Good Diet And Exercise: Here’S How To Maintain Mental Health

(MENAFN- IANS) New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) Timely recognition, appropriate treatment along with proper nutrition, exercise, and family history may be key to fighting mental health conditions, said experts on World Schizophrenia Day on Friday.

World Schizophrenia Day is observed every year on May 24 to raise awareness about the treatable mental illness that affects over 20 million people worldwide.

Psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, disorganised thoughts, and behaviour are some of the common symptoms of schizophrenia.

“Mental health is of utmost importance to all of us. Unfortunately, because of limited information, many myths associated with it, and a lot of social stigmas that go alongside unnecessarily have added on to the issues in terms of patients not being able to recognise their problems/illnesses in time, families not being able to recognise and seek appropriate timely help and getting the ailment treated effectively in a timely manner,” Dr. Sameer Malhotra, Director and Head of Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, told IANS.

Schizophrenia is a major psychiatric disorder and it has different subtypes.

In schizophrenia, there are predominantly two sets of symptoms.

The first set is the positive set of symptoms, where one would be hearing things that others cannot hear, seeing things that others cannot see (hallucinations), or holding on to false beliefs (delusions).

The second is the negative symptoms, where the person feels a disconnect from the rest of the world, and becomes socially isolated.

Dr. Sameer said that genetic factors as well as environmental factors are major risk factors responsible for the onset of schizophrenic illness.

“There is a strong family history of schizophrenia or related disorders. We also see that there is a significant role of substance misuse, particularly drugs, which can enhance the dopamine flow in certain areas of the brain, which can be responsible for certain insecure experiences,” the doctor explained.

Dr. Jyoti Kapoor, Founder-Director and Senior Psychiatrist, Manasthali, told IANS that poor lifestyle choices and inadequate nutrition can also pose the risk of developing schizophrenia.

“Individuals, who engage in unhealthy habits such as poor diet, lack of exercise, substance abuse, and inadequate sleep are at a higher risk of mental health disorders, including schizophrenia,” she said.

The doctor also pointed out“nutritional deficiencies, particularly in essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, can impair brain function and exacerbate genetic predispositions to schizophrenia”.

Furthermore, chronic stress and unhealthy lifestyle behaviours can lead to neuroinflammation and dysregulation of neurotransmitters, which are critical factors in the development and progression of this disorder.

The doctors called for maintaining“a balanced diet, regular physical activity, adequate sleep, and stress management in mitigating the risk and supporting overall mental health.”



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