Docs speak on ways to fight men­tal dis­or­ders

Say best way to tackle neu­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions is through will, med­i­ca­tion

HT Ludhiana Live - - Education - HT Live Cor­re­spon­dent ludlivedesk@hin­dus­tan­ LUD­HI­ANA:

It was dif­fi­cult for 40-year-old Nayana Vaidya to di­gest that she was suf­fer­ing from a de­bil­i­tat­ing chronic neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­or­der such as mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis (MS).

On hear­ing the doc­tor’s di­ag­no­sis, anx­i­ety over­took her. Be­ing a work­ing woman, she found it dif­fi­cult to con­cen­trate on work, even com­mut­ing be­came tire­some.

The real trauma for Nayana, how­ever, un­folded when the dis­or­der ag­gra­vated. She de­vel­oped vi­sion prob­lems and be­gan to feel a burn­ing sen­sa­tion in the neck. One day, her right side was paral­ysed.

Al­though Nayana ini­tially found it dif­fi­cult to cope with the dis­ease, she grad­u­ally took it in her stride and, de­spite the de­bil­i­tat­ing symp­toms, be­gan


reg­u­lar health check­ups.

“The dis­or­der is usu­ally di­ag­nosed among peo­ple be­tween the ages of 20 and 40 years, con­sid­ered the most pro­duc­tive pe­riod of a per­son’s life,” he says.

While other peo­ple may be build­ing their ca­reers, get­ting mar­ried, or en­joy­ing life in gen­eral, MS pa­tients un­dergo tremen­dous hard­ships. More­over, an MS pa­tient has to avoid heat and high tem­per­a­tures, which ag­gra­vate symp­toms and the pa­tient’s gen­eral con­di­tion.

An au­toim­mune dis­or­der that di­rectly af­fects the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem (the brain and spinal cord), Mul­ti­ple Scle­ro­sis gen­er­ally oc­curs when the im­mune sys­tem at­tacks and de­stroys healthy body tis­sues, thereby dam­ag­ing the myelin sheath - the pro­tec­tive cov­er­ing sur­round­ing nerve cells. With the nerve cov­er­ing dam­aged, nerve im­pulses slow down or stop. Such nerve dam­age is mainly caused by re­peated episodes of in­flam­ma­tion when the body’s im­mune cells at­tack the ner­vous sys­tem. This in­flam­ma­tion can be trig­gered by a virus, ge­netic de­fects or en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors, the doc­tor adds.

Some ma­jor MS symp­toms in­clude: im­paired or dou­ble vi­sion, ver­tigo, fa­cial pain, loss of bal­ance, prob­lems in mak­ing mi­nor move­ments, numb­ness, tingling or weak­ness in the limbs, dif­fi­culty in pass­ing or hold­ing urine, con­sti­pa­tion and other bowel prob­lems, mus­cle spasms, ex­ces­sive fa­tigue, de­creased at­ten­tion span, poor judg­ment, mem­ory loss and emo­tional fluc­tu­a­tions lead­ing to de­pres­sion.

The doc­tor says that a healthy life­style, to­tal avoid­ance of al­co­hol and cig­a­rettes as well as strong willpower are needed for ef­fec­tive treat­ment of a neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­ease such as MS.

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