Being a third world country, Pakistan does not possess effective mechanisms to deal with patients suffering from mental disorders such as epilepsy, depression, etc. Mental disorders cannot be looked at in a vacuum; they are caused by a variety of factors ranging from to patient’s immediate circumstances to genetics. A timely diagnosis is paramount to managing the condition.
Dr. Nyla Shafiq is a leading psychiatrist in Lahore. In this session with oladoc, she talks about a number of psychiatric issues, in particular, epilepsy, depression, and their treatment.
Q.1: What types of services do you offer?
We deal with different kinds of patients; we provide outdoor and indoor facilities as well. Some patients willfully come to us while others are forcefully admitted by their friends and family, this is referred to as crisis intervention. For example, patients suffering from addiction to drugs like cocaine and ganja are forced by their families to seek therapy to live a normal life. Patients are kept for different time periods depending on the severity of their condition, they can be kept anywhere from two to twelve weeks.
Q.2: Tell us a little about epilepsy?
Being a third world country and suffering from plagues such as poverty and overpopulation, there are a lot of misconceptions about epilepsy. The number of epilepsy patients is further increased by cousin marriages because this disease is carried in the genes.
These patients suffer from physical and mental disabilities; we provide them with indoor and outdoor facilities depending on their condition. Our team of psychiatrists and psychologists work together for the recovery of these patients. About 90% of our patients successfully recover.
Q.3: What happens after Epilepsy?
The patient suffers from physical and mental disabilities which hampers their day to day activities. Side effects of epilepsy cannot be treated alone by hospitals, initially, the patient suffers turning of hands and feet and this gradually leads to mental retardation. 80% of epilepsy patients suffer from mental retardation, our team works to return these patients to a state of normalcy.
Q.4: What is the best way to treat depression?
Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, it is, therefore, important to manage it with medication and other support mechanisms such as therapy and counselling. A combination of treatments is used to return the patient to a normal state. Therefore, a psychiatric intervention must be made timely.
Q.5: What is Alzheimer’s and how does it develop?
Alzheimer’s is also known as dementia; unfortunately in Pakistan, this condition is not properly addressed. Alzheimer is characterized by forgetting basic routine patient follows each day, for example, forgetting to brush teeth or wearing clothes when exiting washroom, it must be treated timely or it gets worse over time.
If early symptoms are detected, an intervention can be done to effectively reverse it but if Alzheimer’s is detected at an advanced stage, it can only be slowed down.
If you want to learn more about epilepsy, depression and their treatment, watch the full interview. If you have any mental health concerns, contact a psychologist at your earliest.
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