Taboo gets a taste of freedom

Hushed voices ruminate about scrambling for corners of refuge. But the pit of crippling worry gets deeper and deeper. Talking about it is not an option.

Published: 09th June 2018 11:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th June 2018 09:15 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: Hushed voices ruminate about scrambling for corners of refuge. But the pit of crippling worry gets deeper and deeper. Talking about it is not an option. Before you know it, mental illnesses have grown into full blown disorders. Just as we were pondering over the matter, we got talking to Sanchana Krishnan, a mental health advocate, about the stigma refuses to leave us. The portrayal of mental illnesses in the media is partly to be blamed, in addition to and dormancy in public discourse.

Seeking help is an emotional burden that carries the weight of shame to hard to bare. “When there is something going wrong that cannot be obviously understood through something visible, the blame automatically shifts to the self. This blame feeds shame and shame fosters stigma. No matter how much the discourse on mental health widens, when an individual is personally affected, the feeling of being incompetent, not enough, not being able, are fed into the person’s inner voice,” says Krishnan. This coupled with a feeling of fear of the unknown, and denial of the unpleasant truth makes matters worse. It’s the lack of open spaces of free expression that reinforces the taboo. 

Even though such places are few and far in between to find, one has been organised as we speak. Taking cues from the general dismissiveness prevalent pertaining to the subject, #socialspeakeasy, Social Offline’s campaign on mental health awareness, comes in as an agent to give those hushed voices a chance to speak. The workshop commenced on June 9 and will continue till June 10. There are games, poetry sessions, art therapy, theatre techniques, letter writing and more—all with an aim to weave matters of mental health within  their gamut.

Among the various things scheduled, is a workshop that aims at introducing visual art, movement art therapy, music and expressive writing through a series of interactive interventions. Aditi Kaul, who is an expressive arts based therapist and counselling psychologist at Fortis Healthcare, will be undertaking it. 
Based on all these tools, intervention is developed. “This workshop aims at introducing the group to visual art therapy, movement therapy, music and expressive writing through a series of interactive interventions.

This is an experiential workshop allowing the group to experience first hand the power of the expressive arts, as well as help identify and engage with the principles behind some potent intervention,” says Kaul. 
In the same way, writing is a cathartic, and allows an enormous insight into ones body. “Writing poetry, a journal, a diary or a letter, it is a conscious outlet of your subconscious mind.

It promotes healing and well-being. Scott Fitzgerald has a popular saying about this: ‘In short, you only have your emotions to sell. This is the experience of all writers. The authenticity of writing comes from self-criticism and external research,” says poetess Meghna Prakash, who will hold an art therapy and poetry session to underline the complexities of mental illnesses that. Another poet named Ronojoy Sircar will perform too. June 10, from 10 am to 3 pm, at Anti Social, Hauz khas Village. 

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