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Thank you Puzli. Thank you so much! (for your comment)
Eight years ago, it was so difficult to get information about mental illnesses. Unless one went through the process of a loved one suffering one continued to be oblivious that such things existed. And even if they did one did not talk about it.
We took our daughter to the second p-doc who was working in a Government hospital. My cousin went in and talked with him for sometime. Then my daughter was called in and was there for about ten minutes . Then we were called in and the doctor told us,' I am giving her some tonic for the nerves. She will be allright. As you can see she is in a state of conflict. She either wants to be married which her grandmother wishes or take up a career which her mother wishes. There is a big fight between the two personalities and one will emerge. Nothing to worry.'
There were so many questions I wanted to ask but he waved them off and called out for the next patient. Frustrated and uneasy we left meekly.
When we came home my daughter said,' The doctor said that if I continued to behave in the same way I would be a terrorist. I wonder why he said that, Mamma.'
The doctor had prescribed Fludac, akin to Prozac - one tablet a day. Her condition worsened.
Meanwhile my parents, in a distant town had matched horoscopes with eligible men, found one suitable and arranged the engagement ceremony. 'All you have to do is bring her here. Once she is engaged she will be fine', they urged. I was aghast when their letter arrived. Here she could barely walk.
I tried to broach the topic of 'breakdowns' with several friends. I got no response. Then one morning I rang up my father's old friend who stayed in the same town. I told him everything. He said he knew the p-doc at the Military hospital very well. The p-doc was his friend's son but he was out of town.
My daughter by then had stopped eating. We would get different flavours of icecream which she loved. When I asked her which flavour she wanted, she would say,'I no longer know what I want.'
We again contacted the government p-doc who told us to consult a neurologist. So we took her to the neurologist . There my daughter started talking and arguing with him. The neurologist screamed at all of us and said,'This is a psychiatrist case. How dare such patients come here Take her back to the psychiatrist.' We took her back to the government p-doc who wrote that ECT be administered the next day. He told us brusquely to take an appointment for it.
We are supposed to protect the ones we love especially the vulnerable.
Why was I frightened then to ask the p-doc questions about my daughter's welfare? Why didn't I confront him then about his earlier statement that my daughter would be well? Why didn't I ask him about the medication and its side effects?
Was it because of the conditioning imposed by society not to question something which is enveloped by stigma? Or was it because mental illnesses were the abyss of the unknown? I still feel sorrow and guilt for being silent.
We did not go back to the p-doc at the Government hospital but rushed to the p-doc at the Military Hospital where treatment with Haloperidol began.
Its almost 2-30 in the morning. Shall continue later...