Hyderabad: As culinary therapy gains popularity, psychologists say the therapeutic effects of cooking and baking cannot be ignored. They say that cooking is being prescribed world over for the treatment of anxiety and depression because of its meditative quality.
Dr Pragya Rashmi, a consultant psychologist, said, “For centuries, cooking has been used as a means of venting, a catharsis. It activates all our sensory organs and also leads to reminiscence when the smell or taste of a dish brings back good memories.”
Psychologists say that the activity levels of patients suffering from depression and anxiety decline drastically, thus affecting their mental health.
Dr Diana Monteiro, a psychologist, said, “Patients who are depressed will stop doing the things they enjoy doing such as taking walks and reading books. Good food is something that everyone enjoys. Cooking a dish for oneself and for one’s family can give patients a sense of pride and accomplishment, which is the aim.”
Dr Bharat Kumar Reddy, a psychologist, said, “Patients with chronic mental disorders experience a slowing down of mental activity. To kick-start the drive in them, we often get them to cook or bake. They experience a rush when they successfully create a dish; it inspires creativity in them. I have seen many cases were patients begin experimenting with ingredients. Some even end up taking it up professionally.”...