The problem is that the majority of mental health conditions are not treated by mental health professionals. They are treated by primary care physicians who are overloaded with patients and do not always have the expertise to understand how people need to be taught about their disorders. I walk that fine line between medicine and psychiatry.
Being a doctor is not about writing prescriptions. Being a doctor means being a teacher. I not only treat people—I teach people. So when I want to make a difference in someone’s life, I don’t focus on just one specific part of the body. It’s never, “the problem is above the neck and that is what I’m going to treat.” I’m a doctor. I’m going to teach you about your body from the head to the toe. Because personal wellness demands taking the bigger picture into account.
Another roadblock we face as we get older is sarcopenia—the loss of muscle mass and strength. If we don’t focus on maintaining our bodies and continue to live by our old principles, the lost muscle will be replaced by fat. Our eating pattern has to change. A slowing metabolism has to be countered with a controlled and monitored calorie intake. Our exercise pattern has to change. That doesn’t necessarily mean exercising more, but exercising differently. A six-mile run might not expend calories as effectively as it once did.
As a doctor, you need to get to know the person. What is their psychological makeup? Is the family involved or are they individually responsible for their own wellbeing? Once you understand these things you can begin to make a difference. Even if two patients need a similar treatment, I have to teach them about the process in ways that are tailored to their individual understanding. It’s not just about recommending a different shake or diet plan. Personalized medicine means sympathizing with the forces behind someone’s thinking and translating your analysis in a way that makes it easy to digest.
How does your background in psychiatry aid the effectiveness of the center’s weight management program?
How does the center’s emphasis on balancing physical and mental health help the patient make a positive body composition change?
Human beings are prone to relapses. We forget things very quickly, and very easily. Mental discipline and persistence are keys to truly modifying behavior. Without behavioral and lifestyle change, it is very difficult to attain the ideal body composition for physical health and wellness. Dr. Ahmad is there to provide support to his patients as they endeavor to make these lasting changes.