dopamine which is associated with positive feelings. People with mental illness are more likely to smoke than people without  mental illnesses, it is harder for them to quit as well. Even though people tend to claim that smoking helps with their anxiety, research suggests that the relaxation they feel is momentary and their anxiety and stress comes back even worse than what it was before. Hence, they will essentially be caught in a vicious cycle. The best way to stop smoking is to never start. But if you are already depended on it, there are various ways that you can leave this unhealthy habit. You can quit cold Turkey, in an abrupt manner or slowly by  following a plan that will help you quit and prevent relapse. Reaching out to mental health professional can also give you a boost in your decision to quit.

Sleep Disorders

Sleep is something that most of us have too little of or too much of. It is the reason many individuals call in sick to remain in bed for a few more hours. Some people also treat sleep as a sweet escape from reality. Too many of us can relate to taking a quick ‘nap’ and waking up the next morning with no idea of how the alarm turned off itself. Sleep is incredibly essential to the human body and mind. Good sleep is necessary for your body to develop properly and repair itself. It plays an important part in maintaining your memory, concentration and the processing of social cues. Lack of sleep can also increase the risks of heart diseases and diabetes.

A sleep disorder is changes in sleeping patterns or habits that can negatively affect health. Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder and also the most known one. Insomniacs have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up way too early causing the person to have less sleep than what is needed for the body. Insomnia that lasts for a short amount of time can be due to the individual’s life style choices, stress or even a cup of coffee they had before going to bed and it is not something they should excessively worry about. If it lasts more than a month and interferes with your life, you should see a doctor or a specialist. Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder that causes overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep. This rare disease makes the individual sleep anytime no matter what they are doing which will disrupt their daily lives. The cause of narcolepsy is attributed to genetics and low levels of hypocretine, a neurochemical that regulates your REM sleep. Narcolepsy is often associated with other disorders such as sleep apnea or restlessness leg syndrome. A person suffering from sleep apnea will have their breathing disrupted during their sleep where their breathing repeatedly starts and stops. Men are more prone to this disorder compared to women and overweight people are more at risk of having sleep apnea. It can cause an individual to wake up in the night gasping for breath. They may also experience dry mouth, irritability and drowsiness once they are awake. Restless leg syndrome also known as, Willis-Ekbom disease is a condition characterised by a nearly irresistible urge to move the legs, typically in the evenings. This is a common disorder that is found more than 10 million people in India. It usually happens when a person is at rest, when they are sleeping or sitting down and will be worse during evenings and nights where they feel itching or pulling sensations. This like all the other sleep disorders will affect the quality of one’s sleep and needs to be checked out by a specialist.

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