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“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the (Cheshire) cat. ‘We’re all mad here.”
–Lewis Carroll: Alice in Wonderland
World Mental Health Day 2021. A good time to send caring hugs and love to all those who suffer from psychological dis-ease and pain.
So often, we tend to run away from the stigma of ‘mental illness’ in India and elsewhere. I have heard glib narratives suggesting that the extended family can take care of all mental health concerns and that we don’t need therapy or counseling.
The fact of the matter is that the family (as RD Laing pointed out years ago) is often the locus and a trigger to schizophrenia and other mental diseases, not a safe haven or a cure.
Most of us are ‘mad’ to a greater or lesser degree. Whatever facade of calm self-assurance and ‘normalcy’ we may exude, most of us are dysfunctional and off-kilter to some extent.
Thus, there is absolutely no moral warrant for smugness, self-complacency, or a ‘better than thou’ attitude of denial here.
Time to remove the stigma, and encourage psychological counseling and intervention wherever needed.
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