Follow Your Heart. Lead Your Mind. You'll find a window everywhere.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Schizophrenia, no social stigma.

Curiosity kills the cat. Thus, to me it’s always better to kill the curiosity itself than getting killed as a cat. For that, I would rather be a dog to sniff around. So that, eventually, I can sneak into the truth. Even, if it’s buried under the ground, I won’t mind to dig. To know, understand and unearth the reality as closely as possible.

And this inquisitiveness of mine has encouraged me to unfold some darkest of dark creases of a mind, which suffers from Schizophrenia.

In this article, I shall try to explain everything in a very lucid way, so that to comprehend what is what none needs to be a Nobel Laureate or a medical maverick.

What is Schizophrenia?

It’s no sin, no crime, no curse but a disease, an ailment, an illness of mind. As the adage suggests that idle brain is devil’s workshop, this sickness tends to prove this maxim 100% right in reality.

What are the signs and symptoms of Schizophrenia?

1. Auditory hallucinations – as if she listens to some alien, surreal sounds.

2. Delusions – she loves to live in her own imagery world being oblivious of the ground reality.

3. Disorganized and Unusual Thinking, and Incoherent Speech - her thought process hardly seems to be on track rather it’s seen mostly derailed. And this loss of thought-train and subject-flow with sentences only loosely connected to meaninglessness, confusion and incoherence is known as “word salad” in severe cases.

These symptoms gradually lead a Schizophrenia patient to demonstrate the following problems –

A. Paranoia – a hyper sense of skepticism, fear and suspicion of losing out something, or someone, or self without being sure of why so.

B. Avolition – a psychological state that creates lack of motivation, desire and determination to pursue any meaningful goals in life; personal or professional.

C. Catatonia – where one remains largely mute or silent and motionless in a bizarre posture or position, and exhibits purposeless agitation, arrogance and attitude, and strangely lies at random to manipulate things for nothing.

D. Alogia – a flat approach that blunts the effects of any emotion.

E. Asociality – an apathy or lack of desire to form and firm up a serious relationship.

F. Nymphomania – a tendency to enjoy multiple relations just for sexual adventure and carnal varieties. Though it’s not seen or guaranteed to happen with everyone whoever is suffering from Schizophrenia. This symptom is just an outside possibility.

Why Schizophrenia occurs?

There are no such hard and fast rules to define why it happens. However, there are a few reasons that can be considered as the root of Schizophrenia. Those are as follows –

I. Genetic – if parent(s) or someone up in the ancestral ladder was/is schizophrenic chances get increased for a descendant to fall prey to it.

II. Twins – if someone was born with a twin bro/sis, Schizophrenia might occur to her. Though concordance rates for Schizophrenia are higher in monozygotic (identical) twins than in dizygotic (fraternal) twins.

III. Social – poverty, migration, racial discrimination, unemployment, poor house condition, and above all else, “family dysfunction” are the risk factors for Schizophrenia. If any abuses - like physical, mental, and sexual – took place, precisely at the crossroads of one’s childhood and adolescence, she becomes very prone to this sickness rather unknowingly.

IV. Drug, Dope, and Alcohol – though it’s very hard to prove whether any drug or dope, or the alcohol causes Schizophrenia or not, still this phenomenon can be described in two ways: “Substance use causes Schizophrenia” and “Substance use as a consequence of Schizophrenia”. Owing to the absence of any concrete theory in this regard, it may be taken for granted that some people use drugs to cope with some unpleasant situations such as loneliness, boredom, depression, anxiety, and the like. But, there is no certainty that those situations are the results of Schizophrenia only.

How to treat Schizophrenia?

The major problem, incidentally, is individuals take years time simply to accept the very fact that they are Schizophrenic.

Once that acceptance is taken care of, a patient needs to be treated by the following methods –

a. Medication – she should be taken to a good doctor, who knows better how to treat her with proper and appropriate medicines and clinical remedies.

b. Psychological or Social Interventions – help, support, confidence, compassion and care should be provided to a patient through psychotherapy or counseling. In this method, a patient family’s understanding, involvement and acceptance of the gravity of the problem is an absolute must.

c. Other - electroconvulsive therapy is not considered a first line of treatment but may be prescribed in case other treatments have failed. This method is more apt, if the symptoms of Catatonia are present and prevalent.

d. Alternative Medical Treatments - orthomolecular psychiatry considers Schizophrenia is a group of disorders, some of which can be treated with megadoses of nutrients such as Niacin (vitamin B-3). This theory is yet to be proven though. In spite of that some researchers suggest that dietary and nutritional treatments may hold promise in the treatment of Schizophrenia.

After all, Schizophrenia is no social stigma. It’s a sickness, hence needs treatment. PERIOD.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Is the spoon missing?

A few days back, a SMS reached my cell. The message was, “Sumtimes v struggle thru a tasteless coffee till d last sip n we find d sugar lying at d bottom of d cup… THAT’S LIFE… Enough sweetened, but not stirred well!”

When the message came, I was sleeping. With its arrival beep, I woke up, actually. Initially, I was not enough intrigued but as I kept reading the text for more than once, something in it encouraged me to think.

Precisely, not only think but also write this piece.

Let me begin with a doubt.

If we found the coffee was tasteless firsthand, then why would we continue to sip into it until the last draw! Why won’t we order a new cup of coffee – in the present context that is trying to change our life? Since, having a new set of life in the life, we are living already, is not possible!

We won’t do this because we are too lazy or reluctant to adapt to any change? Or we simply love to carry on with the tastelessness dwelling on a hope that the tastelessness, which is occurring presently, might turn into a helluva tastefulness later on, automatically?

If this is hope, then certainly we are neither lazy nor reluctant. Reason being, laziness or reluctance can never entail hope. On the contrary, if there is no hope, there can’t be any hope against hope as well.

The logic is simple. If I’m not in front of the mirror how can someone or I see my mirror image?!

So, the only possibility remains in any such tasteless situation is hope, and hope is human, so are we. Hence, the equation forms as Hope = Human(s).

If so, and as hope also generates will and subsequently will paves ways – one after another – for us, then why shouldn’t we find at least one way i.e. a spoon to stir the coffee earlier than it comes to a tasteless end?!

Does it mean that hope alone is not sufficient? Yes, true. Only hope can do nothing. To get a thing or two done, successfully, hope should always be backed up by the sheer courage of action. That is work. And that’s why, work is worship.

Now, from the gamut of life if we bother to separate a small pocket of relationship and do apply this theory, I reckon, we can very well comprehend the importance of having such a spoon in our life.

Here the spoon can be anyone. A good friend, a family member, a relative, a colleague, an acquaintance, or even a mere stranger. The reality lies in the fact that we have to identify the RIGHT spoon only to accomplish our task in hand. That is stirring the coffee. Otherwise, irrespective of our indomitable courage to work hard (and hope harder) success in a relationship (or life) i.e. the sweetness of the coffee will remain ever elusive to us.

Just the reason, every successful man (woman and human included… LOL) has or should have the right kind of associates and association. More so, as after a while post our childhood, our inherent and inherited qualities get empowered by our imbibed virtues.

Therefore, whenever we tend to lose on life or on a relationship, I guess, we must think, “Is the spoon missing?”

Saturday, September 5, 2009

None will cry...

Prolixity is human. May be, more Indian. Possibly that’s why; we, the Indians, love more talks, more jargons, more lingo and more arguments.

As a matter of fact, none other than Mr. Amartya Sen has beautifully essayed this very quality of our inherent culture in his book The Argumentative Indian.

Taking cues from that book and blending it with the epic The Mahabharata, I have also found something to mull over and germinate an argument.

An argument that has always disturbed me and my thought process due to which I can never take the concept for granted that the battle of Kurukshetra took place ONLY because of Duryodhana.

It’s very easy to hold Duryodhana solely responsible for the entire mess, mayhem and massacre happened in The Mahabharata, whereas the real truth is entirely different, as per my opinion.

Here I go with my logic…

First things first, so I begin with Dhritarashtra. He knew it for a fact and from the word go that he was blind. Of course, it’s a handicap for ruling a dynasty. If he was a little bit sensible, he could have understood that reigning an empire was not his cup of tea, really.

But, as the blindness in his eyes got into his mind too, he never bothered to think in that line. Rather, he literally forced Gandhari to get married to him… probably bragging that he was the king of Hastinapur. This, for the reason obvious, didn’t go very well with Gandhari herself as well as with her brother Shakuni.

As a result, the bro and the sis took an oath in unison that they would see the end to it. From that day onwards, the seed of peril and death was planted in the garden of the Kauravas.

The playact started with Gandhari. She simply blindfolded her eyes, intentionally, with a piece of cloth. She actually did this just to avoid even the slightest glimpse of her blind husband Dhritarashtra but marketed it so cunningly that her mockery became a talking point of unprecedented sacrifice of a wife – as if made in order to match her husband’s footsteps in every walk of life. A petty dig at someone’s misery and handicap was dramatised, ironically, as a high-graded commitment and dedication of a lady.

Besides, knowing her bro Shakuni quite well, Gandhari was convinced that this make-belief sacrifice of hers would be fair enough instigation, pep and constant reminder for Shakuni to accomplish his task against Dhritarashtra and the Kauravas in general.

The plot was well laid out and amidst this Duryodhana and his siblings were born to Gandhari and Dhritarashtra.

Their birth was adequate piss [and pee, since pee and babies are synonymous :P] for the first lady of Hastinapur.

Getting pregnant by Dhritarashtra early and then delivering 101 number of children drove the lady crazy to her wit’s end, for sure.

No way was Gandhari willing to take more beating on her. So her plan was simple, “Let’s make Duryodhana himself the nemesis of the Kauravas.”

But how? As no child is born as a criminal. But, yes, a child can be made so. Hence, let’s made him one.

As she thought, she did it accordingly. Gandhari assigned Shakuni to take care of her children, especially of Duryodhana. And she herself began to massage the inflated ego and false pride of Dhritarashtra by pushing the blind king more n more into the dark lanes of skepticism, lament, curse and vengeance against the innocent and helpless Pandavas.

While she was doing her part, Shakuni was outstanding in his role. He made sure that Duryodhana gradually grew up as an epitome of lie, deceit, whim, indiscrimination, manipulation, indiscipline and idiosyncrasy.

It was not like that that other elders in the family or in the close circle of the Kauravas were not aware of Shakuni’s misguidance to Duryodhana but they decided to keep mum – as, it always feels good if others’ children get spoilt. Sad, but true!

Given this, when Duryodhana fabricated the reason and the rationality of his never-to-be-quenched grudge against the Pandavas, the Kaurav-brigade of grey hair gleefully accepted the story that Draupadi laughed at and made fun of Duryodhana while he slipped into the water at the palace in Indraprastha mistakenly thinking that he was walking on a glossy floor.

I still find it difficult to acknowledge, whether an innocuous laughter could at all be any cause to such a devastating war like the one held in the battlefield of Kurukshetra, later on, as a consequence of Draupadi’s laughter!

I have my serious doubt in place. Honestly.

Then came the famously infamous or infamously famous strip tease of Draupadi – courtesy Duryodhana’s direction and Dushasana’s roll, take and action… and Sri Krishna’s intervention for a premature cut.

This leads to the reality that what Sri Krishna even being an outsider could afford to do for Draupadi, the family members and the relatives of the Kauravas – who were incidentally also related to the Pandavas – didn’t even feel like doing.

Why so?

Was it because they also wanted to experience the fall of Dhritarashtra and his family, eventually? Or the produced titillation of a female skin and flesh – even if she’s a daughter or a daughter-in-law – was an unlimited free seduction for those men who were supposedly suffering from mid-age and old-age crisis with an insatiable orgy?

If so, then why should we blame only Duryodhana for blackening and painting the face of his family when he was literally first spoilt and then exploited by his own mother Gandhari, father Dhritarashtra, maternal uncle Shakuni, and the likes.

Had Duryodhana been so evil, then he wouldn’t have given the shelter and the due respect to someone like Karna – who was rather unceremoniously delivered to be dumped by his own mother Kunti, so that he lived a life of a bastard.

Proves the point that Duryodhana was not at all a bad soul. But his problem was he was hatched by his family and relatives in such a way, so that he could be used like a puppet or a sacred goat in line with his inherited and imbibed bloated ego, stubbornness, mindlessness and anxiety – altogether that never helped him take any right decision per se.

To say the least, Duroyodhana’s vindictive nature or attitude was the product of his father Dhritarashtra only. For, if, as a loyal son to his father Dhritarashtra, Duroyodhana saw that his father embraced a iron idol of Bhima (Duryodhana’s cousin bro) to crush the idol in a vain effort to kill Bhima what lesson misguided Duryodhana was bound to learn then from none but his blind father about relationship and love, and humanity?!

Of course, the lesson for him was, “Killing is everything.”

Perhaps, pursuing this wrong understanding about life and owing to his bad education, stale value system, tasteless upbringing and spiteful principles and morals, Duryodhana could hardly justify any of his actions against the Pandavas and invited his untimely death as well as all others’ for nothing in the battle of Kurukshetra – known as Dharmayudh.

Now, as a conclusion, in light of The Mahabharata and the TRUTH, it ensures that if parents are so blind on mind their child(ren) ought to be depleted, defeated and defamed everywhere; be in life or death. Thereafter, it’s only those blind parents who will be left alone and forced to bear the corpse of their beloved child(ren) to the burial ground or the crematorium on their own. And for them, none will cry!

PS: If you liked this piece or even hated, feel free to comment to talk your mind.