Complete recovery from psychiatric illness is possible with effective medications and psychosocial support- Brig. Mowadat Rana


Complete recovery from psychiatric illness is possible
with effective medications and psychosocial
support- Brig. Mowadat Rana

Patients do much better with psychosocial support as compared
to those who are treated with medications alone

LAHORE: Brig. Mowadat H.Rana Dean Faculty of Psychiatry in CPSP and Dr. Nadeem Ahmed were the two presenters in the workshop on personal recovery in psychiatric illnesses during the just concluded Asia Pacific Conference on Psychosocial Rehabilitation held here recently. This session was chaired by Prof. Gholam Rabbani from Bangladesh along with Prof. Michaela Amaring from Austria.
Brig. Mowadat Rana pointed out that many people do not know how much recovery is possible. Patients do not come back to us and do not talk to the people but patients do recover. Recovery is the ultimate aim of any intervention. Some time we try to hide the disease. These issues do have an impact on treating mental healthcare professionals. Personal growth is a challenge we face in practice. In partial recovery we manage the patient but stigma by healthcare professional colleagues is an important issue. We have to focus on clinical recovery wherein the patient is feeling better in term of the disease but personal recovery is a bit more than clinical recovery.

Sitting on the Dais during the inaugural lecture of Asia Pacific Conference on
Psychosocial Rehabilitation held at Lahore recently form (L to R) are
Prof. Sultan Ahmad, Prof. I. A. K. Tareen, Brig. Mowadat H. Rana,
Prof. Khalid Mufti and Prof. Iqbal Afridi.

Continuing Brig. Mowadat Rana said that it is not good to carry diseases. We can just say that this patient has schizophrenia but we cannot label him as schizophrenic. He quoted an eminent physician Dr. William Osler who had stated that it is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of disease a patient has. He laid emphasis on close collaboration between the clinical psychologists and psychiatrists in managing these patients.
Dr. Nadeem Ahmad said that we are starting a movement and small things put together makes a lot of difference. He asked the participants to name great people who had psychiatric disease but they did achieve a lot in their respective fields. A large number of such people were mentioned by the participants. This shows that even though they suffered from some psychiatric disease but even then they were the high achievers in their life. They beat their disease and did not allow their disease to overcome their personal abilities. The unique process of change in one’s attitudes, values, feelings, goals, skills and roles is deeply personal. It is a way of living a satisfactory, hopeful and contributory life even with the limitations caused by their illnesses. With personal change, recovery should be better. People change with mental illnesses but change for the worse but the treating physicians can make them better by recovery. Mentally ill patients do recover fully but it kills hope in the family. Many patients do recover from acute transient psychosis. Brig. Mowadat Rana emphasized the fact that complete recovery from psychiatric illness is possible with effective medications and psychosocial support. One should try to generate hope in the family using effective evidence based medications coupled with other good interventions. Educate the family, provide them psychosocial support and also ask them to offer Duaa. Almost 70% of patients recover fully but 30% may not recover fully. Recovery, Brig. Mowadat Rana opined involves development of new meaning, purpose in one’s life as one grows beyond the catastrophic effects of psychiatric illness. There are different attitudes and behaviour of family members with those who are suffering from some mental disorder. These patients may have one disability but they can do many other things, hence it is important that they should not be made Zero. Take away eye from their disability, try and focus on their personal ability and this disability will also start improving. We must make best use of their disability and the bad thoughts will went away. No individual should be written off for which it is important to have belief in clinical recovery.

Some of the Pakistani and foreign delegates attending the Asia Pacific Psychosocial Rehabilitation
conference photographed along with Prof.Norman Sartorius and Dr.Afzal Javed President of WAPR.

A young girl may be suffering from OCD but one cannot say that she was an OCD and there is a lot of difference in these two statements. It was the abnormal grief reaction with which Jahangir Khan defeated Geof Hunt in the Squash Court taking revenge of his brother’s death.

Relapse Brig. Mowadat Rana said, does occur and in this role of family and friends is important. We must know how to deal with the misconceptions regarding psychiatric diseases. He quoted Hazrat Ali (RA) the Caliph who had said that the source of pain and pleasure is the same. A lot of good can come out from, these mentally ill people, hence do not write them off. It is the same heat which softens potatoes and hardens an egg. Use these catastrophic events to achieve something. During post traumatic growth, some people become greater than they were before. Growth is much more in clinical recovery with scientific treatment; the patients can be on the road to progress. Studies have shown that patients do much better with psychosocial interventions as compared to those who are treated with medications alone. He then highlighted the beneficial effects of social support, occupational rehabilitation which is quite effective in some patients and occupational therapy. Results are also much better with social integration. One should not mix up religion with spirituality as one can be areligious and still believe in spirituality.


Photographed during the Asia Pacific Conference on Psychosocial Rehabilitation held at Lahore from
(L to R) are Prof.Razaur Rehman, Dr.Afzal Javed, and Prof. Haroon Ahmad, Brig.Mowadat Rana,
Dr.Unaiza Niaz, Dr. Anjum Bashir, Dr. Naqvi and others.

He concluded his presentation by stating that mental healthcare professionals should join hands to bring down the wall between the psychiatrists and clinical psychologists. Do not believe in those who talk of psychological interventions alone and those who promote psychiatric care alone. Psychologists as well as psychiatrists both are important members of the mental healthcare team, he remarked.
This was an excellent presentation by Brig. Mowadat Rana who having mastered the art of communication skills made the workshop proceedings quite lively and interesting, encouraging the participants to actively participate in the deliberations thereby improving the quality of the workshop. He successfully convinced the participants that complete clinical and personal recovery among patients suffering from mental disorders was possible provided they work with devotion, sincerity, and combine effective medications with other interventions.
Summing up the session Prof. Gholam Rabbani said that it was a wonderful experience to participate n this workshop. The concept of personal recovery is deeply personal and it was extremely important that we must change our attitudes towards these patients suffering from different psychiatric disorders.