Stories about mental illness

Living in a mental asylum, fighting the darkness within

When I was about five or six-years-old, I did something I am deeply ashamed of. It is the most shameful act I have ever committed, and even recalling it makes me shudder. It’s something that I have never confessed to anyone before. It was recess time in school and all the kids were playing. I stood somewhere in the middle of the sandy ground and looked around for pebbles. I was just fascinated by their shapes and sizes, and was excited to be examining the ants alongside them. I picked up a pebble and all of a sudden an idea ...

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When your “trusted” male servant is caught molesting your little girl, what can you do as a parent?

Some miseries are avoidable. If you speak to victims of sexual abuse and sexual harassment, they’ll tell you they wished they had spoken up. Done something to stop it. Wished somehow they could have had the opportunity to stop it from happening. They live with this guilt, among other negative feelings for years. This is why educating masses ,especially parents is essential. More than children and individuals alone, educational systems and parents should be given lessons on how to deal with such situations and what can be done to prevent such instances from happening. One such way is fairly simple – teach your ...

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Does going to a psychologist mean that one is “crazy” or “weak”?

Whenever I tell someone I am a psychologist, I usually get one of two responses: “Can you tell what I’m thinking right now?” “You must be pretty crazy to deal with so many crazies!” I recently went to get my driving license renewed, and when I was called in for a medical evaluation, the assistant asked me for some personal information, including my profession. When I told him I am a psychologist, he suddenly paused and asked, “Kya main aapko pagal lagta hoon? Mere dost mujhe pagal kehte hain.” (Do I look crazy to you? My friends call me crazy.) This was an amusing, but not ...

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13 Reasons Why: Hannah lives and dies in all of us

The bathwater, initially clear blue, gradually takes on a pinkish hue. Like rose water, or fresh henna that’s come off of tattooed hands and feet immersed in a bath tub. The water overflows onto the pristine white tiled floor, making it blush. The changing colours mesmerise me. My mind unsuccessfully tries not to focus on the source of that colour. Blood. Blood that oozes out of deep slits in both forearms of a beautiful young girl. Hannah (Katherine Langford) sobs quietly and sighs deeply but refrains from screaming despite the pain from incised sinew, nerves, arteries and veins. Hannah’s muffled groans eventually ...

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That time a mental health professional tried to gaslight me

It takes a lot of courage to see a mental health professional. When you enter that room for a one-on-one discussion with your therapist and open up about your burdens, you leave yourself vulnerable. Whenever someone approaches me about mental health issues, and I recommend they see a counsellor, I tell them that the first step is the absolute hardest. But when you schedule that appointment and somehow make it to the rendezvous, and find it in yourself to let your guard down, you cross the biggest and toughest hurdle on the road to better mental health. Of course, this process ...

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Does post-crime insanity have any legal value in Shariah?

Recently, the Supreme Court of Pakistan maintained the death sentence awarded by lower courts to Imdad Ali – a schizophrenic man placed under trial for murder. This decision sparked controversy among civil society members. In their view, to punish an offender with a severe mental disorder is an extremely unjust decision. Although the court has agreed to revisit the verdict and many have presented their views on the issue, no one has yet approached the problem from the Islamic law perspective despite the significant role it plays in our legal system. Indeed, the case of post-crime insanity has been greatly debated and discussed in ...

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A letter to my abuser: You took advantage of me and made me believe it was my fault

Hi, I hope this letter finds you in good health. I know I’ve been avoiding you for quite some time now. Even when we’re at the same place at the same time, I act like I don’t know you’re there. But isn’t that funny? How I’ll always greet you sincerely, but try my best to avoid you for as long as possible? I can’t look into your eyes. I’m sure you’ve noticed. Why? Because I remember everything. I remember how aggressively you asked me to look straight into your eyes as your hand went inside my shirt. I stood there, unable to move, ...

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I’m a clinical psychologist and loved watching Dear Zindagi

There are times in everyone’s life that they experience a moment so vividly, that everything falls into place. Sometimes movies can do to that too; Dear Zindagi did just that. I’m not the kind of person to stay up late at night and watch movie after movie, but once I started Dear Zindagi, I couldn’t stop. I don’t intend to give away any spoilers but, to sum it up; the acting is superb, the writers have done their homework well, the frames are dreamy but the real catch is the message the movie gives out and how it gives it. Every time we ...

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Treachery

As the sky rolls over, My mind begins to hover, To be, Or not to be. Eternity seems not too distant, Life seems not too consistent, The ocean wreaks havoc in its tides, The rain kills off all who hides, Death takes me with its gleaming hand, “Let’s go, Son, it’s not for you, this land,” Fog starts to roll in, My heart starts to fade in. I feel nature’s looming presence around me, The pills, the knife or the sea? I slowly thrust the knife into my stomach, My pain starts to slowly fade in to the distance. My head starts to tremendously ache, I remember all the times I could have shown some resistance, All the ...

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Why are dramas like Sanam dehumanising mental illness?

In this recent most episode of Sanam, Ayla (Hareem Farooq) has finally spoken to lawyers and has insisted that she was subjected to mental torture by her husband, Harib (Osman Khalid Butt) and also is trying to convince Shehroze (Emmad Irfani) into marrying her so she can make Harib jealous. Okay. That’s a lot of weirdness. Harib and Shehroze have cleared up their misunderstandings – and Shehroze and Aan meet each other at the breakfast table. Yes, Aan brings Harib breakfast every day. More weirdness. To top it off, Aan lectures Harib about how he was responsible for Ayla sending the ...

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