Disability, Autism and Disorder- A perspective
Founder’s Insights • 18 April 2022, 9:00 AM
When he broke her trust by going out for a date, she developed OCD and would check for every move of her husband. She fought, questioned and that ruined her family life and finally took her life way.
While doing MBBS degree, his father was shot dead in his hometown and later on when he got married, his wife cheated him.
As a professor at a University in the middle east, he was harassed and not allowed to come to India. He finally managed to run away but by then, he had developed depression and later Schizophrenia. A year later, he committed suicide.
She was the third girl child in a family in India and final disappointment. She grew up feeling unwanted and rejected. Never had the courage to assert herself or live with her desire. Though, bright in studies and completed engineering, she could not speak about the guy she was in love with and married the one family selected for her. She had no opinion. She looked and did everything a normal person would do. Over the years, she had learned the art of communication in the social gathering but never a bit of herself. No one could have diagnosed that she lived in her own world and had the permanent loop of thoughts stuck in her mind. Her son at age 3, got diagnosed with autism. A hyperactive happy child who needs attention all the time and goes by his own demands.
He is a Ph.D. from Cambridge and a very high-level political journalist in the country and an advisor to many ministries. His son died a few years back at age of 30. That is the average age of children with down-syndrome. While he felt relieved that his son got out of a body which was suffering, he shared that he experienced pure love and pain looking at his son for 28 years.
World Health Organization (W.H.O) says, “More than 1 billion people are suffering from mental disorder today.” Half of them fall into disability while the other half falls in mental disorder. The worst part is that it is growing at a very rapid pace. Why is it happening that more and more people are choosing to live in their own world and not conforming to normal routine life? Is there a trend which we can lay our hands on and bring a cultural and an objective change in the society to reverse the trend? Is there really a need to make people feel normal? Is being normal the best way?
Mental disorder, in a way, is the revolt to normal life. Call it escapism. Over the centuries, as life is turning more material and more importantly pushing our limits to compete and survive, we are creating a sense of inadequacy, where the spirit is feeling suffocated and more and more people are choosing to remain with their spirit. In the case of disability, such souls are choosing human life to experience bliss by limiting their physical body and in the case of autism, they are choosing to experience their free will by not connecting with the society and not to relate to increasing harsh environment in their surroundings.
Mental disorder, on the contrary, is not a choice so clearly defined at the soul level. It is one of the probability at that time. No one is born clinically depressed or bipolar. We acquire such a state in order to avoid race and stay with free will albeit with some resentment about self or society. They are harmless and very loving people. Pure at their heart and very much willing to trust everyone. They go where they find love and have no capability to defend themselves.
In last 5 years of dealing with such cases, it has been very intense journey emotionally. Tracking their life journey and finding common factors tell us how they feel so incapable to deal with a hostile environment which we call: normal. Mental disorder happens to people who are mentally very capable. They can beat anyone in their capabilities. They are finest of the artists or singers or great mathematicians. For the mental disorder to occur, you need high mental capabilities to be able to contain so many energies within your mind to escape physical reality. Their thought process is very intense albeit stuck in a loop. The speed at which a schizophrenic person process information is overwhelming and normal average mind can not even deal with 10% of such multi-dimensional information.
Mental disorder is not the result of lack of capabilities but the inability to assert their talent or emotions or just the lack of need to assert. The OCD woman, who gave all her love and life to her husband, on slightest of suspicion, felt a threat to her existence. She could have walked out. She was well supported by her parents back home. What forced her to stick to her husband? The MBBS Doctor only wanted to pursue medicine and help humanity and wanted to come home to his wife every evening. Was he demanding too much? He chose depression, hurt and trauma then deciding to walk out while he was surrounded by many women who were waiting for him to say yes once.
We are not taught to be complete in ourselves and cultivated to be interdependent to create a social fabric. It is essential but has over the years grown complex and non-scalable model that we are choosing to stay away from it. There is a growing sense of inadequacy in us and we force our children to become adequate in name of competition.
If we want to reverse this trend, we must cultivate acceptance of self in our children. The feeling of adequacy and yardstick shall be given in their own hand to judge their own journey by themselves and not through the eyes of parents and society. If we allow enough free will for them to exercise which helps them breathe their spirit, they will not have to choose disorder to experience the same.