New Delhi (India), July 1: On this Doctor’s Day, here are the best and most compassionate psychologists who stand at the forefront of mental health, ready to share their insights, experiences, and invaluable knowledge, urging society to prioritize the well-being of individuals and the significance of psychological support.
Dr. Vikas Bhateja, PhD (Cognitive Psychology), Senior Consultant – Indus International Hospital, Chandigarh
Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Physical health enables you to have better overall health, including in your relationships. Knowing your body and your family’s health history can help identify what’s “normal” for you. Mental health encompasses emotional, psychological, and social well-being that affects how we think, feel, act, make choices, and relate to others. Mental health is more than the absence of a mental illness; it is essential for your overall health and quality of life.
Self-care plays a role in maintaining your mental health and supports your treatment. Remember to eat a balanced diet; get immunizations up-to-date; avoid tobacco, vaping, alcohol, or drugs; exercise regularly; stay aware of your emotions; reduce screen time and get enough sleep. If you think something may be wrong, see your healthcare consultant. Always remember that this is your body, and maintaining it will lead to a happy and healthy life.
Dr. Mithila Desai, MA, PhD, Clinical Psychologist and Therapist, Award Winner in Mental Health, Practicing for 35 years, Mumbai
In the midst of life’s darkest moments, it’s common to feel lost and overwhelmed. My patients often seek help when their usual coping mechanisms no longer works. However, generic advice on physical health or relationships may not address the root of emotional challenges. It’s crucial not to overlook our emotional well-being amidst career pursuits and other demands. Feelings like mood swings, anger, irritability, hurt, jealousy, guilt, blame, overthinking, and worry can weigh heavily on us. Along with self-criticism, rejection, high standards, comparisons, self-esteem issues, and social difficulties, these thoughts can lead to anxiety and depression.
Take steps to regain control: identify emotional triggers, tune in to your body’s signals, pay attention to areas like the chest, stomach, neck, shoulders, and head, address the root cause, and seek professional help when needed. It can be a transformative step towards healing. Remember, you hold the power to embark on a healing journey towards well-being.
Dr. Harsha Agarwal, PhD (Clinical and Health Psychology), Masters (Clinical, Health & Child Psychology), Bachelors (Hons) Psychology, Currently Heading Psycho Oncology department of Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre, Delhi
YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO FEEL BAD TOO!
Mental health, an important aspect of our overall well-being, affects how we think, feel, act, make choices, and relate to others. Even a minor act of self-care in our daily routine can help in managing stress, decreasing the chances of falling sick, and channelizing our energy in the right direction. Involve yourself regularly in setting daily goals, practising mindfulness and gratitude, focusing on positivity, engaging in regular exercise, maintaining balanced nutrition and hydration, making sure to get healthy sleep, and staying connected. Self-care differs for each individual, so find what suits you best and follow it wholeheartedly. Feel free to seek professional help if you experience any distress in your daily routine.
Dr. Harshant Upadhyaya, Doctorate in Psychology, Practicing Psychologist and Psychotherapist, Founder of Way to Hope, Mumbai
After nearly two decades of counselling and assisting people worldwide, I can confidently state that learning to live in the present moment is one of life’s most precious accomplishments. The key to happiness lies in finding peace with the past and nurturing hope for the future. Distress often arises from harbouring resentment towards the past and fearing what lies ahead. Life situations are rarely perfect or conducive, and it may be challenging for you or your loved ones to navigate the right path. Seeking the guidance of a psychologist can not only provide direction but also help you discover your true self. Low self-esteem, lack of assertiveness, depression, anxiety, guilt, loss, stress, work, or relationship issues can lead to distress. No matter what you’ve experienced or are currently going through, have the courage to seek help. While mental health awareness is increasing, many remain unaware that effective assistance and recovery are readily available. From my personal experience, 99% of individuals who sought help experienced 100% satisfaction with their treatment. You can reclaim your former self or embrace an even better version of who you are.
Ms. Saumya Sharan, M.Phil Clinical Psychology (Gold Medalist), Senior Consultant, Clinical Psychologist (RCI regt.), Gurgaon
It’s time we incorporated a more holistic approach towards health by mindfully including a Mental Fitness outlook.
There has been a lot of dialogue on Mental Health awareness, especially after the pandemic, but the world needs more than just awareness. A sustainable, action-oriented approach is much needed to drive change. Here are a few everyday life suggestions to start this journey towards Mental Fitness: prioritize Mental Health, allow yourself to feel and process emotions, understand the importance of social connectedness, practice a rest ethic as much as we practice a work ethic, cultivate intentional awareness of the present moment, and know that help is available and accessible when you need to reach out while understanding that ‘the grass is greener on the gratitude side’.
Dr. Shachee Dalvi, Child and Women Psychologist, Doctorate in Child Psychology (Gold Medalist) PhD, Mumbai
Across the eons, the purpose of humans has been to find happiness in life, which stems from a healthy mind. Therefore, mental health awareness is crucial in understanding the conditions individuals may be suffering from and providing access to help and guidance, ultimately fostering peace and happiness. Emotional Quotient (EQ), a key aspect of mental well-being, entails effectively managing emotions for a stress-free environment. Psychologists not only address mental health issues but also nurture a high EQ through therapeutic approaches, highlighting the importance of positive emotions. EQ brings numerous benefits, such as stress reduction, a positive mindset, efficient life prioritization, self-confidence, improved interpersonal interactions, emotional management, better decision-making, patience, self-control, creativity, adaptability, empathy, effective relationship management, and academic or work success. EQ training in schools has shown promising results, reducing disciplinary problems and substance abuse. Ultimately, a high EQ contributes to overall happiness, making it vital for human well-being.
Dr. Priya R Nair, MBBS, DPM, MRCPsych, PGDHA, Consultant Psychiatrist, Neya Psychiatric Clinic, Hyderabad
Recognizing and combatting depression is crucial for mental well-being. While occasionally feeling fed up or miserable is common, if persistent feelings of fed up or misery impact daily life for weeks or months, it may indicate depression. Causes range from triggers like the loss of a loved one, relationship breakdowns, or job loss to long-term health issues and childhood trauma. Recognizing signs such as persistent low mood, loss of interest, social withdrawal, difficulty concentrating, guilt, hopelessness, restlessness, and sleep disturbances is important. Seeking help is vital if depression affects daily life or if thoughts of self-harm arise.
Coping strategies include talking to someone, staying active, maintaining a balanced diet, avoiding substance abuse, establishing a sleep routine, engaging in relaxing activities, practising self-care, and seeking support. In cases of moderate or severe depression, antidepressant treatment may be prescribed to aid recovery. Proactively addressing depression helps regain control and achieve a healthier mental state.
Dr. (h.c.) Mala Vohra Khanna, PhD, Child and Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Founder – Raj Psychological Services, Delhi
Happiness isn’t the ultimate goal. Many believe they’ll be happy if they complete a task, secure a job, or get married. But happiness requires balancing ups and downs, or otherwise, we will keep waiting for happiness. Accepting our weaknesses, embracing fluctuations, and acknowledging our situation are vital. The more we accept ourselves, those around us, and our circumstances, the easier it becomes to handle them. Identify your values and live by them. Discover your strengths, the things that provide you with a deeper sense of fulfilment, and what truly satisfies you.
Cultivate mindfulness; it helps you become more aware of your thoughts and emotions without judgement. Our minds are always preoccupied with something. Recognize your thoughts and identify the patterns in your mind. Diffuse unhealthy thoughts. Instead of blindly believing what your mind tells you, reason with it and move forward. Embrace discomfort as happiness coexists with it. Accept emotions, practice self-compassion, and navigate struggles with kindness. Move forward, for happiness is found in the journey.
On this Doctor’s Day, let us celebrate the remarkable contributions of these healthcare professionals who selflessly dedicate their lives to improving the health and well-being of their communities. Their tireless efforts, especially during challenging times, demonstrate their unwavering commitment to the oath they took to serve and heal.
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