We seldom discuss the issues and concern related to mental health and depression. Today, we are surrounded by news about people going through emotional dips-and-downs and to fight back, they are seeking medical attention by opting for either counselling or by therapy.
Recently, we got a chance to speak with the founder of The Happy Tree which is one of the finest De-addiction and Mental Health Hospital which was launched in 2020 by a known psychiatrist, Dr. Anuneet Sabharwal. The doctor shared his journey, views and vision on various concerns of people, which has been bothering them in today’s time:
How did you initiated to start your mental health hospital The Happy Tree?
I had taken up Psychiatry in 2012 out of my passion for deaddiction and mental health care. The idea for a super specialty deaddiction and mental health hospital came to me during my first year of post graduate training at KLE University, Belgaum, in 2012. I finished my training in 2015, and returned to Delhi, after which I joined GB Pant Hospital for my senior residency briefly. The Happy Tree was born out of my house’s basement on 7th August 2016. Back then, it was called Infinity Clinic, but since I wanted to have my brand name and logo copyrighted, I changed the name to The Happy Tree. By 2017, the construction of my 30 bedded exclusive Psychiatric Hospital had started. It took us nearly 3 years to have the hospital constructed fully, and in fact, we opened The Happy Tree (hospital) in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
Being a psychiatrist, what kind of clients you have been majorly treating in today’s time?
My clients range from a wide variety of Psychiatric conditions including anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, borderline personality disorder, psychotic illnesses including schizophrenia, and any and all addictions. However, if I was to say what kind of patients are most common to The Happy Tree, I would have to say that around 50% of our patients have clinical depression, and around 30% come with alcohol and heroin addiction. The remaining 20% are a mix of a range of psychiatric illnesses.
There has been a myth of believing that psychiatrists are consulted by people who are mad- how do you respond to this question?
This myth is not only just a myth, but also a major stigmatising factor that we fight on a daily basis. In fact, this stigma also exists amongst doctors. Rest assured, we never refer to our patients as being mad. Psychiatric issues can occur to anyone, including me and you. There is no shame in talking about mental health in today’s time.
What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?
A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has a degree in Psychiatry. For example, I have an MBBS and an MD in Psychiatry. I am allowed legally, to prescribe medications, and administer noninvasive brain stimulation procedures. A Psychologist is a professional trained in talk therapy. Psychologists have degrees like MA, BA, MSc and PhD in Psychology. Psychologists are not legally allowed to prescribe medications, although they can administer noninvasive brain stimulation under the supervision of a Psychiatrist.
Being a working professional for the past 11 years, how have you been managing your work and family life?
As an entrepreneur, it is always difficult to juggle family and work life. There have been times when I’ve felt guilty for not having spent as much time with my family as I should. I ensure that I have at least 1 full day off per week, where I do not take work related calls unless urgent. I also take out 1 hour everyday exclusively for my wife and son after I reach home from work. In my opinion, quality time spent regularly is more important than simply sitting together.
People think that consulting a psychiatrist is a costly affair. How do you address this concern?
Consulting a Psychiatrist is among the cheapest in the world. When spending money on anything, it becomes a matter of priorities. In today’s time, a consultation with a Psychiatrist will cost you the same as having a meal outside, which is more than just, considering that it takes almost 9 years to finish training to be a Psychiatrist.
How are you contributing to mental wellness?
The Happy Tree has initiated the unique concept of non-invasive brain stimulation in India. Our stress on the same is due to the fact that a lot of patients don’t want to take either medications or therapy. Our cutting-edge devices, being clinical grade, and approved for use in clinical settings, offer almost the same benefits to the patients as would medications or therapy. This new era of mental health care is an exciting one indeed.
(The inputs have been shared by the agency)
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