Coping with Voices- Living wit...

Hello, I am Krishna, 29 years old. Am just on the way to the hospital for my regular check-up. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia a year back. My experience with schizophrenia a few months ago was terrible. Let me break down the synopsis of my story with schizophrenia.   The Butterfly Effects- That was a […]

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Things to Remember for a Succe...

Mainly, living life with schizophrenia means trying to sustain an indeterminate balance between the things the brain tells and the reality. Statistical data says 40% of the people live a balanced and a productive life with Schizophrenia. The illness may be periodic, with times of deterioration and improvement independent of hopes and actions. All you […]

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Does Drug Rehab Work?

There is a commotion that surrounds drug addiction or abuse of street drugs all across the globe. A common thinking came forward by some surveys that people think that drug addiction can only be cured by the willpower of the addicts, and only they themselves can easily cure their dependency. Also, many of them have […]

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How I lost my job?- Cadabams R...

What could be a bigger heartbreak than when you realise that “YOU ARE FIRED”. And it is because of your addiction. Hello, am Alex (name changed) a successful employee of a reputed company. I had won “The employee of the year” award for two consecutive years now. Like all individuals in this almost rounded globe […]

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Long Term Rehabilitation for D...

Addiction to being sober for long is not a cakewalk. It takes a lot of courage, determination and strength to achieve it. If you have been a drug or alcohol addict and you are over it now then thank and congratulate yourself because you deserve one. If you are not able to get over it […]

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Geriatric psychiatry: Proper diagnosis helps treatment

Ageing is a normal process of gradual deterioration of physiological function

geriatric-04accompanied by loss of viability and increase in vulnerability. It is common to all living beings such as animals and plants. Ageing becomes mor
e pronounced and our mental faculties become dull as we grow in age, needing urgent psychiatric care and medication.

Age related issues

Man’s physical abilities and the capacity to apply intellectual reasoning is considerably impaired as he grows old. Geriatric psychiatry, also known as psychiatry of old age, entails treating and dealing with this essentially age-related problem.

Increasing elderly population

In India’s context Geriatric psychiatry has assumed paramount importance. As per the latest provisional data of Census of India, the elderly in the age group of over 60 comprise 8.3% of India’s population, second largest in the world. This 60+ group is also the second fastest growing segment of Indian population. The population growth is likely to register 3.5 times increase by 2050, in percentage terms.

Need for action-plan

This calls for a comprehensive action-plan to deal with Geriatric psychiatry, involving diagnosis, treatment and management of dementia and depression among aged persons. It is important to know that psychiatric illness of the elderly is different from the illnesses of adult patients. Doctors and psychiatrists need to be well prepared to deal with this problem to avoid any future complications.

History important!

To properly diagnose a geriatric psychiatric illness it is imperative to take a detailed note of the elderly’s history. The history needs to focus on:

  • Changes in functional performance of daily life
  • Need to document the drugs consumed
  • Need to know if non-prescription drugs, responsible for psychiatric symptoms are being used
  • Need for a proper physical examination of higher functioning
  • Need to check all sensory systems such as hearing and vision
  • Need to assess mental status through Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE)
  • Need to conduct simple lab tests for electrolyte imbalance, anemia, malnutrition, metabolic abnormalities, urinary retention

Management of Geriatric psychiatry

Psychosocial intervention can make considerable difference to the elderly person’s condition.

  • New drugs working through one neurotransmitter, of late, has been found to be safer
  • Start the treatment without further delay. Risk of suicide increases with delay in treatment
  • There is a need for adequate treatment of co-morbidity
  • Mental functioning of patients and dementia may aggravate if treatment of any illness or severe infection is delayed
  • It is better to avoid benzodiazepine group of drugs that cause more harm than benefit
  • Medication needs to go slow and start slow
  • Any sudden or early withdrawal of medicines should be avoided at all costs

 

 

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