“The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. “Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does.” They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.”
– Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
By Bhuvi M
I met her for the first time on a sultry summer afternoon. She was sitting in the couch and trying to read. Her face revealed a different story. In her thoughts she was wandering somewhere distant. Seeing me in the room, she kept the book aside. I sat in the sofa across her.
I asked her, “Will you like to have some tea or coffee?”
She said, “No nothing. I just need your help?”
I asked “What brings you here?”
She tried speaking, “I don’t want to lose my battle of life.”
I could hear a single line though incessant sobs and incoherent voice. Offering a glass of cold water, I asked her to make comfortable in the couch. After taking a sip of water she tried speaking again.
Her eyes over brimmed with tears, she choked again, in her semi audible voice she said, “I’m shattered, I’ve lost so much, I’ve nothing to look forward to in life. I need your help. I don’t want to let it go so easily”
Sure, I said. “I’m here to help you. You need to tell me what issues are you facing?”
She asked, “Can I see one of you today itself? My concerns are complicated. It will be helpful if I meet someone senior.”
I said, “I’ll have to assess you today, discuss your areas of concern with the panel then one of us will get attached to you. We will then help you in baby steps. Someone from office will call you up and fix a session for you next week. The sessions for today are already booked.”
She said, “I don’t know if I’ll survive. I’ve no one around. I can’t share things at home.”
I said, “Let’s talk. You will feel better. We will find out a way.”
She started speaking. She mentioned that she had comes from a very renowned, rich educated family, has been a good student, is single, has worked for more than one and a half decade, has achieved everything with an effort, lost her job twice in two years, has seen her own share of life, has recently lost her father, is not working at the moment, has no one to look up to, has lost in relationships, always wanted to marry but couldn’t till now, with time it is becoming more difficult, there is no sense of achievement from any quarter.
“It’s complex,” she said, “so many of things at the same time. Don’t know where to begin with.”
I asked, “What is the immediate trigger which brings you to us.”
She choked and said, “It’s complicated. I need to resolve it. I can’t take it anymore. My head yields.”
A clear case in need of psychological counseling, I promised her to meet next week. I said, “Hope you are able to sleep. Just hold on for a few more days. We will start the session next week”
She nodded her head, wiped her tears and tried giving me a smile. She was attractive, with very sharp features, more than an average Indian girl. We ended this first meeting with a promise to meet coming week. And here started a long term association with one of the most wonderful people I’d come across in life. May God bless her and keep her peace intact is my wish straight from heart.