"that old man is mad"

"you old generation people just dont understand"

"with age you are losing it".... etc etc..

such quotes flood our language and our expression of anger against elderly people.

parents, grand parents or that old man in the society..
sometime or the other such a quote has been used for them.

With age all of us will process information slower and act upon it slower.

Elderly people are at the greatest risk of stress induced complications because:
a. they know their memory, working capacity is decreasing (imagine...if one day u realise that it takes you 10min to brush your teeth, because of the stiffness, slowness how will you feel...)

b. younger generation put unwanted pressures on them.

c. what ever they have believed for more than 50yrs...suddenly is challenged ..(its like ur best friend suddenly going away...u will not know hw to cope)

d. their brain is experiencing changes, becoz of which they become depressed, aggitated.

e. their bodies are becoming fragile. (if one day u cannt run to catch the train, or drive the car till vashi coz u get breathing problems... or if one day u just cannt have sex becoz ur body doesnt permit you..imagine the stress!!!)

f. family members are so busy within their own, that nobody notices the brain and physical changes goin on. just labeling them as grumpy, angery, insensitive old person.



for a free power-point presentation on the signs and symptoms to be looked and taken care of in the elderly, u can email me at eksoch@gmail.com

right or wrong???

"my belief is that life is our greatest teacher.."

and as with all teachings, some are easy to understand and some very complex.
here i would like to discuss on one such complex teaching...

the otherday, i was traveling back from the hospital towards the clinic. As usual, i take the local mumbai train. The easiest way to commute in mumbai.
As per my daily ritual, I sat listening to music, and today enjoying the pre-monsoon showers.
Half way thru the journey, one of the numerous illegal vendors kept wandering around my seat.
Lost in the trance of my thoughts mixed with some soothing music and beautiful overcast rainy weather, it took me a moment to realise his persistence to sell, what looked like some chinese made plastic toy.
I got into my senses, looked towards him, and for the 5 time he asked me...
"Saab 10 rupiya mein ek, 15 mein 2."... "leelo saab,"
I tried the time tested formula of giving him an assertive no.. and telling to ask other people.
He still continued...
I wondered why...
I looked around and realised, that me and the gentleman sitting in front of me where the only 2 passengers in the coach.
He again asked the same question
"saab 10 rupiya mein ek, 15 mein 2.." ...
I got irritated, I was gonna tell him to get out..or else...when i suddenly realised a small drop of tear on the corner of his eye...
on focusing well, i realised that this kid had been crying... tear trails all over his cheek.

As is the case in such situations, the heart over powers the brain"...
i asked him.. why are you crying.. he said "its 3pm, havent sold a piece..?? and started crying again"
the gentle men next to me..immediately took out 50 bucks and gave it to him...

my question is..
is it right to give him money.. or are we just teaching him a new technique of begging..
were a tear can earn him more than 5 single deals of his toys would..
what do you thing is right ?? and what is wrong???
is that money gona be used by him???or are we just feeding his diabolical master????

economic depression - a healthy laugh

Economic depression... a word that most indians are not muttering... and is becoming a taboo remenescent to sex... something everyone experiences but nobody speaks about.
taking a lateral view on it... it infact is leading people to a healthier lifestyle.and lesser work for doctors. ;)
1. since the recent pay-cuts, many clients have cut down on smoking and drinking., eating out, eating unnecessarily.
2. stress levels and job-security tensions are increasing, so the appetite is decreasing.hence a more slim and fit person. lesser prone to diseases.
3. now the petrol prices have gone down, but buying a car on EMI aint intelligent move. so lesser use of petrol in vehicles, and more use of public transport. that equals to lesser pollution and happier lungs.
4. longer working hours have been introduced.. spending lesser time at home. therefore lesser time to burn money on coffee shops, viideo games, reading books or partying out with friends. ur parents will be happy your bank account increasing.
5. longer working hours.. more time at work... hence more time in the air conditioner.. thank god you saved from those power cuts and killing heat.
6. raising EMI bills. a lessoon on what to invest in, and what not. maybe next time will think twice before buying that 30k iphone on EMI.
7. raising pressures from the boss. more interaction between collegues. deeper friendships, more socialising. and infact more sharing among couples... increasing their love levels.
8. more stress. more need of anti-anxiety. natural anti-anxiety... aerobic exercises, meditation, sex. all 3 beneficial for healthy life.

economic depression is a bad phase.
hereby just presenting some explanations my clients have given me for their less frequent visits.

its a phase to endure and be patient.
be healthy
dr.hemant mittal

the starting...

If I was scared, there was a reason .. ward no.13. Not that I believed in all that, but ward no. 13 meant psychiatry department. Today was the 1st day of my psychiatry posting. And as an intern if something was more scary then being late to the hospital was the psychiatry department.
A deep breath to boost my courage and I walked inside.A few steps into the ward, when a sudden noise drew my attention. As I moved my head, my eyes came to watch a scene that would change my life, my perception and my motivation in the field of medicine. I saw a 30yr old young man battling 3 people. Scared like a 7yr old 1st visit to the dentist. Trying to run away, pleading for help to an unknown figure from his imagination, pointing at stethoscope and medications as magical instruments and blaming those around him for ploting his murder.

In middle of this mayhem, like a knight in shinning armour, a lean man in a doctors clothes walked towards him. Like an experienced salesman at work, A few minutes of well framed sentences to gain his confidence, and another few to administer him with a shot of some medication, the angry young man was now peacefully lying on the bed.

During all this, The background action, by a staff of nurses and ward boys, making all arrangements to shift him towards the in-patient department, made it look like a well-oiled machine working at perfection

I later learnt,the young man was Kiran. A case of paranoid schizophrenia, possibly drug induced, as his past histroy included cocaine addiction. And his symptomology included classical auditory hallucinations with paranoid delusions. In the next 15 days that I followed him, I not only noticed how he improved and changed but also a change in my attitude towards psychiatry and psychiatric patients.

It was the 1st time I came to understand the power of the brain. How dearrangement of a few chemicals leads to disturbed behaviour. How critical and effective is psychiatric intervention in helping these patients revert to normalcy.
Above all I also learnt, that we all are compasionate towards physical abnormalities because we can see them. But are judgemental and detrimental towards mental health illness because we cannt see them. Because we are ignorant about them.

The next few weeks, where very productive and enlightening. I learned to value the efforts of psychiatrists, the importance of psychiatry and how relevant it was in all walks of life.

Today I find myself equipped with better knowledge, motivation and above all empathy for handling, guiding and helping patients of mental health illness. And I always keep the lines of my then psychiatry HOD in my heart:
“We don’t need to discriminate them, we need be empathetic and help them.”

is suicide the only way out???

vaidya (name changed) at 15yrs, is like any other mumbai youngester. Studying in a public school, a small bunch of like-minded friends, enjoying movies and music. Battling the crowded trains, eating out at the local joints, and geting wet in the mumbai monsoons.Wonder Why is this "normal" guy being talked about here.?? Because 2 saturday's ago he consumed 1 bottle of pesticide. The reason- he got lesser marks then expected. To be precise 73% in total, just 2% short of the required 75% for admission to his college of choice.he is under my counseling since last week. but i wud like to ask everyone.is suicide the only way out?or have we become to intolerant and inhuman as a society, that only numbers (marks, bank balance, salary slips) govern our lifes?

r we becoming an irrational society... or probably we were never rational ???

1. a guy gets shot at point blank range, for not giving side to an opposite lane driver!!!
2. a child beats up the living hell out of a friend...because he wont share his pencil with him.
3. commuters stop local train service in mumbai, protesting for better train service.
4. a youngester is killed by his friends...who had kidnaped him.!!!

these are some of the news items we never focus on....and somehow they are also the barometer of irritation and irrational behaviour our society is slowly growing into..

The Wonder Years!

"The elixir of life, The fountain of youth, The Nag Mani"

Just few examples of the human fixation with ever-lasting vigour, and vitality. A cross boundaries phenonmenon, that time-again has kept every era of human evolution more and more fascinated.
It also symbolises the mental stigma we have with old age.
Its a sad reality, but in our country, retirement marks the starting of an end.
The mental make up of the individual and his social support, changes from productivity to useless within a day.
In the words of a recent patient of mine- "Sir, aab tho retire ho gaye hai, aab chalte firte hi bhagwan uthale tho acha hai"... (doctor, now i am retired, may death come to me when i am still healthy).
Its sad, but a reality that clinical depression starts entering into a persona within the last 6months of his occupational tenure, and it remains till death. Its this depression, that catapults itself to cause memory, sleep and behavioural problems.
In a recent care-giver meeting, one person pointed out- "jaabse dad retire hue hai, hamari jeena mushkil kar diya hai. Haar cheez ka hisab kitab rakthe hai" (since my dad has retired, life has become tough, as now he peeks into every detail).Well, I dont blame him for being frustrated. But as all normal people, he either keeps the irritation within himself, or has constant fights with his parents.
The core issue...keeping them socially, occupationally, mentally healthy and active never taken into consideration.
Its very easy to pollute ou healthy lifestyles, by labeling people, lack of communication and brewing frustrations... but it really takes some intelligentia to work for our people and help them.
Lets start by keeping an open view of life. Retirement is the starting of a new phase.
A proper planned approach, well discussed, and implemented can lead to a happier life for everyone. And save a lot of wastage of human emotions, time and money.
A Proper mental, medical and emotional support in the Pre-retirement and post-retirement periods are very important for the successful transition.
Dont be sympathetic like every other person, be pro-active.

100meters of Life

Every evening around 6:30pm, I get ready, walk out into my old car, turn on the radio
and drive down the lane towards my clinic.
that little 10min drive is what i call "my time of judgement".
Its that time when i am the accused, the victim, the lawyer and the judge of my own brain.
its the time, i let the large wave of questions to flow freely. while i surf thru them, one by one.
"what are my tasks for tomorow?
what i have to do before the week ends?
how much of my goals have been accomplished?
how was today? what could have been done better?"

the list endless and sometimes senseless.

As an automated robot, i have perfected the route and routine i follow. Like Me, millions others, and many in my neighborhood also follow same routines.
Everyday, i see the same people jogging, the same people buying groceries, the same people crossing the street.
It looks like, yesterday is here, just dressed up in new clothes.
Amidst all this madness i see a young little girl. a young little girl with cerebral palsy. A disease so horrendous, and devastating that even "fear" runs away from it.
a disease of the young, that kills a part of their brain. The result of which, multiple limb paralyses, vocal cord paralyses, impaired cognitive functioning can take place.
In short, it makes the kid, a living vegetable.

Today for some weird reason, i decided to change my routine plan. I parked the car half way thru. Stood at the end of the lane, and decided to observe her.
there she stood at the end of the lane. Slowly slowly, I saw her coming towards me.
Every step, a battle. Her tiny body, her army. The end of the road, her victory.

She worked like an army battalion, well coordinated and following orders to perfection.

Her plan of action was simple=
1. Use all her energy and guide all her muscles to lift up a crutch forward.
2. Dragging her body,
3. follow the earlier procedure, but this time the other hand.

The result one step!!!

Step by Step the battle intensified, but she kept fighting.

She moved ahead. Sometimes stoped in between, but never gave up.

oblivious of the passerby who looked upon her. Some of them with sympathy,
some of them with pity,
some making jokes about her.
Some just becoming another road block in her way.

She kept trying, she kept moving, she didnt stop.

After 45min she reached her destination. She looked back, and smiled. She looked towards her mother, who lovingly kissed her on the fore-head.

She was proud, that today she had walked 100m.!!!

I returned to my car, smiled to myself...drove away thinking of the great lesson those 100m had taught me today....

did you know?

I was going thru some recent studies by the health ministry. And i found out that 40% of the road traffic accidents and upto 60% of domestic accidents in our country are attributed to depression.
we all have experienced a little bit of depression some time in our life.
so we all know the basic definition of it.

the reasons behind depression being such a big killer is:

1. sadness of mood -leads to negative thought process and anxiety. which leads to involvement in dangerous activities like over-taking, over-speeding.

2. sadness of mood and lack of interest - leads to development of suicidal ideas.

3. decreased memory and concentration- depression clouds the thinking part of the brain. which leads to decreased memory and concentration.e.g. gas stove left open, forgeting to put sugar in tea, forgeting wht the boss says, forgeting a list of items.

4. lack of sleep- depression sometimes leads to a lack of sleep, which causes decreased concentration. and induces sleep at odd timings.( Specially at times when alertness is very much required.)decreases the eye-hand-brain coordination. and reflex action timing.

5. lack of relaxation- leads to tension in the muscles, which decrease the reflex-action rate of the body.

if you know anyone who has become clumpsy, forgets easily, irritable, lack of sleep, and negative about his behaviour do counsel him. try and help him out. before it is too late!!!