Dealing With Schizophrenia

Getting up one morning and basking in the sun’s glory only to realise the next moment that your family is perturbed to find you trace the scorching sun in the glistening moon in the wee hours of the night — spooky and disorienting to even think of!

You beholding those pristine dreams of sitting across the dinner table, the first beautiful date of your life, and the enlightenment that your beloved partner is a mere figment of imagination. Walking out of the hallucinatory realm into the present conscious reality is clearly disheartening and shattering!!

I am pretty much assured that none of us in the healthy ‘mental sanity’ of ours would want, like or in the least, want to confront any such situation. Indeed, it is beguiling to talk or reckon on such bewildering facets of life. But, it is silently and conveniently pervading the human race and posing one of the most baffling challenges to the identity of a suffering soul, something named ‘Schizophrenia’.

Often misunderstood and misconceptualised, it still manifests itself in disparate forms — paralysing sentiments, crippling emotions – stagnating even the meagrest and minutest activity that a normal healthy individual can undertake with innocuous ease.

Reality is delusionary for the Schizophrenics. It is incredulous in normal thought process to even reckon that the entire perceptual edifices that are the centre of life are hallucinatory misinterpretations that lead schizophrenics to hold beliefs with little basis in reality.

One of the most ubiquitously portrayed forms in movies and even known to the common man is the Delusions of Persecution in Schizophrenics. Patients believe that they are spied upon, threatened or otherwise mistreated. They live under the perennial fear akin to paranoia. Even more peculiar are the Delusions of Grandeur whereby one believes to be extremely famous, powerful or important. Still another manifestation of human eccentricity is in the Delusion of Control with the firm belief that other people (even imaginary) or supernatural entities are controlling their thoughts, feelings and actions. Characterised mostly by experiences of hallucinations, they are nerve-wrecking and undoubtedly inflict a lot of pain upon the people experiencing this facet of the psychological reality.

But, even this harsh characteristic does not put a full stop to the trauma of the battered souls. They say, “express your pains and sufferings”. But alas! even this privilege of expression and letting off their tormentations is disallowed to the patients because of their fragmented and disorganised speech. The scale of pathetic and hapless plight of both the patient and the loved near and dear ones can hardly be ascertained, when one places oneself in their shoes.

What is more anguishing is the fact that the entrapping clutch of the disease is chronic and requires a great extent of serious treatment, although ultimately it is steered by the hands of fate. The biggest blow to the entire entity of being a human is completely smacked off when the manifestation sets in totaly, robbing the patient of all emotions. The distinctive feature of being human cannot be seen. Seeing their life blood being muted to personifying stoicism in its entirety really would inflict an unforgettable pain in the silent corner of the people’s hearts.

Bruised souls, bitter and painful memories, helpless witnesses and struggling patients with their unidentifiable worlds — so much remains unspoken and unheard in the midst! It is so easy to dismiss the patients by bracketing them as ‘abnormal’ and sending them mechanically to the ‘mental asylums’ to be treated. But, it is hard to even come to terms with the kind of adjustment, temperamental problems, the poor, helpless patients have to face.

Probing into the psyche leaves so many questions unanswered and yet so many new—flaming and wriggling under the surface, constantly craving and demanding to be answered. Obliviance and ignorance of the reality leads to maladjustment. It is perhaps aptly quoted—

“There lies nothing in unravelling the truth. Pain is all what it holds and leaves.”

But, medical sciences, psychologists and psychiatrists come as saviours in this life full of misery and serve as those soothing hands of the fairy that relieves the pains and instils the ray of hope to look forward to the amelioration of pains and ending of all the sufferings with the recovery news!

Arpita Chakraborty

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