Dr. Aishwarya Preman
After stepping into the serene field of medicine, psychiatry was a subject that I was always curious to learn. I still remember the very first lecture of psychiatry which I attended out of curiosity taken by one of the veteran psychiatrists.
Hallucination was the topic for that day. He taught us about different types of hallucinations – olfactory hallucination,visual hallucination, auditory hallucinations,tactile hallucinations and gustatory hallucinations .
Later it was time for us to learn it on a clinical basis and we were taken to the psychiatric ward. We were equally excited and panicky because according to us we were going to meet psychopaths but I can’t even think of addressing the people whom I met in the wards as psychopaths.
I opened the ward gate to see a lean girl with curly hair and brown eyes. She gave me the world’s prettiest smile as an answer to all of my questions. She had an auditory hallucination which made her mind perceive that her mother is talking with her. She used to love this hallucination. For her, this was a blessing which kept her connected with her mother who had passed away a year ago.
My heart still craves to see that prettiest smile. The second person we met was a tall and stout uncle in his early forties who used to feel every rope/thread or any such object is a snake and got frightened. I had an anthropometric measuring tape with me which he visualized to be a snake and he started screaming. But even in such a state of mind he didn’t fail to be a kind human being, he was telling us to stay away from the snake and trying to rescue us in whichever way he could.
But it was outside the psychiatric ward where I met some people whom I genuinely feel they deserve to be addressed as psychopaths. During my casualty posting, it was midnight hour the hustle and bustle in casualty were going on and an auto driver brought two blood stained men who had hit each other ruthlessly after some dispute and the driver asked me to prioritise saving one guy’s life since he was a Hindu and the other one was a Muslim.
I came across another incident, when a patient was brought dead to the casualty and a relative started abusing a resident doctor claiming him to be responsible for the patient’s death.
Later when I was returning home from hospital by train a well dressed transgender (she was a government employee) sat next to me and another female sitting beside me whispered in my ears that it’s inauspicious to talk or even sit next to a transgender. Next day in the obstetric ward I met another one who was torturing her daughter- in- law because she gave birth to a girl child.
I would actually like to address these people as concealed psychopaths because they are literally patients of hallucinations,not auditory,visual or olfactory but hallucinations or meaningless beliefs related to religion ,gender and caste. Social media gives ample examples of racist and fascist hallucinations.
Don’t these mindless people sound more maniac? Don’t these tribes require a handful of anti psychotic drugs?
It is not the clinical hallucinations that one should be concerned about. The social hallucinations and delusional beliefs of some people who mistakenly think equality and secularism are a threat to society are the concerns of our time.