Let’s talk Depression this World Health Day

Depression is not just a feeling of gloominess or despair but a mental illness. This April 7, 2017, on the occasion of World Health Day, there is a special focus on Depression and the people suffering from mental illness.

There are more than 300 million people in the world who are suffering from depression. The people with mental disorders live about 10 to 25 years lesser than the other people. The reason is not only suicide but many others along with it, to name a few, hypertension, diabetes, being under nourished, cardiac illness and more, for which the people have no one to take care of them and they lack preventive treatment landing into severe depression and death. The psychiatric treatment needs to be an integrated system wherein absolute care is given to the patient covering all the aspects. Shanti Home Mental Health Clinic and De-Addiction Centre has been serving patients with an all integrated approach in order to serve the society in the best possible way and make it better as we believe Depression is the largest cause of disability in the world. Suicide is one of the major disastrous repercussions of depression. Propitiously, it’s treatable.

Easy fatigability, easy irritability, feeling of worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, crying spells without a reason, feeling of excessive guilt, restlessness, anxiety all the time, over worrying, continuous pre occupation of similar nature thoughts, suicidal thoughts, and much more similar negative thoughts are a few symptoms to be shared with the Psychiatrist if persisting in someone, without any delay.

There are many risk factors that lead to Depression, a few include, family history of psychiatric disorder, medical disorder like hyper thyroidism, external factors like, peer pressure, job pressure, sexual abuse, parent loss at an early age and more. We can ourselves be more preventive by exercising regularly, taking balanced diet, sleeping for adequate number of hours, taking initiative in doing the things that interests us, interacting socially, staying occupied and above everything else, never hesitate consulting a Psychiatrist if any symptom persists before it’s too late to consult, as, mental illness is like any other physical illness requiring a doctor.

Maximum suicides are backed by undetected implicit cause ‘Depression’. This ignorance costs very high.


Tricks to keep bad habits at bay

Once you have succeeded in quitting bad habits or addiction; there are chances to fall back into discarded habits. Here you need to remind yourself that the process of overcoming the addiction was not easy and once you have succeeded in recovery; it’s your responsibility to protect yourself from falling back on the wrong track. Here are some simple yet effective strategies that could be used to stay on the right track:

  • Develop a support network. Immediately after completion of de-addiction treatment, you should join an aftercare program. The objective of these programs is to ensure long term success of the treatment through follow-up care. Further, they provide assistance in developing new patterns of life and healthy routine devoid of any bad habit.
  • Find substitute for bad habits. Craving is inevitable but keeping a check on your craving for stuff that is not good for you is important. This way you would be able to make good choices that would ultimately replace the bad ones.
  • Pay attention to subtle behaviors that suggest a return to old ways.Certain behaviors like joining colleagues for a smoke break or peer pressure to drink alcohol are the warning signs that need to be taken seriously before they put you back on the wrong track.
  • Notice “permission-giving” thoughts. Keep a check on your thoughts that lure you towards the habits that you have successfully quit. For example: You might think to keep alcoholic beverages in store for some occasional get-together but realistically you would not wait for long to consume it. Such thoughts need to be checked.

These tricks are the sure shot way to keep yourself from getting back to the bad habits that you have already quit.

7 indications of Alcohol dependency

Regular intake of alcohol increases the dependency on it which is also called alcoholism. This eventually leads to noticeable mental and physical changes wherein taking professional help is the only resort. Below are some of the major symptoms of alcohol dependency that call for immediate medical help:

  1. Tolerance: After a certain time, the same quantity of alcohol doesn’t get the same feeling as it did earlier. This leads to an increased consumption of alcohol; it is called tolerance. This suggests that regular drinking over time has accustomed your body of a certain quantity of alcohol.
  2. Withdrawal symptoms: When the effect of alcohol diminishes; you experience withdrawal symptoms likeanxiety,sweating, nausea, insomnia, depression, irritability, fatigue; loss of appetite or headaches. One or more of these symptoms point towards alcohol dependency.
  3. Loss of Control: It’s high time you should check your alcohol consumption when even after drinking a certain amount; you experience an uncontrollable urge to drink more.
  4. Inability to quit: Sometimes you may desire to quit drinking and may even make efforts to cut down on drinking habit but end up unsuccessful.
  5. Neglecting other activities: You may start ignoring important appointments, forgetting your promises or postponing work.Alcohol abuse eventually latches on to your time ultimately leading you to overlook the true essence of life. Your priorities tend to change causing an imbalance in life.
  6. Change in focus: There would be a shift of focus from other social as well as recreational activities to alcohol. You start awaiting the next opportunity to drink which in itself is an indication of alcohol dependency.
  7. Negative Consequences: Ultimately, when drinking alcohol interferes with your ability to work, affects your relationships, worsens the finances, or leads to health problems, yet you continue to drink, your dependency on alcohol is quite high. This indicates the need to take professional guidance.

If either you or your loved one has any of the above symptoms, seek consultation at Shanti Home. Our rehabilitation treatment has given a new life to many.

Recovery is always possible; only an initiative needs to be taken from your end.

4 steps towards a mindful “YOU”

Being mindful is to become aware of your thoughts, feelings and body to bring you back to a state of acceptance. Mindfulness is simple yet very effective way to center your thoughts and emotions.  Here are some easy steps to bring mindfulness into your life and enjoy the benefits

1.      Sit at a peaceful place

To experience mindfulness, you require being at a peaceful place where you can spend some time with your mind. You can choose a clean and quiet place in your home or a calm place outdoors would also do.

2.      Check your posture

Maintain a comfortable posture wherever you are sitting. Ensure to sit in an upright position with either your legs crossed or your feet planted firmly on the ground.  The arms need to be kept parallel to your body and rest your hands on your thighs or knees, whichever keeps your posture straight.  In simple words, maintain the meditation posture.

3.      Sense the surroundings

Keep your eyes closed.  Establish a natural breathing pattern and feel each breath going in and out of you.  While the whole world is in action; you calmly notice it without getting distracted.  Feel your feet against the ground or the wind blowing past your ears.  Be conscious and aware of your surroundings.

4.      Go With the Flow

Keep yourself from getting entangled in the thoughts that cross your mind. Let the thoughts flow by; neither stick to them nor judge them as being good or bad. Continuously redirect your mind to your present state of being.  Remember your breathing and your surroundings.

With regular practice of mindfulness meditation, you can be a more productive and happy person. Just spend some good time with yourself each day to witness the serenity amidst daily hustle.

3 Ways to check your psychological habits

Coping with psychological disorders would not seem daunting if diagnosed at an early stage. Hence the best way out is to give yourself a psychological checkup. Below are 3 ways by which you can check your psychological health on your own:

  1. Routine for Healthy mind

The Healthy Mind Platter includes 7 types of activities that should be a part of your daily routine to ensure optimum psychological health. These include:

  • Sleep time-When you can enjoy a good, sound sleep
  • Fun time-When you can enjoy by doing your favorite activity
  • Physical activity time-When you do some physical exercise
  • Focus time-When you’re concentrating on a task
  • Down time- When you allow your mind to wander
  • Connecting time-When you connect with people or nature

“Time-in”-Time for doing activities like mindful breathing, meditation or mindful yoga that render deep relaxation

These categories are very broad and hence provide complete flexibility to choose your activities as well as decide the amount of time that you wish to spend on each one.

“For a psychological checkup based on these 7 categories; all you need to do is monitor which of the mentioned categories you are following in your daily routine for a week. This way you would be able to analyze which activities are not being done on a regular basis. And hence you can attempt to make out at least some time for them” says Dr. Rupali Shivalkar, Consultant Psychiatrist, Shanti Home, Noida

  1. Check your positive to negative emotion ratio

Segregate the emotions that you experience into two categories-negative and positive. If you experience at least three positive emotions for each negative emotion, then it suggests that your psychological health is in place.

  1. Analyze Your Avoidance Capacity.

For a week, try avoiding any bad habit that you are addicted to. Then analyze how well avoidance is working for you. For example, if you are using avoidance to overcome alcohol addiction; evaluate if you are really able to avoid it or its creating other problems.

With these 3 simple ways, you can easily analyze you mental health as well as make efforts to improve it further.

Know about drug addiction treatment

Addiction is a complex illness that results in uncontrollable drug craving. The ease with which one gets addicted through voluntary act of consuming drugs, a greater level of difficulty is faced to get rid of it. Effective treatment programs typically incorporate many components, each directed to a particular aspect of the illness and its consequences. Research over past 40 years has consistently identified some key information that has helped build effective treatment programs. Below is some important information related to drug recovery:

  • It is important to know that addiction impacts the function of brain which results in alteration of an individual’s behavior as well as response. Keeping oneself from the guilt associated with drug-related behavior is very essential for successful recovery.
  • Successful treatment programs provide for all aspects of a person’s life, not just a specific addiction. Learning new skills and sharing emotional troubles may help with recovery.
  • Never underestimate the requirement of follow up care. It is as essential as the treat itself. This helps keep away from addiction as the action is taken in case symptoms start showing up.
  • At times drug addiction is associated with mental illness in which case it’s essential to go for a rehab program that effectively assists in recovery from both.
  • Based upon the intensity of addiction as well as patient’s response to the treatment; Treatment plans need to be reevaluated and altered from time to time. This helps in continuous improvement.
  • Aside of doctors and family members, it’s equally essential to take the feedback from the individual struggling with addiction.

The above information plays a vital role in helping choose the best de-addiction centre.

10 ways to make optimism your way of life

Tough times come and go but what needs to remain intact is “Optimism”. This mere trait can keep the negativity at bay and help you stay happy always. Further, Optimistic people do better in most avenues of life be it, work, school, sports or relationships. And if these reasons don’t seem enough to opt for optimism then you ought to know that Optimists live longer too!

If you haven’t tasted the feeling of optimism yet, below are a few ways that could help you be optimistic in life and overcome the tough times with a smile:

  1. Read a few motivational as well as inspiring quotes daily. These turn out to be helpful in reviving the positive side of you.
  2. Take out some time daily for deep relaxation. You could listen to soothing music or your favorite songs. Meditation is also a great way to relax your inner self.
  3. Make it a routine to do something that makes you happy and satisfied. This could include just anything that you love doing, like spending quality time with a friend, going out for a movie or even watching your favorite TV show.
  4. Make it a habit to smile often. It would bring good vibes to you as well as those around you.
  5. Ensure to take care of your appearance especially when it comes to stepping out of home; be it for office or social gathering. This makes you feel positive and more confident.
  6. Make it a habit to see good in every situation. This will keep you from grumbling and thus save you from the negative thoughts.
  7. Take enough sleep at night to ensure a fresh start in the morning. Lack of sound sleep impacts the mood as well as the day. Good sleep will charge you up and keep the energy levels high throughout the day.
  8. Stay in the company of positive people.
  9. Learn to be in the present moment. This is possible only if you learn from the past and leave it behind so that there is more space for better things to enter in life.
  10. Enjoy simple things in life rather than waiting for the perfect moments to arrive.

These simple tips if followed could make life much easier and happier. So what are you waiting for? Make optimism an indispensable part of your life and stay happy always.

Excessive Social media usage linked to poor mental health among teens

There’s no doubt saying that Internet, smart phones and Social media have become an essential part of every teen’s life. Research suggests that 92% of teens go online daily-including 24% who go online “almost constantly”. Facebook and Instagram top the charts among the most used Social Media platforms, with 71% and 52 % respectively. This excessive usage of Social media crops up several mental health problems in teens. It’s important to note that the issue is not with the usage but the amount of time spent browsing and posting on these sites as excess of anything is bad.

A recent study has revealed that adolescents who access social media sites for more than 2 hours a day are more prone to high psychological distress, poor mental health, suicidal thoughts, and an unmet need for mental health support. These should not be treated as mere findings rather need to be considered as warning signals to initiate the preventive measures. As is said “Prevention is better than cure”, Shanti Home rehab suggests parents to keep a check on their ward’s social media usage and vouch for their all round development. Hence, it’s important to make note that kids should devote optimum time for various outdoor activities too rather than just sticking to smart phones.

Another impactful way of addressing this concern is by turning the problem into solution. Rather than getting teens off social media, increased mental health resources could be made available on these platforms. Since majority of adolescent population is present on social media sites; it is the perfect opportunity for the Health service providers to reach out to them and connect with them to share essential knowledge as well as provide health promotion support.

Shanti Home recommends parents to keep track of even a little change in their kid’s behavior and be proactive to visit a doctor for proper consultation.

Simple Tips to recover from Addiction

Addiction of any sort; be it Drug or alcohol is extremely difficult to recover from. The ease with which one gets hooked to any addiction; greater level of difficulty is faced to drop it. Though the process might seem difficult, it’s surely not impossible!

Here are 7 tips by Shanti Home that would prove to be of great help through the recovery process:

Focus on “Today”

Thought process plays a great role in recovery. So as you begin to recover, skip yourself from thinking that you would never drink or use drugs again. Instead, just promise yourself that you would not use these harmful substances “Today”.

Ignore the relapse rates

Your focus needs to be on your personal recovery. Don’t ever get discouraged by the high relapse rates. It’s your strength and determination that would help you attain success in faster recovery.

 Prepare yourself

Overcoming addiction is no small task; hence be ready to accept this huge change in your life. A best idea to get started with the preparation is staying away from friends who use drugs or drink.

Find a substitute for Addiction

The End of an addiction creates a void which needs to be filled with something. Hence, you could include a new activity like reading book in your daily schedule.

List out your Goals

Creating a list of goals that you wish to accomplish as you recover would help in remaining focused. Ensure that the goals are doable.


It has been proved through clinical studies that people who meditatestay healthy, focused and have control over their emotions. These benefits are much desired for fast paced recovery.

Get Treatment

Receiving apt treatment for addiction is surely the best way to recover faster under strong guidance.

If you are determined, nothing can keep you from overcoming any sort of addiction. Just believe in yourself!