PRESS RELEASES AND BOOKS
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavicaz
A performer at the cultural event organised
by NGO Turning Point at Swabhumi on November 11. Picture by Sanat
for mentally ill
Kamal Nandy, 27, suffers from schizophrenia. He often faces
ill-treatment when he is out on his own. “People push me out of the
queue when I am in line for an auto. When I ask for something in a
shop, I am ignored sometimes,” he says.
Nandy was one of many people whose plight was highlighted at a
seminar organised by the NGO Turning Point on the employability and
empowerment of people suffering from mental illness, held at
Deshapriya Park on November 12.
While lawyer Sutapa Chakraborty spoke on the human rights aspect,
Alan Doyle, the CEO of Fountainhouse, an American company that works
with mentally ill people, spoke about the ‘clubhouse’ model, a
Said Ishita Sanyal, the director of Turning Point: “Not only is it
necessary to change the way people look down upon mentally ill
people, it is also important for them to develop self-confidence so
that society can give them the respect they deserve. This will be
possible only when they are economically empowered.”
Suggesting areas where sufferers could find jobs, Chakraborty said:
“Areas that require predictable, repetitive work, like bakeries and
handicrafts, would find use for such people.” Agreed Doyle: “The
handicrafts may even be sold in the US, where they have a thriving
Psychiatrist Dr Abir Mukherjee felt that rehabilitation was as important as
medicines for treating mental disease. “This can happen through centres
where patients will be given vocational training according to their
aptitude. This will help them to be integrated into mainstream society by
providing them employment options,” he said.
The seminar also saw patients, along with their families sharing experiences
of dealing with their illnesses. Said Prakash Mathur, father of 26-year-old
Sanjay, who suffers from depression: “Training in basic computer skills
helped my son get a job. He has been working for four years now and
currently works in the finance department of a private firm. It is more than
we had ever hoped for him.”
The NGO also organises awareness visits by the mentally ill to colleges. As
part of this programme, a writing competition on the subject of
employability of mentally ill people, with prizes from the American Center
Library is also on the cards.
Boon for mental caregivers :
Updates on mental disorders and
their treatment is now readily available to those working in
related fields, thanks to a tie-up between the NGO Turning
Point and International Society for the Psychological
Treatment of Schizophrenia and other Psychoses (ISPS).
The first seminar of ISPS-India was
held at Park Palace Hotel on Monday. Though director Ishita
Sanyal described the theme as ?how professional hazards
influence mental health?, the discussion generally remained
confined to the ?hazards? faced by caregivers and parents of
patients suffering from the disorders.
The panel provided certain
interesting insights. Sanyal, for instance, stated that rural
society is more open to ideas and willing to accept
disabilities. In an urban society, a patient is likely to face
hostility and stigma. That causes delay or disruption in
Shukla Bhaduri, one of the founders
of the NGO Mentaid, spoke of how her own personal anguish (as
the mother of an autistic child) had propelled her to join
others in forming a self-help group.
But age is catching up with us and
we need others to take our place. The need of the hour is
closer networking among the existing groups,? she
-By a Staff Reporter. |
Friday, April 21, 2006 |
IOS Press Books Online -
Empowering the impaired through the appropriate use of
Information Technology and Internet
emotional parental overload & emotional burden by formation of self help
group & taking part in fighting stigma.
family members to form self help & taking initiative in reducing stigma in
Indian Society family plays a key role in providing help & support to the
mentally ill. This is also facilitated by our culture which places family at
the centre of all activities. Lack of institutional facilities & due to non
– affordable cost families have to play a key role in the treatment &
maintenance of the mentally ill.
But due to tremendous stigma attached to mental illness & immense guilt
attached to mental illness parents are often overloaded with emotions & are
susceptible to emotional outburst themselves. Instead of helping their
children & accepting the reality, denial plays a key role & there is a
tendency to hide the fact. This results in either over protection or over
expectation from their affected child which cannot be fulfilled leading to
high EE of parents. Parents, specially mothers feel guilty as society often
points out their fingers towards the mother who is believed to be the cause
of all illness & negative behaviors of their child.
As a result parents, specially mothers become overburden in their effort to
hide their guilt, giving full effort for the well being of the child without
modifying their expectation. This often causes frequent relapse & mental
illness in parents too.
Parents, specially mothers getting psychoed & taking part in self-help
group-development –the self confidence, rationality understands the
situation & gets satisfaction while helping their own child with others.
They got a moral support & come out & security. When they fell that the
group there to look after their child often their demise or when they found
their child is doing a regular job.
quality of life of the parents is seen to improve which has an impact on
improving the quality of life of the patients. The feelings of utter despair
change to a ray of hope & support for their children. Self help group
improves the functional status of the parents as well as the patient leading
to low relapse & higher performance of the patients.
EXPERT EYE COLUMNS
Expert Eye Columns in
Telegraph as a Specialist Consultant Psychologist .
"Don’t be a male chauvinist"
The Problem: Six Month
ago, much against my wishes, my wife took up a job in the US and left our
two year old son and me and went off. She is now insisting that we join her.
But I don’t want to do that and have asked her to return, which she refuses
to do. My parents want me to divorce her and remarry. What do I do?
You are facing a
dual-career conflict. You seem to have taken it for granted that your wife
will be a workingwoman but you won’t have to face the problems associated
with it. But in a dual-career lifestyle there are bound to be few
disadvantages for both the partners.
When it comes to relocating because of a promotion or a job change,
dual-career couples are very often faced with a dilemma – shall the husband
move or the wife? It is well accepted by our society that married men can
keep both work and family roles intact without trading one for the other. If
a man gets a job abroad, his wife, if working, is expected to follow him and
hind a new job for herself.
But inevitably, there are problems when a man is expected to join his wife
where she is relocating. Men need to understand that in the changing social
scenario today either of the partners might need to shift base for the sake
of career advancement. Especially, professionally
Successful woman appear to have a greater sense of independence and for
them, career-related success can be more important than other aspects of
It seems that your wife is interested in keeping the relationship alive. So
discuss your grievances with her openly. Most importantly, think about your
child. Understand each other’s needs and priorities. You can take
professional help if necessary.
"Go Ahead and divorce him"
The problem: I
got married recently. Before the wedding we were told that the groom was a
doctor. But later I found that my husband is a medical college dropout and
does not work anywhere. I am considering divorce now. But the problem is
that I have become pregnant. Should I go ahead with the divorce?
Being betrayed is
one of the most heartbreaking things one can face in a marriage. However it
is also a fact that you and your family should have checked the credentials
of your would-be husband.
We all know lying is a major part of human nature. But telling a lie while
building a relationship can spoil the relationship itself.
Men often lie to build themselves up or to conceal something. They usually
have a hard time admitting failure. As psychologist Michael Lewis has
pointed out in his book Lying and Deception in Everyday life, men are more
likely to lie to enhance themselves than women are. Normally, as trust
builds up, a man drops these lies. But this type of lies unglues any
By now you must know if your husband is a habitual liar or if he lied about
his qualifications just to impress you. Find out whether he feels guilty
about it or wants to change himself.
Often, giving a chance to a person who feels guilty about his past misdeeds
can change the life of both the partners. Communicate freely with your
husband, express your feelings and tell him how important trust is in a
marital relationship. If he wants to change himself you can give him a
chance, unless, of course, you feel that your trust, understanding and
respect towards your husband have been eroded beyond repair.
“Sack the maid at once”
The Problem : I
am a 19 year old girl and my sister is 18. Two years ago, our mother passed
away. Initially our father was grief-stricken. But of late we notice that
our maid acts very familiar with our father and he too is indulgent with
her, which I and my sister don’t like. We tried to sack her but he didn’t
want that. What should we do?
The death of a
lived one is always heart breaking. Each person experiences grief in his or
her own way and the length of the mourning period varies from person to
person. Your father too must have felt the grief initially. But since men
can sometimes be over-dependant on their wives for emotional support, they
often try to get it from someone else once they become widowers.
I know it must be tough for you to accept the fact that your father is
developing a weakness for another woman, especially when you are still
grieving for your mother. It is more difficult se she is your maid.
But probably it is actually his way of coping with his own grief. It’s
important to remember that your father’s weakness for the maid does not
diminish his love for your mother or for you.
The death of a spouse is one of the most stressful events in a person’s
life. Social support has been shown to be widely beneficial in moderating
the effects of stress. So, don’t hurt your father’s feelings as he may then
try to create a distance from you.
Try to be supportive to your father. Let him know how much you care for him.
Ask him whether he wants a partner in life, and if his answer is yes, help
him to select his partner rationally. Take the help of friends if necessary.
If you cannot handle it, take the help of professional.
"Look for someone else "
Problem: I was to be married to a girl in January next year. It was an
arranged match. Now she has suddenly called it off, saying that I am not the
right person for her. Should I try and change her mind? I am angry, confused
and depressed. Please help.
way you are feeling, it is clear that though this was to be an arranged
marriage you have actually fallen in love with the girl. But remember,
although it is a lot more difficult to live happily together.
Before marriage we often tend to overlook our priorities. Questions like “
Why do we I need to marry?” or “ What do we expect from each other?” remain
hidden in the subconscious. But these questions need to be addressed prior
to marriage. It is important for both partners to look deeply into how they
relate to each other and to Explore their respective views on issues that
are important to them.
It the girl has given this a thought, appreciate her endeavor, discuss with
her why she Things that you are not suitable for her. Share with her your
needs and expectations from marriage and also request her to disclose her
opinion clearly. In this way you will be able to find out whether or not you
are ideal partners for marriage.
It is better not to marry a person who is not suitable for you than to end
up with a broken marriage. However, if you discover that both of you share
the same feelings and Can meet each other’s needs, then she will definitely
change her and mind and agree to the marriage. You could also seek the help
of a pre-marital counselor to guide you in this Matter.
"Tell her you need space "
: my father died when I was four and since then my mother's life has
centered around me. I'm 18 now, yet I can't have a life of my own. When my
friends drop in, my mother sits with them and monopolizes the conversation.
She makes all my decisions for me, like what I should wear or eat. What
should I do?
is all about being in relationships, Relationships can provide us with love,
understanding, but can also be a source of unhappiness and uncertainty. Due
to the sudden vacuum in your mother’s life after your father’s death, Her
needs and wishes were satisfied through you and you were her only source of
interaction with Society. You too must have been dependent on her then.
But as you are growing up, you are developing a new identity. Unfortunately,
your mother fails to understand this or denies it. You may have developed a
co-dependent relationship with your mother, and over the Years, it has
turned into a pathological dependence. All human beings are born dependent.
Becoming self-reliant is the result of a developmental process. Normal
progression begins with “symbiosis” moves to increasing competence, then to
independence and finally, to interdependence. In co-dependent relationships,
these normal shifts get “stuck” leading to an incomplete sense of the self.
Try to provide support to your mother and tell her that your identity is at
stake. Project mature image of yourself to your mother. If you can point out
your difficulties, then she May understand. You can take the help of an
elderly relative or a family friend. Professional help may be needed, too,
if you cannot handle the situation tactfully.
At times, even caregivers need
to be looked after
PSYCHOLOGISTS SUGGEST A FEW TIPS TO HELP MANAGE
CARE GIVING BURDEN ( from The Telegraph, Kolkata)
Case I: Sujata and Anup Sanyal were a happily married couple. Today, they
are separated and undergoing treatment. They have a son who suffers from
server obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Case II: Sriparna sen left a corporate job when her daughter was diagnosed
with schizophrenia and took care of her for 20 years. One day, Sriparna went
missing and has remained untraced till date.
Case III: Nidhi, a young mother of two, brought her paralytic father home
and nursed him back to health.Today she is being treated by a psychiatrist
for depression and suicidal tendencies.
The cases may be varied, but they are united by a common thread-the
caregivers have, over time, become patients themselves.
A caregiver is a person who gives care to another person who has a chronic
medical condition. Some of the basic types of care are helping with bathing,
toilet functions, dressing, feeding and medication.
As Karen Henderson, founder/ CEO of the Canada-based Caregiver Network Inc
puts it, Care giving is a are responsibility that usually comes with no
choice, little warning, no preparation and no training.
Arunima, a 30-year-old teacher, says that when her mother was diagnosed with
cancer, she resolved to be the best caregiver possible. But she ignored her
own health and ceased to have a life of her own. The stress, coupled with
her own fears and mounting medical bills led to a nervous breakdown.
Psychologists and counselors say that for caregivers, life-changing illness
can be similar to bereavement many of their feelings and experiences are new
and frightening. While trying own fears. Psychiatrist Dr.R.Ghosh Roy
explains this as caregiver burden or caregiver stress.
Caregiver burden is an all-encompassing tern used to describe the financial
toll of providing care. The following is a list of symptoms and signs that
indicate caregiver stress: fatigue, weight loss or gain, decreased energy,
insomnia, inability to concentrate, hypertension, distractibility increased
gastro-intestinal problems decreased memory, increased alcohol, yearning for
the past, mood swings chest pain abdominal pain isolated joint pain and
depression or anxiousness. Given the wide range of physical and mental
disorders sometimes refer to them as ‘hidden patients’.
In western countries, caregivers have the advantage of a host of caregivers’
support groups, organizations, journals and websites, which provide not only
helpful information and tips, but also motivation and a reality check. In
India, Dr.Ghosh Roy points out that though there has been a lot of
theoretical research into practice on a significant scale.
In Kolkata, one of the pioneers of the care for caregiver movement is Ishita
Sanyal, who started an organization, Turning Point, in 1996 to which focused
on the problems faced by caregivers. At Turning Point, frequent workshops
are held involving mentally ill patients and their families. They organize
Meets, excursions and picnics, where families facing similar problems come
together. This helps parents realise that their problems are not unique and
it gives them a more objective approach.
At TP, they also deal with something, quite unique to Indian families with
chronic patients-High Expressed Emotion (HEE) which leads to overprotection,
having a negative impact on the patient. TP helps Families and caregivers
reach a balance. They counsel families to understand that their patient may
not show remarkable improvement the best care possible. A caregiver’s
problems are compounded by the fact that they usually do not receive the
support and understanding that patients do. (Some names have been changed to
Admit that you are stressed out.
Begin to realise that you have a choice between remaining fixed in “what
should have been” and choosing to accept what is. Establish open and honest
communication with the patient (where he/she is capable of understanding the
problem) and your family to help face the many changes that are inevitable.
Here the guidance of a professional counselor may be helpful.
Sort out finances and try to make arrangements for medical contingencies.
Worrying over medical costs is one of the biggest reasons for caregiver
Weed out unrealistic expectations. Gather information about the disease and
do not set impossible target.
Its is impossible to not feel resentment when one is living his or her life
solely for another person. But caregivers are unaware of this because of the
idealized picture that society has painted.
HELP AT HAND
Turning Point. 27 Jadavpur East Road, Kolkata - 700032
Manovikas Kendra Rehabilitation and Research Institute for the Handicapped.
482, Madudah, Plot I-24, Sec J Eastern Metropolitan Bypass, Kolkata – 700017
Ph: - 2442 8275/3305/3306
Indian Institute on Cerebral Palsy (Formerly The Spastic Society of Eastern
P-35/1, Taratola Road, Kolkata - 700088
Ph:- 2401 3488/0240