Aerobics helps fighting depression: Dr. Dayal Mirchandani

Dr Dayal Mirchandani is psychiatrist in Mumbai with a special interest in behavioural medicine and treatment of psychological disorders. He strongly believes in a participatory or cooperative model of health care that encourages and expects active involvement by all patients, family, doctors.

Dr Mirchandani has been in private practice since 1981 and is actively involved in training psychotherapists and doctors in the use of mind-body therapy techniques for healing: psychological, psychiatric and psychosomatic disorders.He has been actively involved in training therapists and other healing professionals in the behavioural sciences also.

Dr Dayal Mirchandani answered Sify readers’ queries related to the above in an exclusive chat. Read the transcript below.

I have been on anti-depression medication for 3 yrs now… Very less improvement… what kind of excercise helps.. does yoga help

If the medicine you need to take a second opinion. In addition exercise will help (running, cycling, swimming) Yoga can be a useful addition to these. You can do both aerobic exercises and yoga.

what is schizophrenia and how it is treated?

It is a major psychiatric illness. It is best treated with a combination of medicine and psychotherapy. Treatment should be continued as long as the doctor advises it.

I am 53 year old men and engaged in service business. My problem was I am getting tense for small issues but some time I could handle major issues with courage. Height 5’7” and weight 80.5 kg. please help

I think you need a few sessions with a counsellor to help you deal with the small issues in life.

Hello Sir, I have got married recently and cry a lot, i cannot bear the questions of my in laws, i feel week, and because of which i have severe cough. i want to be strong. please help

It would be wise to see a counselor. Without knowing your further details I would not be able to give you further advice.

Hi wnated to know on some phobias

Go to

I have a severe fear of heart attacks and always relate to my age and any other death related to heart attack of other individuals …also even at slightest stress i start to keep a check if wont result in a heart problem

This is more of phobia. Pls take psychological help.

How can we differentiate between Obsessive Disorder and Phobia

a phobia is an irrational fear, many people with OCD also have phobias both benefit from professional help.

My son is 9yrs. He has been throwing a lot of tantrums off late and also breaks things or his toys when angry. Is it normal for his age?

It is not normal at this age please seek professional help

Dr. I can’t see anyone in pain. I tend to think a lot about it or start getting depressed and also lose interest in my daily work routine. Can I overcome this or I need counselling?

Seeking professional help may be easier, it is difficult to overcome this yourself. Sometimes spiritual such as Buddhist meditation can be a useful addition to professional therapy.

How can I overcome anxiety on my own?

It is possible to overcome anxiety yourself if you work hard on this. is a useful site for this. see a therapist if this does not work.

When can phobia be referred to as mental illness? Is it normal to be phobic of some regular stuff like cockroaches, lizards, water/sea or travelling by air?

Its not normal to have a phobia. If it doesn’t effect your life its fine but if it stops you from doing something or makes you miserable then you need to see a professional.

Just a general question…What is the basic difference between fear and phobia?

Fear is a normal reaction whereas phobia is an intense irrational fear.

How can one get rid of suicidal tendencies. Can it be tackled on one’s own or needs counselling?

It definitely needs professional guidance.

I have a friend who has been very unsuccessful professionally. He has not got the right kind of job still. Lately he had a strong tiff with his fiancee too. He mentions sometimes that he will give up his life.Pls guide.

I think its important you discuss this with his family and he should see a psychiatrist soon.

Doctor I want to know the common symptoms of behavioural disorders.

Anxiety, depression, doing anything in excess or less, being overactive or getting irritable, inability to sleep are some common symptoms.

Hello Dr. Mirchandani, I lost my father about two months ago. My mother and I are both still emotionally very unstable. Do you suggest undergoing some treatment or is it normal behavior. Regards, Harsh

This is a normal part of life. Grief is a normal reaction to loss.

Is stress the reason for my dreams.

No… some of the issues may be you are stressed about you may see in dreams.. stress can cause nightmares.

Some times i used to cry in sleep. may be in some dreams.what is it !

Could be a nightmare or a night terror.. nightmare is when you have a dream where you know what is happening whereas a night terror you are not aware why you are crying… normally these things pass off with time but if they don’t then pls see an expert.

Is there a treatment or medication to personality disorder or inferiority complex?

There is no medication as such but for personality disorder you need a good counsellor for the same.

I feel very inferior at times because my English speaking is not good and because of my short height. How to overcome?

Learn self acceptance! There is a book by Tarabrach called Radicle-self acceptance. This may be helpful.

Female-26yrs. I want to control my jealousy traits. Please help.

One way is to become aware and train yourself to switch your mind to think differently.. there are Buddhist meditation practice called Tonglen, if not then pls consult a counsellor.

Does having a panicky tendency relate to less support from near and dear ones? Thank you for the answers.

Not necessary.. it could be genetic or something that youy have learnt in childhood.

How can I generally overcome my so called panic nature?

You can learn how to change the way you think… you can log in to and I am sure this will help you…

What is eleroconvulsive therapy used to treat panic?

Its not used for panic but for severe depression with suicidal depression or some medical resistance psychiatric disorders.

Hello Doctor. I am 24yrs female. I get panicked very easily. Even small problems make me panicky. Do I need a psychiatrist?

See a psychotherapist first. A psychotherapist will help you to get over panic and then you can see a psychiatrist if needed.

Does change in place of living help to overcome depression? For instance my mother remains happier in hilly areas and depressive in cities.Thanks.

It can help… many people find being in nature IS HELPFUL.. and some people find spending time outside cities boring so it depends from person to person.

My mother not only remains depressive most of the times but also make others depressive.We try to make her happy but she remains the same. Will the medication help her permanently?

No medication helps permanently. It only controls the symptoms. Psychotherapy may be permanent.

My mother has been given medication for depression? Do such medication pose a threat of side effects?

Rarely there are side effects. But any good doctor will monitor and take care. Don’t worry.

Is it normal to talk to oneself frequently?

Occasionally it might be normal, but frequently it may or may not be normal. If there are other symptoms with talking then you need to see a therapist.

Dr. I am 46yrs male, happily married. Why do I so lonely even at a crowded place

There might be some psychological issues. See an expert.

Are hallucinations related to some kind of fear?

Sometimes yes but majority of times No!

Are there any symptoms to hallucinations?

Sometimes there are.. otherwise it something where you perceive something out of reality.

Good afternoon Dr. What really causes hallucinations?

Brain disorders, party drugs and many other reasons.

Is OCD related to genes? Can it pass on to the next generation? Regards.

In a small percentage of cases Yes!

How can OCD be controlled?

There is one technique called BrainLock developed by Dr.Jeffery Schwartz AND THERE IS A BOOK ALSO BY THAT NAME THAT DESCRIBES ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT OCD AND HOW TO GET OVER IT.

I lost my father at a very young age. I feel that my mom has OCD bcoz she keeps washing her hands repeatedly and is obsessed with cleanliness at home.Help.

Convince your mother to see a psychiatrist.

Doctor when does obsessive compulsive disorder occur?

It generally occurs at any age but maximum in young adults.

My sister likes to stay aloof and doesn’t socialize much.She often indulges in depressing thoughts and views.Please guide.

See a psychiatrist. Staying aloof can have implications in terms of having a psychiatric disorder and may not only be depression.

How to fight depression Doctor?

Exercise especially aerobics is good, getting enough sleep, avoiding stress and doing a practice like meditation. This should help. Or consult a psychotherapist who can show you new ways of thinking to protect from depression.

Sir is there any difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

Psychiatrist is a medical Doctor whereas Psychologist has a masters degree in Psychology.

Please share some tips to remain happy and positive with so much negativity in today’s environment? Thanks.qq

One way is to associate with positive people and also get into some kind of positive practice like meditation or even helping someone less unfortunate.

I have heard that spirituality helps in maintaining good mental health. Is it true?

Its true!! More than religion spirituality helps.

Is stress the key cause to mental illness?

Its one of the causes, there could be others like childhood issues, bad habits, drugs or alcohol. It could be genetic as well.

Is it that physical illness leads to mental illness or it is the mental illness that causes physical illness Sir?

Both can happen.

Greeting Dr.How can a person know that he needs to consult a psychiatrist?

If one is suffering from any kind of emotional upset or swings for a week or if it is recurrent or if you have strange experiences or thoughts then you need to visit a psychiatrist or psychotherapist.

How can one avoid having pessimistic thoughts? I want to get optimistic in life. Pls help.

Read a book Selignan called “Learned Optimism”

Are sleep disorders mainly linked to our thoughts?

No, sometime they are biological or might be some hormonal change or even be because if habits like drinking too coffee or stimulant drinks.

41 yrs female. Have had a disturbed childhood. From past 3-4yrs I tend to wake up suddenly between 2.30am to 3am everyday. I also witness fear & bad dreams at this time.Your advice Dr.?

There might be issues related to your childhood, other issues may also be there like depression. Pls see an expert.

What is the best way to overcome the pain of personal losses in a family, especially the one who is so dear to you?

There is no one way..try to accept it as a normal way of life which happens to everybody, try to talk it out with people who care abt you and realise that this is also past. If it prolongs then you need to visit a counselor.

Hello Dr. I am 39yrs female. I lost my father at childhood, lost my mother and sister too off late. I am married but I keep thinking abt my personal losses. Normal?

No its not normal if it prolongs for over 6 months. See a counselor who can help to overcome your grief.

Dear Sir, I am 53 years old men. My problem is I feel tense for the issues some time and for similar problem I could handle without any tension. This happen irrespective of whether I am tired or not. Kindly help me. Regards K B Nair Pune

Study what the difference is …See if you can use the strategy that you use when you are not tense… you can try vipasana to calm your mind.. if this does not help you can consult a professional