Our department of psychiatry excels at the compassionate treatment of those afflicted by mental illness. While ‘psychotic’ is a commonly used word, in medical parlance it describes a specific condition. Psychosis is the condition wherein a person’s sense of reality is impaired. It is actually used to describe a subgroup of mental illnesses. It is characterized by an inability to think clearly, logically and rationally and, in consequence, results in the inability to comprehend reality, communicate well and behave in an appropriate manner.
Psychosis can be debilitating and has a number of symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations. Delusions are odd, irrational beliefs which aren’t normally acceptable to other people of similar cultures of groups. Hallucinations are inaccurate sensory perceptions perceived in the absence of real stimuli such as hearing voices which aren’t really there. Psychosis can also be caused by medical problems such as brain tumours, brain diseases, abuse of alcohol and drugs, dementia, HIV, epilepsy
and even some prescription drugs.
People who suffer from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other personality disorders often experience psychosis that manifests itself as strange behaviour, thought process and speech. Here at Ramakrishna we have psychiatrists with the relevant clinical experience to manage and treat these patients
While this is a commonly used word, in the world of psychiatry, agitation refers specifically to a condition which is characterized by heightened activity, restlessness or extreme arousal. It is a syndrome wherein a person is tense, confused, irritable or excited and it can last anywhere from a few minutes to hours and even weeks. It also includes aggressive and threatening or even violent behaviour. It is increased by pain, fever, stress and so on. In and of itself, agitation is not necessarily a sign of mental illness but when combined with other symptoms and occurs in the context of impaired reality, it can indicate mental disease.
Causes of agitation are many and varied and include allergic reactions, disease of the heart, lung, kidney or liver, intoxication from drugs or withdrawal from their abuse, delirium, alcohol intoxication or withdrawal, trauma, dementia, depression, schizophrenia and so on. Our mental health team, here at Ramakrishna has a great deal of expertise in this field. If you believe there is somebody suffering from agitation, please bring them at once to our emergency room here at SRH or call us to urgently arrange necessary ambulance transportation.
Thoughts of death occur to all of us at some point or the other. However those who think about suicide look at it very differently. Those contemplating suicide do it because they see it as an end to their emotional pain which has become unbearable. They feel helpless in their situation, utterly hopeless about the future, and see no easy way out. They have come to the fatalistic belief that they and the situation they are in is beyond anyone’s help. People who are at risk of committing suicide usually have a number of things in common such as a family history of suicide (attempted or completed), a family history of mental health problems (depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder and so on) and alcohol or drug abuse. If a person you know mentions suicide even if it is made out to be a joke, it must be taken very seriously. Here at Sri Ramakrishna Hospital, we have trained psychiatrists who have extensive experience helping patients with suicidal tendencies. We urge you to consult us urgently if you or somebody you know is battling this terrifying mental state.
While alcoholism may have a social stigma attached to it, it is very important to understand that it is a disease. In fact, it is a chronic disease which, if untreated, can have fatal consequences. Addiction to alcohol is an overwhelming condition and the person suffering from it needs the support of as many people as possible to overcome it. Stopping the ingestion of alcohol leads to a host of painful symptoms which comprise what is known as withdrawal. Detoxification, or detox as it is known for short, is a medically supervised period of alcohol withdrawal. Symptoms are often dangerous and include nausea, sweating, agitation, paranoia, anxiety, seizures and even hallucinations. The process may last a few days and is the first step on the road to recovery from alcoholism. This has to be accomplished in an acute medically supervised environment by trained internists and psychiatrists. Here at Sri Ramakrishna Hospital we offer inpatient detoxification programmes to help patients overcome this debilitating disease.