M.A.D. MAD Mad Mane Pagal

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First things first. The way children emulate adults on a mad-calling spree, today, is disgusting since one is not supposed to call another mad, legally. The society at large is to be blamed for it. There is a lot to psychiatric diseases than meets the eye. We spoke to Dr. Diplakshmi Dhopeshwarkar about the social issues plaguing patients with psychiatric diseases and she wanted to say, “Psychiatric illness has been very often seen as a stigma in the society. So, to have a psychiatric illness carries a lot of societal pressures, insecurities, fears and much more even in today’s life. Slowly but steadily things are changing as, nowadays, the youngsters have begun to realize that they are suffering from symptoms of depression and anxiety and are ready to get professional help.”

She added, “But, the problem is still seen with the elders who do not accept this as an illness due to their old beliefs and feel the symptoms are just a part of growing up and normal. A lot of time is wasted till the symptoms increase and a drastic step is taken by the patient, that is when the relatives are shaken up and start searching for desperate measures. They are lucky if the patient survives.”

She insisted, “Most of the time the patients are taken to a psychologist thinking that the patient can be better just by counseling. But, a psychiatrist has their share to do during an emergency and a psychologist can only counsel after the patient achieves a normal mental state with medication. Post-diagnosis when they are informed about the diagnosis and treatment, the patients and the relatives are totally shocked and are in denial as to how can someone from their family have a psychiatric illness and how they would face the society, etc. In that condition, they keep shopping between psychiatrists.”

She continued, “One more misconception which people carry is that psychiatric medicine just puts you off to sleep and keeps you drowsy the whole day. The truth is with all the advances in the field of pharmacology, these medicines are very safe and can be taken any time of the day. So, if the patient feels they are having some issues or feeling drowsy, they should consult their doctor instead of stopping the medicine or changing the psychiatrist. Psychiatric illnesses are treatable with proper treatment taken as per the doctor’s advice. Regular follow up with doctors is compulsory. Just like a person can have diabetes or hypertension, similarly, the imbalance of some neurochemicals in the brain leads to psychiatric illnesses and can be treated very well with medicines and a euthymic approach from the family and friends. Psychiatric illness can happen to anyone anywhere anytime; the key is to recognize the symptoms and give proper treatment on time.”

Bollywood and Psychiatric Diseases: Some song with the word pagal (mad) in the lyrics:

Dil toh pagal hai… Dil Toh Pagal Hai (1997)

Main toh hoon pagal… Baadshah (1999)

Mera dil bhi kitna pagal hai… Saajan (1991)

O Basanti pawan pagal… Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai (1960)

Pagal pagal pagal… Arjun Pandit (1999)

Main Jat yamla pagla deewana… Pratigya (1975)

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