Sunday, December 11, 2016

Dear Zindagi - 1

So I saw this movie yesterday – “Dear Zindagi”.  It was not what I was expecting. In the movie, Alia Bhatt’s character is going through some hard times with her relationships – especially with men.  And she is shown as a strong, independent girl.  But because she is single she is kicked out of her housing and so must move in with her parents in Goa. Her emotions show that she has issues with them which has really shaped her character but we don't know what issues…. yet. By chance she is sitting in a hotel where there is a presentation on mental health going on. One of the speakers is our own very Shah Rukh Khan, a psychiatrist, speaking on what a taboo it is to seek and give mental health care.  Well, Alia starts seeking Khans’s professional help and little by little the story unravels as to why she is the way she is.

It is not a deep deep movie but it still brought up a lot of emotions for me.  I could really feel Alia’s pain since I have been there.  Most girls go through some or the other negative experience in their life – it could be eve teasing while shopping, having sexual advances made by relatives, coworkers or bosses and being abused emotionally, physically or mentally.  Lucky are the girls who have not experienced any of these! Most girls go through the negative behaviour without telling anyone – that would be a sign of weakness and/or they may end up losing a little bit of independence they might have. We suffer through it – it makes us who we are as a person and most times it will translate into how we handle our relationships.   The girls who have the most positive relationships are the ones who come from a set of parents who loved her.  These girls generally don’t know how to cook….that is how I know they were loved. If they cook they learned it on their own, not from their mothers.

Most of us like to suppress bad memories and relive the good ones for happiness sake.  We go through relationship issues but we don’t stop to think why? Everyone has issues – right? So its okay – it cannot be because of some childhood or growing up pain.  We would rather blame others or circumstances but never look inwards to think about why something happens to us, even if it might be a pattern.

Some of us talk to our friends and if we are feeling the same thing then our feelings are validated. But not always, in which case we might feel superior for suffering or inferior for not being able to handle things.  And in several cases, we don’t talk about everything – some things are too private to share.

We could talk to someone else…..someone who could give us objective advice and keep our secrets a secret but…..then see a psychologist? A psychiatrist?

Mental health is a taboo – everywhere.  At least now in America people know there is a problem so there are professionals to help. I know when I was going through my divorce, my friend, happened to be a counselor, really helped me balance my emotions.  And for the last 20 years I have seen a real openness about talking and dealing with mental health issues in USA.  Women go through it a lot more than men, maybe because our brains are wired to constantly keep thinking and we are by nature more emotional (hormones?).  But men are also susceptible to it – but again that is a taboo…

Mental weakness is a general sign of weakness in a person. Everyone needs counseling: career, medical, law, spiritual – then why feel guilty about mental counseling?

Of course, I don’t know the answers – but I do know that I have been thinking of getting counselling for the past two years but have not done it.  There are things we can talk about to our friends or parents or boss to try to get feedback, but there are so many things that we are just not ready to share with anyone.  For me I feel that I cannot even talk to myself about certain things because I will start to rationalize them….or justify them. And since it is only my brain giving all the answers – I will never get another perspective.

At this time I am left thinking more about what happened in my life that makes me behave the way I do.....

No comments: