We often have an extreme understanding of ‘disorders of the mind’, when we hear someone is
visiting a Psychologist/Psychiatrist we often think that this person must have gone completely
‘crazy’, and more often than not, we never think that people with physical health problems need
to visit the ‘psych’ doctors. I write this to spread awareness that mental health and its illness are
not limited to being ‘crazy’ or just talk about things that are going around in your mind. The world
of Psychological issues is vast and exist irrespective of your intellectual abilities and emotional
maturity. The most intelligent, stable, happy looking person can also be suffering with a
psychological impairment without any compromise in the cognitive tasks that he/she can
perform or loss of intelligence.
One sphere of mental health, widely ignored yet over treated is the domain of ‘Psycho-Somatic’
disorders. These are physical illnesses that arise out of psychological issues, to understand it in
a better way, I could say when your physical health is compromised because of psychological
state. Now, that does not mean that there person is not in control or is just feeling things which
don't exist, the experience of these illnesses is as real as any other disease just that the origin
of the problem is in the brain behaviour and not the specific bodily part. It is important to
understand that these disorders only subside for some time with medications and often recur
once medicinal intervention stops, the cure to these illnesses is specifically psychotherapy along
with psychiatric medicinal management. A few examples of these illnesses can be prolonged
unexplained pain, IBS, Headaches, Hyperventilation etc. The domain of Clinical Psychology
specialises in the treatment of such illnesses which often don’t show up in medical reports.
The idea of psychology is not limited to just ‘telling’ or ‘consoling’ the patient, it is to teach how
one retrains the brain to bring a change in physical and mental well-being. It is a technical
rewiring of the brain also known as cognitive restructuring and the treatment doesn't label you
as a ‘mad’ person, rather just someone whose brain has unconsciously learnt impairment.
During the COVID era a person's mental health and physical health has been significantly
compromised and it is essential to understand how to keep up with these barriers to health and
even how both forms of health are interlinked with each other. A person’s stress level has a
major role to play in impacting their physical health not just in acute situations but also chronic
situations. Let’s not stigmatize ourselves or others if they visit a psychologist!
Dr. Jaya Sukul
QRG Health City, Faridabad, Haryana.