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I remember longing for tenderness when I was given tough love, I remember longing to be treated, held and comforted like a child when I was given silent support. If you look at the above two statements, you'll see I was given love and support, except it wasn't the kind I needed. I didn't know how to articulate it then and my family didn't know what I needed. A complete breakdown of communication ensued and no one got any support.
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I am bipolar. I have bipolar. When "outing" myself to people, I've always vacillated between these two sentences. But I think I've finally settled on the former. "I have bipolar" sounds like "I have tapeworms", and after 14 years of symptoms, I'm ready to say that my relationship with my disease/illness/condition/insert-word-of-your-choice-here is symbiotic rather than parasitical.
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"You have not seen what happens after drinking, young lady! I have seen how these things ruin your life!" I sat across this thundering man, wondering how I could've offended him so. Next to me, my mum squeezed my hand in hers, caught my eye and smiled a bit. It was my first visit to a psychiatrist ever, and within 20 minutes of being there, we had established I was a bipolar, schizophrenic, alcoholic, drug-addled child who did not know what life was about.
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I found solace in the world of addiction, primarily an addiction known as anorexia-bulimia -- a world in which I was able to suffocate the sense of shame and anaesthetise my loneliness and pain. Suddenly I had a new identity: I was an addict -- a label that effected a set of beliefs about myself by which I was shackled for the next 13 years of my life. In my frenzied search for an identity I had stumbled into one which held me prisoner.
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NEW DELHI -- India's new mental health bill was proposed two years ago, but is still stuck in the legislative process. The Indian government in 2007 ratified the United Nations Convention on the Right...
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In India, visiting a trip to a psychiatrist is widely held against a help-seeker almost as an indictment of his 'mental problem'. And whatever problem you have, a 'mental' one is neither acceptable nor desirable.
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At the very mention of the term 'electroconvulsive therapy' (ECT), people imagine something shocking, barbaric, demeaning, undignified, inhuman and so on. The reason lies partly in the history of ECT and partly in its media portrayal. In the popular Hindi movie Kyon Ki for instance, we see a draconian Om Puri (the psychiatrist) delivering ECT to a restrained Salman Khan (the patient) who is left to scream in sheer agony. However, this mindset about and portrayal of ECT is far from the present-day truth.
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For the greater part of my teenage years, I found comfort in throwing up. I would throw up, then binge eat and then forcibly throw up again. I never realised what I was slipping into. In fact, for the longest time, it didn't strike me that there is something definitely not right about wanting to puke all the time. And that's how I courted anorexia and bulimia nervosa.
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A person with cancer will garner sympathy while someone with a so-called mental illness will most likely engender fear in others. Partly, this fear comes about because we perceive the mind as superior to the body. So, it's not hard to see why we fear illnesses that seem to be of the mind, not the body. But if there's one thing I learned while writing The Man Who Wasn't There: Investigations into the Strange New Science of the Self, it's that this dichotomy between the body and the mind is false and misleading.
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Most of us are aware that there are many types of mental illnesses -- ranging from depression to bipolar disorder to anxiety to schizophrenia. But most of us don't realise that many of these conditions are treatable and with proper professional intervention, most sufferers can lead a productive and fulfilling life. What sometimes comes in the way of crucial and timely treatment are the stigma and myths surrounding mental illness. Let me take it upon myself to dispel some of these misconceptions.
Dignity--that delicate, intrinsic right that each of us have to personal value and worth. We may not think of dignity on a daily basis, but we certainly know when we feel it and, more importantly, when it is absent. Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of mental health.
A 23-year-old student of IIT Madras allegedly committed suicide on Monday. Nagendra Kumar Reddy was found hanging in his hostel room last evening after he did not leave his room for lunch or dinner th...