Actor Sreejith Ravi's mental ‘disorder’ plea may not stand in court: Experts
Since these cases fall under the crime category, it is quite difficult to conduct a survey or study this aspect.
KOCHI: Taking cover behind the excuse of being under medication for exhibitionism may not pay off in the court for actor Sreejith Ravi who was arrested on Thursday, said experts. Medical disorder is no excuse in such cases, as stringent laws are in place to penalise those indulging in paraphilic activities.
Paraphilias — persistent and recurrent sexual interests, urges, fantasies or behaviours of marked intensity involving objects, activities or even situations that are atypical in nature — have been the reason cited many a time for deviant and criminal behaviour.
Pedophilia, voyeurism and exhibitionism are all forms of paraphilia. All these are socially unacceptable and liable for penal action.
“This disorder is widely present in the community. Exhibitionistic disorder here is viewed as an illness and crime at the same time. Since these cases fall under the crime category, it is quite difficult to conduct a survey or study this aspect. But there is a limited chance of the accused being exempted from punishment due to this disorder,” said Dr Arun B Nair, a noted psychiatrist based in Thiruvananthapuram.
“Two questions should be asked: Have you exhibited your genitals in front of another person? Do you know that exhibiting your genitals in public is a crime? If the answer is yes to both questions, he is answerable. It is not an act of unsound mind,” said Dr Arun. Dr T R John, a psychiatrist based in Kochi, said exhibitionistic disorder could be treated using medicines and behavioural therapies.
“In some cases, exhibitionism could be a symptom of an underlying psychological issue,” he said.
From adolescence itself, this disorder could be present in a person, said Dr Arun. “In this particular case, maybe since 10-30 years, he might be exhibiting the disorder.
As the age and duration since the onset of the disorder increase, medications and treatments also vary. The intensity of the illness could be reduced with medicines and behavioural therapy,” he said.
The claim made by the accused that skipping the medicines for a day had triggered his action was “unbelievable”, said doctors.
“Skipping the medicine for a day made him do it is a claim that is quite hard to believe. But for any psychological issue, we cannot fix the period when the urge would come back if someone is off medications. It depends on the intensity and severity of the condition. If it is severe, then there is such a possibility,” said a psychiatrist with Ernakulam Medical College Hospital.