Depression and the associated "Social Death"

This is that phase of the era when everyone around the world is talking about stress and/or depression affecting their family life or work life or both.
If I had to work for a cause, or volunteer for some organisation, I would do it for people struggling with depression. What most people are unaware is that depression is also a disease like any other that needs treatment and medical intervention. In India, very few people take medical support when they come to know that they have depression or associated mental ailments.They keep it to themselves and let it grow within them and finally leading to chronic mental illnesses or even suicide.I come from a place where the word 'depression' doesn't really exist 'physically' in the society. Not that it is totally non existing, it is unaddressed and kept cryptic. Getting help for a mental ailment is considered a taboo and most of the time, it is left untreated and unattended. Most people are scared about the social stigma attached to seeking medical help for mental ailments. They fear they will be subjected to 'social death' if 'caught' visiting a psychiatrist.
I remember my grand mom advising me not to use the word 'mad'. Trust me, I was not allowed to say " you are mad" or "she is mad" or even "I am mad" when I was a child. I was told that 'mad' was a bad word, a bad state, where people get isolated and are thrown out of the society. I still remember calling my brother mad and getting punished for the same. Such is the taboo attached to mental illnesses and forget about consulting a doctor for the same.
In my clinical practice, I have seen many patients who come with the general signs of depression. Often I find it difficult to probe into the case and investigate further since the patient is unwilling to accept the fact that he/she is having clinical depression. This poses a major threat not to many physicians when the patient tries to be defensive during relevant inquiries which in-turn defers a dull assessment of the case. Some patients do not even accept the treatment since they do not accept the diagnosis.
First step to help people battling mental diseases as a whole, is to educate them and their family members. Second is to educate and create awareness among the public and professionals. Unaddressed depression is a hidden threat which can have varied levels of consequences. Awareness and education of the patients and also their families must be enhanced. Physicians and related professionals need to develop their standards of performance with respect to behavioral health care. Government should promote more medical research and invention of new treatments for combating depression and associated mental disorders.
With our efforts, let us extend our support to those people battling depression or at least try to help them by showing support and compassion than isolating them. Lets hope, we can have give them a better place to live in and let all patients get quality medical care.

How Healthy is Instant Noodles for your Kids?

Do you give instant noodles to your kids?

I think most of us do because our kids love it so much. My toddler who is just one and a half year old loves it so much that he asks for more and more.
But we cannot blame our children completely on this, and you know why !;-)

But are we really bothered on how bad it is for our kids?
Here is a list of reasons why you should think twice before giving instant noodles to our kids

1.MSG is the real villain

MSG is a very common flavor enhancer found predominantly in processed foods which is known to cause headache and anxiety.It causes liver dysfunction and is proved to cause asthmatic responses in adults as well as children. Children with Asthmatic conditions should completely avoid MSG

2. Made from refined flour

Instant noodles is a processed food which contains 'maida' or refined flour which has no nutrients and just contains empty calories!

3.Trans-fats cause unnecessary weight gain

The trans fats which are added at the time of processing, is harmful for child's health and also adds on extra pounds.

4.High sodium levels

High sodium levels in the instant noodles act a preservative for increasing the shelf life. It can cause damage to your kid's internal organs.

5. Propylene glycol and other chemicals

Propylene glycol found in instant noodles, if used for long, may lead to slurred speech, heart diseases and kidney diseases.

To top all of these, recent studies have shown that instant noodles may cause psychological changes like violent behavior, stubbornness, mild guilt, etc in kids

So next time, you kids ask for noodles, you know what to do !;-)

image courtesy: goodmomsmeet.com