60 per cent patients are psychosomatic

ABU DHABI - About 60 per cent of patients are psychosomatic (having psychological disorders in forms of physical ailments) and need psychiatric assessment, said a renowned expert.

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By Nada S. Mussallam

Published: Sat 21 Feb 2004, 12:09 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:09 AM

"Most of the people, who are frequent visitors of hospitals because they complain of variety of chronic ailments like headache, back pain, mainly suffer from psychological disorders and require psychiatric assessment," said Dr Elzein Abbas Omara, former director of Abu Dhabi Psychiatry Hospital and Consultant Psychiatrist and Mental Health Adviser at Al Noor Hospital.

In an interview with Khaleej TImes, Dr Omara said patients, especially prefer to go to primary health care centres to get treatment for their chronic health problems rather than seeking the help of a psychiatrist.

This is well linked with the social stigma associated with mental health, he said. "Mental disorder is recognisable, treatable and treatment is available and affordable so people with psychological disorders should make sure that they get appropriate treatment," advised Dr Omara.

He explained that treatment in psychological medicine is composed of three media, 'physical treatment', which largely depends on drugs, 'psychological treatment', which is composed of behaviour modifications, either cognitive behaviour or relaxation therapy, and 'social readjustment' or rehabilitation of the individual into the community.

He said one of the important parameters in psychiatry is the psychological treatment which either supports analytic psycho-therapy or relaxation therapy.

"Cognitive therapy needs the 'word' more than the 'tablet' and the support of new techniques which can be used for the purpose of relaxation," said Dr Omara.

He revealed that two advanced machines will be introduced at Al Noor Hospital in March to develop cognitive therapy.

"A 'Multimedia Relaxation Chair' with a relaxing acoustic system and a 'Personal Efficiency Trainer' (PET), a psychological assessment device that records psychological activities simultaneously with audio and/or video functions", revealed Dr Omara.

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