Alberto Ruggieri via Getty Images
ChrisGorgio via Getty Images
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.
leolintang via Getty Images
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.
leolintang via Getty Images
"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.
Lucia Lambriex via Getty Images
In spite of an escalating number of mental health patients, the subject of mental health illness, is still by and large a taboo topic for several Indians. “World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated th...
Yawar Nazir via Getty Images
Consider this: any sign of palpitation or discomfort in the chest area is bound to send you running to the cardiologist’s office. A bad cold won't have you call up the family doctor immediately, but y...
Gary Waters via Getty Images
The World Mental Health Day is a good time to do a macro survey of India's mental health status. The prognosis is grim. By the most conservative estimates, at least 5% of the population lives with a...
Enigma / Alamy
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.
Baltimore Sun via Getty Images
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.
damiano poli via Getty Images
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.
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.