A family i know had a mildly schizophrenic son-A (in thirties ).Recently the father of A passed away.His brother lives in USA.His mom admitted A in an institution & went to live with his brother.Now she has come back with A after 2 yrs.But A has aged by at least 20 yrs it seems.He used to be very healthy & could take good care of himself.Now all that has been lost.He has developed Parkinsons disease in one hand,lost all his fat--only skin & bones left now, he does not look normal at all.
Cant we be more considerate towards mental patients ?Where does all the affection go when a family member becomes mentally ill ?
Hey Indu....its really sad to hear this...u knw its really sad when I see that ppl here in India are so oblivious to the state of the mentally ill..they have time for all the other stuff in the world..but would not read about the mentally ill.. I intentionally wrote a post and even posted it here on indiblogger about busting myths on Psychology, but to my surprise..I wonder if ppl even read it..??
and well as goes for the families being troubled by the mentally ill....the case described by u doesnt happen in every family...each family is unique and so is the illness of the patient..will talk more on this soon..
m glad that u posted this thread
Yes Akriti,it does not happen in all cases,but i have seen during the course of my counseling sessions that that if the disease lingers for long,caretakers do become impatient.There is no doubt that it is hard to look after a mental patient but a mother discarding her own son ? It is the limit.What happened to the poor boy can never be revoked.
Thanks for replying.
This is sad to know. I think many serious mental illness are treated as normal and glorified by common people (I don't want to mention in deep. ) but some patients are treated badly, may be their illness could be cured, if we had proper knowledge to cure or some wish to do it. We shold raise awareness for this.
Thanks for your input Mohini.We really need to apprise people what to do & what not to do while looking after a mental patient.You must have seen many vagrant mental patients whom we normally call 'pagal'.It is not as if they don't have a family;but sometimes they lose touch with reality & cannot return home,while sometimes people are happy to wash their hands off them.The above case illustrates that they can enjoy optimum well-ness when given loving care.
I know Induji, I can understand your concern. I have seen patients too and unfortunately, their families are the reason to make them mentally ill intentionally or unintentionally, further they contribute the worsen the case of the patient. Many cases I heard mentally ill, but studied all their situation, I realized they only need a word of Love. Many of my poems give inspiration and indication to spread more love. This can change a life which is just at starting of some mental problem, especially dipression. Many times family prefer pills and harmful treatment and things go on worsening and next is the thing you are mentioning. This issue really makes me emotional.
Also extending this topic further, some days back I was studying the issue Verbal Abuse, physical and mental abuse happening in families, in different relations. And this can be a cause to make a person mentally ill, the victim can't express the fact they are facing, people keep advicing, ignoring or interpreting them as either wrong or worse case menally ill. The propaganda of abuser can be the reason for this. Then you can't expect anything from family it they are the abuser,to recover the victim. And, if abuser is someone else, still the ignorance towards this issue makes the people around the victim take wrong dicisions.
@Aakriti and Induji, I have added you, please add me and please stay in touch, if we can do something together to raise awareness.
These issue's wouldn't come up if our law was strict and punished the offenders. judiciary is slack, so all types of attrocities exist and people get away with it.
Yes, and our lawyers know, how to find escape from even strick laws for money. But I really wonder, how many cases really reach to court! Who cares is the situation. I have personally seen many cases, but don't have that much strength to go further for rescue. Some years back I used to watch a serial Koshish ek aasha, it was something similar to these issues.
Hi Mohini,sometimes the family's maltrearment causes depression & sometimes it is their lack of understanding.Either way the patient does not know whom to ask for help.Our society is still so secretive about mental illness that people dont go to a counselor easily. That is why i started on-line counseling & my blogs, so that people can get help for emotional problems.
Pramod ji,law comes into the pic very late.Actually today's lifestyle is tailor-made for stress & depression.Relationships are becoming superficial & a distressed person does not know who to approach for help & guidance.When stress & anxiety continue for long they turn into mental illness.
The less said about judiciary & law enforcement the better.So many disasters could be prevented if they were any better.
indu ji, law deters people to commit an offence. if people are afraid they will be caught n punished, they will take care of mentally retarded relatives.
simple instance, I will state of a chennai couple in America. their son was studying there. 10 yrs of age. onedy his father got angry and tried to hit him. his son warned him that he would call the police.
his father understood the situation and kept mum.
in a month he returne to chennai, and started beting him at the airport itself, now cal the police,
strict law, and awareness of it among people, is necessary.
The lady lost her husband, has a mentally ill son, is most likely aging faster than ever and we outsiders are supposed to sit back and be armchair experts on how families should treat their mentally ill relatives? I disagree that the mother or brother did anything wrong. Do you think the mother would have felt anything but sorrow after seeing her son in the miserable condition described above? I doubt it. And if she doesnt care about 'A' anymore, then it is probably because she is now exhausted by caring for her mentally ill child for over half her life.
I'm not saying a family should stop caring. IMO it is a family's choice what to do in such situations and I don't think it is right to criticize unless any malice was intended by the 'normal' members of the family.
The mother and brother have the right to live their lives as long as they manage to get A some proper care (assuming they can afford it). If they don't try to find happiness themselves then a couple of decades later all that will be left of them is skin and bones, just like 'A'. If 'A' was 'normal', would his preference be for his family to forget their own lives/aspirations and just look after him? Doubtful.
Nowhere in your story in the opening post do I find any reason to criticize the family members. If there are other details that haven't been shared, then maybe you are right.
@Indu, on a different note, could you pls avoid using bold letters for your entire statement.
@ Pramod, the law does punish the guilty. I disagree that the judiciary is as slack as you seem to be suggesting. India has a very large set of problems but justice is served in many cases. This statement is not from a patriotic feeling or blind faith in the system. It is simply fact. Without a doubt there are many offenders who get away scot free, but that happens in every country.
Every legal system is flawed because the people it is meant to protect are often the ones who misuse it. So it is we Indians (or humans, for that matter) who are flawed. I don't mean to get into a debate about humanity are its vices but it really pisses me off when people say that our Indian systems are bad or corrupt or inefficient. Hardly anyone does anything to change themselves for the better and everyone wants a better country/world. Its total hypocritical BS.
@ anyone who is still reading
If you have ideas to reform the government or the judiciary in our overpopulated, undereducated & impoverished country, then stand up and do something about the problems. Otherwise stop whining about it.
Rumbaho, it's just that justice delayed is justice denied. your last lines say it all,
I still disagree with your earlier statements, nonwithstanding any cliches.
Funny things about humans is that they side with those elements that associate the word "justice" and associated sentimental with it and get blinded very easily without a thought. Nasty habit to cultivate. No wonder lot of people justify genocide in the name of justice over the centuries- especially war.
Rumbaho is right IMHO. I would also appreciate if Indu stops using bold fonts, its very annoying to read such posts.
OK no bold fonts
I think if a mother has a subnormal son then it is her duty to look after him to the best of her ability-nowhere did i blame his brother.Before being sent away he was very self-reliant, not at all such that his mother could have been exhausted looking after him.True she too must have been sorry to see his plight,but what use is her remorse now, when A has been ravaged like this ? You say the mother has a right to live her life as long as she provides proper care for A, but she failed to do that.There is no malice at work,but do you believe that sheer selfishness & callousness ought to be condoned ?
As far as the question of advising people how to take care of a mentally sick relative is concerned; it is not destructive criticism or arm-chair advice. People do need guidance on how best to ensure the patient's recovery and their own well-being too.It is a part of the duty of mental health professionals.
I think if a mother has a subnormal son then it is her duty to look after him to the best of her ability - Maybe she did what she could or what she felt was right at the time. Everyone's decisions change based on circumstances. We don't realize it, but it happens with the most rigid of us.
"the mother has a right to live her life as long as she provides proper care for A, but she failed to do that." - I said that she should provide proper care but you havent said if she did or didn't. AFAIK, from your OP, she put him in an institution. What else could she have done? She didn't leave him wandering the streets. He probably had a bed, food and some treatments, right? It's not much, but it's much more than nothing. And if the institution is at fault, did the mother know that they were going to subject her son to poor living conditions or carelessness? I'm obviously unaware of her intentions. Perhaps you should shed some light on that so that we see this story from your perspective.
Like I said in my earlier reply...If there are other details that haven't been shared, then maybe you are right.
Regarding the bold letters, thanks for accepting the feedback. Pls use them when you want to highlight a word/phrase/sentence. There is no rule against it. Its just that netiquette dictates that using CAPS or bold letters is supposed to be kept to a minimum. That way the text is easier to read.
Perhaps you have never been to a mental institution-i mean as a visitor.
Leaving aside the standard of care given; just imagine a boy who has lost his father is suddenly deprived of his mother's presence & care too.He is thrust into an alien environment wher he knows nobody.Food,bed & shelter are OK but what of his emotions,his sense of security,his longing for the familiar surroundings of his home ?
I would not like to comment on her intentions-that would be subjective.
I only meant to indicate that the living conditions in most of these institutions are appaling to say the least , and what happened to the poor boy confirms that at least the place where he was lodged was one of those .no offence meant to you.Ihave been counseling mental patients for long , & i know what i talk about.
As regards intentions--can you honestly say about any individual what his/her intentions were ? Suppose i install someone in an asylum , would it not be my duty to check up after a few months to see how he was being treated ? Does this tell you something about her intentions?
I am curious. How can you evaluate her intentions without knowing her side of the story?
I am curious. How can you evaluate her intentions without knowing her side of the story?
You are one of the most gifted person I have met though your opinions hits ling a slinshot you make sense in your queries on a tiopic.. take still waiting for your call,
@Sorcerer you will note i said nothing about her intentions, i only evaluated the end result of her action.you are right we do not know her side of the story.i am only trying to press home the point that mental patients do well under loving domestic care.when denied that care A went downhill totally.
It has been interesting to go through all your replies.Thanx!
Mental illness is a terrible affliction & it is best to avoid it as far as possible.Ihave written a blog post "Insurance against mental disorders" with the same purpose in mind.I hope you folks read it & spread the message.
Rumbaho I have to disagree with you. The stigma against mental illness clouds our judgement. I agree that what the mother has done is not unlawful but it is certainly unethical.
Disregard mental illness for for a moment and consider a scenario in which "A" had AIDS and his mother institutionalised him and went away for two years. Note that there is a difference between instituitionalisation and hospitalisation. Do you think the mother's action would be justified in this scenario? Also the current therapy of schizophrenia stresses on home and community based treatments, not locking them up.
Thanx man for your knowledgable input.Home environment is best for a mental patient.It"s true that looking after a mental patient is VERY HARD on the caretakers and here in India there are no support groups for them ( not in my knowledge,maybe negligible ) ;yet we all have to bear our cross.
I feel for this issue bc i have seen many schizophrenics ousted by their families &left to fend for themselves.In fact so many people not related to them-like a tea vendor or a 'dhaba walla will give them something to eat.What does this say about the strength of blood relations ?
People go through so much effort to take care of dogs and cats. Even a mentally retarded human will definitely be more intelligent and emotional than a dog or a cat. Strange why they chose to abandon the human more so when they are one's own flesh and blood. Reminds me of a story I read in a newspaper of a Korean couple who were busy playing some sim game on the internet where they raise a baby and neglect the baby in real life and let it die.