Cash Crunch Panic keeping doctors busy


Don’t Panic, check for authenticity before reacting to demonetization news”, Says Dr. Sanjay Garg, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Fortis Anandapur

Honourable Prime Minister of India Shri. Narendra Modi’s Demonetization announcement came heavily on many for different reasons. It was both criticized and appreciated by people across the nation, across the different strata of society. But everything has two sides to it.  While this has proved to be a boon against the black money market, at the same time it has become a bane for the common people. Availability of liquid cash got restricted overnight and panic, stress and anxiety are gradually becoming the words of the hour.


Dr. Sanjay Garg, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Fortis Anandapur, said “over the past couple of days, I have received quite a few cases from people on whom demonetization has taken an adverse toll. Many of these calls have come to me from Rural Bengal where people are largely dependent on liquid cash, unlike urban areas where online payments and cards are a common mode of payment. They do not have an option of plastic money.”

People are missing consultation dates in hospitals because they cannot afford the travelling expenses and doctor’s fees. Telephone consultations are a possibility but then again patient monitoring isn’t quite viable over the phone.

He added, “To combat stress and anxiety during the liquid cash crunch, here are a few  tips. The biggest help would be Lifestyle modification for example physical activity like brisk walking and deep breathing which can help in calming one’s nerves and relaxing the mind. Relaxation therapy and distraction technique like listening to music, dancing or pursuing one’s hobbies and engaging in some recreational activity can help too. Religiously inclined people can engage themselves in meditation and regular spirituality as this diverts the mind and also provides solace from the problem. Don’t trust information from random resources, check for authenticity before reacting and lastly cut down on maladapted behaviour like smoking n drinking”. Improving your social network, including your family and friends is extremely important during these times.

Dr Garg says “it is quite difficult to counsel these people initially, and sometimes psychiatrists may need to prescribe some medication for a short while to provide immediate relief from severe and acutely disabling anxiety”.