“Mental health is a state of well being in which an individual realizes his or her abilities , can cope with normal stresses of life , can work productively , and is able to make a contribution to the community or society.”—WHO definition of Mental health . This is a composite definition comprising of components of psychological state of mental well-being. The common mental health disorders are anxiety disorders (panic, phobias, sleep disorders, obsessions,fatigue, post traumatic stress) , Mood disorders (Bipolar disorder, affective disorders) Schizophrenia , Complex disorders. There are many risk factors which lead to mental conditions like socio-economic factors which may be modifiable viz. occupation, education , socio-economy and non modifiable like age, sex, ethnicity and biological factors like genetics and chronic diseases. When mental disorders become significant, there are clinical presentations as follows :

  • Social withdrawal, Avoidance of activities
  • Sleep disturbances, Hopelessness , low energy , asthenia
  • Bullemia/ Anorexia, Addictions, Physical symptoms
  • Negative emotions, Confusion, cognitive disturbances
  • Hampered work performance,Poor routine activity performance
  • Hallucinations, Delusions , Thought disorders
  • Abuse potential , Violent behavior

WHO estimate ( 2020) in India : If we look for prevalence& incidence of mental disorders, Mental disorder – 7.5%,Mental illness    -20%,  Global suicide account – 36.6 %  Mental health burden  – 2443 disability adjusted life years / 1 lakh population   ,  21.1  age adjusted suicide rate/ 1 lakh population, Economic burden  – 1.03 trillions of 2010 dollar

(The burden of mental disorders across the states of India : the global disease burden study ; THE LANCET ; Vol. 7, issue 2, pg. 148-161, February 2020)

If mental health in medicos is analysed , as per AMC physician specialty data report 2016, anaesthesiology is on the top of high risk specialties if suicides and burnouts are concerned. A question arises that “Why only Anaesthesiologists”. Whether , mis-aligned motivations, negative feedback, hostile working conditions and fears or anxieties are the important causes. As per review article published in 2020 in Brazilian journal of anaesthesiology on work and mental health status of anaesthesiologists,causes of work dissatisfaction and of mental and behavioural derangement are:   Lack of recognition of their professional activity.High number of working hours , Lack of regularity of worked hours, Working pattern defined by other specialists considering the teamwork ,Low wages, few prospects of professional ascension, Difficult organization of work time, Poor control over their work . Three main components of burnout syndrome :

       –  High emotional exhaustion (EE),

       –  High depersonalization (DP),

       –  Low personal accomplishment

The prevalence of burnout syndrome among anesthesiologists is relatively high, and it seems higher in younger physicians with lower experience. Other consistently described risk factors, associated with anesthesiologists’ burnout, are occupational conditions (mostly work overload and/or being young consultant) as well as personal circumstances (having children).

After these fact checks, as front-runners of the society and fraternity , it becomes our prime duty to efficiently strive harder to conquer over the mental apathy and psychological darkness. We should derive solutions and remedies towards handling the sensitive issues of mental health and resolving to curative measures for achieving victory over this important problem .

 The sports , health activities and recreational programs of different types can be a good stress buster for clinicians . The ample research is available proving the point. If we take time from our hectic schedules for some sport on regular basis , many mental issues which otherwise go unnoticed and get neglected , can be tackled properly . Such psychological implications, if not handled on time , can pile up into a miserable disorder with dire consequences . Sports activities ,outdoor as well as indoor , can prove to be miraculous therapies to such disorders . The sports of one’s own choice should be adopted in life as a remedy to psychological problems to achieve freedom and to move towards stronger and healthier positive Life.

So, let’s pledge to fight against mental disorders and adopt sporting as a curative regime. Let’s Play , Enjoy and Excel.

“Mental health is not a destination , but a process”

“It doesn’t get easier, its you just getting stronger”

“Together we can & we will make a difference”


By Dr. Umesh Ramtani
Associate Professor, Anaesthesiology, SSH, SVNGMC, Yavatmal
Past Secretary, ISA-NCB