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The stigma attached to mental illness in India means that those suffering from bipolar disorder rarely speak out.
Mental illness is embarrassing. Why?
The society is now opening up to same sex relationships. It is something that happens inside one in every 50 homes if not more. I am all for the freedom to choose a way of life. I often speak to my friends who are planning a baby to be prepared to discover and accept their child’s sexual preferences.
If you are wondering where I may be going with this conversation, I wish to talk about ‘mental illness’ in comparison with same sex relationships only because both carry a gigantic taboo around them.
While we are taking to the streets about the rights of the former the latter i.e. the mentally ill are still embarrassed to accept their own condition.
I am one of those people. While I have completely embraced my condition and am learning to take care of myself, I haven’t told my cousins about it, or my boss or a lot of other people. And the reason is 1 of course the fear of being judged, but the other I have realized over the years is that our society is not ready with a reply to the statement, ‘I suffer from depression‘.
Me to boss – I suffer from depression and may at times need unplanned days off. The days when I am in a dark place.
Boss to me – Oh! Sure! How often does it happen?
What? Do you know how often this year will you be down with viral fever? A simple ‘I understand’ would do.
One may argue that one’s sexual preference is not likely to have any effect on productivity in the workplace while mental illnesses can adversely effect productivity and harmony. Here is news for you; do you know what else can adversely affect productivity and harmony in your organization? ‘Migraine headaches’. (which could have very well been caused due to work stress)
I intentionally did not pick common cold as a parallel because migraine headaches can be faked as well as depression. There is no test to detect either but does that mean they do not exist? How do you manage productivity drops due to migraine headaches?
A simple reply to the statement, ‘I suffer from depression’ would be ‘I understand’. But like I said, we are not equipped with answers. Why are we are not equipped with appropriate responses to something that affects 1 in every 4 people?
Have you heard of a little baby who was trapped in a room and had to cry out aloud for the neighbours to come and rescue her, give her a hug and a glass of water?
We are talking about 1 in 4 people trapped inside a room but do not have a voice to cry out loud mainly because they think there won’t be anyone outside holding a glass of water.
These are the ones who need to ‘get out of the closet’ just in order to live a better life.
So here is me coming out of the closet. I suffer from Bipolar Disorder and the more I read about it the more I understand the reasons behind being called names like ‘whimsical’ and ‘tantrum child’ even at a very young age.
At least half of the cases of Bipolar Disorder start before the age of 25 and that it takes an average of 8 years for the disorder to be diagnosed. Definition – Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Bipolar is a serious mental illness that can damage relationships, career prospects, academic performance, and can even lead to suicidal tendencies.
I was blessed to have suffered no damages in 2 areas – my academic performance and my career.
Emilie Autumn, the American singer-songwriter, poet, and violinist said – “I’m bipolar, but I’m not crazy, and I never was. I’m stark raving sane.”
I too continue to ride the Bipolar Roller-Coaster and I am stark raving sane.
Pic: The image used here was part of project on subverting stereotypes about mental illness, by Jen H (Used under a Creative Commons license)
The power of stories to inspire change made me turn into a storyteller. I write on 2 topics that need a very clear shift in attitude – ‘Being single in India’ & ‘Stigma attached to mental read more...
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What I loved was how there is so much in the movie of the SRK we have known, and also a totally new star. The gestures, the smile, the wit and the charisma are all too familiar, but you also witness a rawness, an edginess.
When a movie that got the entire nation in a twist – for the right and wrong reasons – hits the theatres, there is bound to be noise. From ‘I am going to watch it – first day first show’ to ‘Boycott the movie and make it a flop’, social media has been a furore of posts.
Let me get one thing straight here – I did not watch Pathaan to make a statement or to simply rebel as people would put it. I went to watch it for the sheer pleasure of witnessing my favourite superstar in all his glory being what he is best at being – his magnificent self. Because when it comes to screen presence, he burns it, melts it and then resurrects it as well like no other. Because when it comes to style and passion, he owns it like a boss. Because SRK is, in a way, my last connecting point to the girl that I once was. Though I have evolved into so many more things over the years, I don’t think I am ready to let go of that girl fully yet.
There is no elephant in the room really here because it’s a fact that Bollywood has a lot of cleaning up to do. Calling out on all the problematic aspects of the industry is important and in doing that, maintaining objectivity is also equally imperative. I went for Pathaan for entertainment and got more than I had hoped for. It is a clever, slick, witty, brilliantly packaged action movie that delivers what it promises to. Logic definitely goes flying out of the window at times and some scenes will make you go ‘kuch bhi’ , but the screenplay clearly reminds you that you knew all along what you were in for. The action sequences are lavish and someone like me who is not exactly a fan of this genre was also mind blown.
Recent footage of her coming out of an airport had comments preaching karma and its cruel ways, that Samantha "deserved her illness" because she filed for divorce.
Samantha Ruth Prabhu fell from being the public’s sweetheart to a villain overnight because she filed for divorce. The actress was struck with myositis post divorce, much to the joy of certain groups (read sexist) in our society.
A troll responded to Samantha’s tweet, “Women Rising!!” by adding to it “just to fall”. She replied, “Getting back up makes it all the more sweeter, my friend.”
Here’s another insensitive tweet by BuzZ Basket showing fake concern for her autoimmune disease. “Feeling sad for Samantha, she lost all her charm and glow. When everyone thought she came out of divorce strongly and her professional life was seeing heights, myositis hit her badly, making her weak again.” Samantha responded, “I pray you never have to go through months of treatment and medication like I did. And here’s some love from me to add to your glow.”
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