It all began when I was placed to work in indoor unit during my 1 month internship period at Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi regional institute of mental health. (LGBRIMH) Tezpur. Every now and then people talked about the incidents that happen in indoor unit which developed in me mild delusional ideas towards mentally ill patients especially the female patients even before I started working with them.
So when I encounter the patients during my field visit, my mind is already set with varied ideas that all mentally ill patients will be wild, sociopaths, dangerous and who are out of control. But I was so wrong. They (patients) were not actually what I visualized them to be. Instead most people with mental illness are gentler than an average person in behaviour and only a small percentage of violent acts is perpetrated by persons with mental illness. I was looking at the patients not as they are but as I imagined them to be, I was conditioned to believe that they are wild because of various factors. I realized that something is not right or wrong because everyone thinks or says so. We should look at others as who they are not what we want them to be. Stereotyping a person does not define who s/he is, it defines who I am.
“What is common isn’t always normal”.