The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Doctors prescribe mental fitness

Ranchi, May 16: If patients don’t go to mental hospitals for treatment, the doctors will trace them down.

The director of the Central Institute of Psychiatry (CIP), S.H. Nizamie, suggested that budding psychiatrists should spread mental health awareness among people who stay away from hospitals after coming under the influence of “healers”.

Nizamie was presenting his paper on “epilepsy in the elderly” in a medical education programme (CME) for the postgraduate students of psychiatry studying at various centres across eastern India.

“Over 90 per cent of people, who need mental health care, do not come to the mental asylum and suffer alone. In this situation, it is must for a psychiatrist to spread mental health awareness in the society. Without this, it is not possible to practice psychiatry,” Nizamie said. He added that people have poor knowledge about mental health care and even those staying adjacent to CIP are reluctant pay a visit.

“In a village in Namkum, which is around 25km from Kanke, we found 95 per cent of the elderly suffering from epilepsy but no one wanted treatment. If this is the situation in Ranchi, which has three mental asylums, one can easily imagine what would be the condition in places that do not have any mental asylums,” Nizamie said.

Psychiatrists from different parts of eastern India were present on the occasion to present their papers on mental health of the elderly.

“People come to us when their mental condition grows worse. If they will come on time, it will be easy to treat them,” said Dilip Mondal, who represented Calcutta Medical College and spoke about dementia, depression and delusion.

A postgraduate student of CIP, Kaushik Kumar, said papers presented by senior professors helped students learn a lot about mental health with regard to the elderly.

“It is for the first time that we got an opportunity to interact with psychologists of such high repute. It has helped us understand the field better,” he added.

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