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Why do we refuse to accept mental illness so vehemently? Ignoring your friend's mental illness does not make it go away.
Friends, family, acquaintances, medical professionals included refuse to acknowledge the existence of mental illnesses. It some times creates self-doubt. One, at least I, just cannot respond with an ‘Hmm…’ or reply with the longish details to prove them wrong. What does one do then?
How often have you heard?
“It’s all in your head”
Umm… of course it is all in my head – that is where the brain is and that is where serotonin is secreted and that is where the fault is. So yes, I know it’s all in my head. It is you who doesn’t know that “it’s all in my head”. In case you are thinking that I enjoy feeling listless, think about SOMEDAY when you felt listless, try to relive that feeling – all you wanted to do was get out of that feeling, all you wanted is to feel better. So do we.
“These medications are harmful and addictive and good for nothing.”
Has a medical practitioner ever said these words to you? I have heard them at least a couple of dozen times. What do you say to a medical practitioner who you believe would know better than you? Off late I have started giving a rather cut and dry reply – “I know what the medication can and cannot do. They have helped me stay sane for years. So if your treatment could work around the fact that I am on medication let’s do it.” I sometimes wonder what makes these qualifies professionals make comments on other kinds of treatments. Can I tell you how many people have told me YOUR treatment is good for nothing? Everyone believes their own dose of medication
“You need to relax.”
I want to.
“You are stronger that you think”
So if I punch you right now will it hurt you?
“Everyone had difficulties is life, we all face it.”
Ok, so why isn’t everyone on medication? Do you think we should run a campaign on how everyone is depressed and needs medical help?
“God did not create depression it is man-made.”
So is traffic on the roads. God didn’t create traffic on the road, so why is the frustration and fatigue caused due to driving back from work due to traffic considered normal?
Primal beings did not have the depression. While there is no proof of this, even if we were to believe it their needs were different, so were their ways and means for meeting the needs.
I partly believe mental illnesses are a 1st world phenomenon, just like cancer and aids. The people who suffer are not making up stories. So if you know someone who suffers from a mental illness please be there for them, just like you would be there for someone with accepted serious illnesses. Mental illness deserves acceptance, acknowledgement, love and support.
If this makes any sense, call someone you know who suffers from a mental illness TODAY and let them know you love them.
It’s all in their head remember. You call will help serotonin secretion and you would have made their day less listless, given the drugs some help and made them want to work a little harder at the listlessness.
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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Rajshri Deshpande, who played the fiery protagonist in Trial by Fire along with Abhay Deol speaks of her journey and her social work.
Rajshri Deshpande as the protagonist in ‘Trial by Fire’, the recent Netflix show has received raving reviews along with the show itself for its sensitive portrayal of the Uphaar Cinema Hall fire tragedy, 1997 and its aftermath.
The limited series is based on the book by the same name written by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost both their children in the tragedy. We got an opportunity to interview Rajshri Deshpande who played Neelam Krishnamoorthy, the woman who has been relentlessly crusading in the court for holding the owners responsible for the sheer negligence.
Rajshri Deshpande is more than an actor. She is also a social warrior, the rare celebrity from the film industry who has also gone back to her roots to give to poverty struck farming villages in her native Marathwada, with her NGO Nabhangan Foundation. Of course a chance to speak with her one on one was a must!
“What is a woman’s job, Ramesh? Taking care of parents-in-law, husband, children, home and things at work—all at the same time? She isn’t God or a superhuman."
The arrays of workstations were occupied by people peering into their computer screens. The clicks of keyboard keys were punctuated by the occasional footsteps moving around to brainstorm or collaborate with colleagues in their cubicles. Most employees went about their tasks without looking at the person seated on either side of their workstation. Meenakshi was one of them.
The thirty-one-year-old marketing manager in a leading eCommerce company in India sat straight in her seat, her eyes on the screen, her fingers punching furiously into the keys. She was in a flow and wanted to finish the report while the thoughts and words were coming effortlessly into her mind.
Natu-Natu. The mellifluous ringtone interrupted her thoughts. She frowned at her mobile phone with half a mind to keep it ringing until she noticed the caller’s name on the screen, making her pick up the phone immediately.
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