Breaking the Stigma—Let’s Talk by The Psych Club
Mental ailments are often not treated with the same severity as physical ones and discussing such problems is almost considered a taboo. The ones suffering from such wrenching illnesses, at times are not even recognised as contributing members of the society. Mental disorders are of various types, are more common that one might imagine, and come bundled with their share of misconceptions. The sole purpose of Let’s Talk, organised by The Psych Club, was to educate the students about such disorders and familiarise them with the various avenues available to them to seek help, should they ever require it.
Delivered by Dr Samir Praharaj, a professor at KMC’s Department of Psychiatry, this interactive session encouraged students to raise their doubts on the subject, with each being addressed with the utmost care. Some of the main points on the agenda included the importance of mental exercise when compared to physical exercise, the difference between mental problems and disorders, and the plausible causes of an astounding increase in the number of such cases in the present age.
Many students go through issues that they are unable to talk about and choose to continue suffering in silence. A talk such as this one, was of great importance as it tackled a significant issue with professionality and sensitivity. The fact that less than half of the mental disorders require medication as treatment and the differentiation between pathological syndrome depression and random sadness was discussed at great lengths. Subsequently, various suggestions on how to solve some of the underlying issues affecting mentally ailing members of society were also put forward—such as eliminating the stigma around mental disorders, encouraging proper professional counselling and creating awareness about the widespread nature of such ailments and its symptoms.
The talk concluded with Dr Praharaj encouraging the students to visit the institute counsellor or the Department of Clinical Psychiatry at KMC if they ever feel the need to seek help. He also provided a mantra for students to help their peers who might be suffering from mental illnesses—“Look. Listen. Link”—something which will go a long way in helping someone in need. A necessity in such times, this talk most certainly accomplished what it set out to, with the students better prepared to handle the situations and problems pertaining to mental health and disorders.
Picture Credits: The Photography Club, Manipal