Substance Abuse Rehabilitation

Substance abuse causes substance addiction. It is a chronic disease characterized by the compulsive need to seek sub irrespective of its harmful effects. It causes lasting changes in the brain. In order to recover and undo effects of the substance, the individual and his family members must undertake rehabilitative measures. Rehabilitation helps encourage the addicted […]

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10 Things people who have over...

Alcohol addiction is more than just a drinking problem. It is a biological, progressive, chemical and a fatal disease. It can enlighten a sense of urgency and necessity due to its dependence but overcoming an addiction is so entrenched it is not an easy feat. People who have overcome addiction have been sailed two ships; […]

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Depression in Women

One in four women experiences depression at some point in time in their life. And women are twice as likely to experience clinical depression than men. Still wondering why the women in your life are crying most of the time, or feeling persistently sad, and has no interest in anything. Here is your answer: she […]

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The Family Impact: The social disadvantage and subordination of women on the one hand. And the rapid socio-cultural and economic changes on the other have significantly altered traditional structures and institutions within society. Such changes are invariably associated with social upheaval and drug abuse is a known outcome of such change. Drug abuse poses various […]

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Reinventing Mindful Eating

Reinventing Mindful Eating: Eating is an inevitable activity of everyday life. There was a time when this activity was carried on with utmost mindfulness, i.e. prayers were offered before beginning the meals, and after ending the meals slokas like Annapoorne Sada Poorne, Shankara Prana Vallabhe, Trayam were recited. Offering supplication (Du’ä) by Islam followers during the meal, […]

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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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