Mental Illness inspires Bollywood

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Agree it or not, Indian Cinema does play a vital role in bringing key issues to the foreground. Occasionally we receive a popular film that comes under the domain of mental health also. This is in spite of the stigma prevalent around mental illness and mental healthcare. Awareness raising through mainstream cinema is questionable in its accuracy, yet, cine-goers are informed, if not enlightened by the portrayal of abnormalities and their consequences.

Here’s a list of mental health disorders which thickened the plot of Bollywood flicks post-2000s. You wouldn’t miss the medical perspective next time you watch them.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Condition: Range of developmental disorders manifested as difficulty in social interactions, repetitive behavior, limited interests and activities. On the other hand, they are blessed with strengths such as above-average intelligence, memory power, audio-visual perception and excellent taste in arts, math, science etc.

On Reel: Barfi! (2012)

Priyanka Chopra in Barfi!
Priyanka Chopra in Barfi!

Asperger’s Syndrome

Condition: An autism spectrum disorder characterized by poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines and physical clumsiness. Person is socially awkward, and will have all-absorbing interest in specific topics.

On Reel: My Name is Khan (2010)

Shah Rukh Khan in My Name is Khan
Shah Rukh Khan in My Name is Khan

Depression/Anxiety

Condition: Mood disorder that affects a person’s daily life on account of hopelessness, melancholia, irritability, depressive thoughts, fatigue, loss of interest, restlessness, concentration difficulty, sleeping problems, appetite/weight changes, suicidal thoughts etc. It could be persistent, seasonal, baby blues after delivery, psychotic or bipolar.

On Reel: Anjaana Anjaani (2010); Hasee Toh Phasee (2014)

Parineeti Chopra in Hasee Toh Phasee
Parineeti Chopra in Hasee Toh Phasee

Schizophrenia

Condition: A brain disorder in which person interprets reality abnormally. It is a chronic condition where person can see or hear things that are not real. Symptoms are delusions, hallucinations, unusual ways of thinking, movement disorder, lack of expressions, reduced speech and cognitive dullness.

On Reel: Karthik Calling Karthik (2010), Woh Lamhe (2006), 15 Park Avenue (2005), Shabd (2005), Tamasha (2015)

Farhan Akhtar in Karthik Calling Karthik
Farhan Akhtar in Karthik Calling Karthik

Alcoholism

Condition: It is a consumption disorder where the drinker has craving and physical dependence on drinks, cannot control the urge and tolerates more alcohol to have the same effect. Alcohol abuse can put the person in dangerous and problematic situations at home or work.

On Reel: Aashiqui 2 (2013)

Aditya Roy Kapoor in Aashiqui 2
Aditya Roy Kapoor in Aashiqui 2

Dyslexia

Condition: A reading disorder the symptoms of which are late talking, learning new words slowly and a delay in learning to read. Most children with dyslexia can succeed in school with tutoring or a specialized education program. It is different from reading difficulties caused by insufficient teaching or hearing/vision problems.

On Reel: Taare Zameen Par (2007)

Darsheel Safary in Taare Zameen Par
Darsheel Safary in Taare Zameen Par

Alzheimer’s Disease

Condition: A progressive neurological disorder that destroys memory and other important mental functions. Most common early symptom is difficulty remembering newly learned information. Severe symptoms include disorientation; mood and behaviour changes; deepening confusion about events, time and place; unfounded suspicions about family, friends and professional caregivers; difficulty in speaking, swallowing and walking. Signs of dementia may be more obvious to family members or friends.

On Reel: Black (2005); U Me Aur Hum (2008)

Rani Mukherji in Black
Rani Mukherji in Black

Anterograde Amnesia

Condition: Loss of ability to create new memories after the event that caused amnesia, leading to a partial or complete inability to recall the recent past, while long-term memories from before the event remain intact. Often person loses declarative memory i.e. cannot recollect facts like what they ate for lunch, but retain procedural memory i.e. things like how to use phone, ride bicycle.

On Reel: Ghajini (2008)

Aamir Khan in Ghajini
Aamir Khan in Ghajini

 

Retrograde Amnesia

Condition: Loss of memory-access to events that occurred, or information that was learned, before an injury or the onset of a disease. New memories can still be created.

On Reel: Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012)

Shah Rukh Khan in Jab Tak Hai Jaan
Shah Rukh Khan in Jab Tak Hai Jaan

Dissociative Identity Disorder

Condition: Person’s identity is fragmented into two or more distinct personalities. The characteristics of alter egos contrast with those of the primary identity. Certain circumstances or stressors can cause a particular alter to emerge and take control of the person, who experience extensive memory loss. The various identities may deny knowledge of one another, be critical of one another or appear to be in open conflict.

On Reel: Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007)

Vidya Balan in Bhool Bhulaiyaa
Vidya Balan in Bhool Bhulaiyaa

Borderline Personality Disorder   

Condition: Features are unstable moods, behaviour and relationships. Symptoms include emotional instability, feelings of worthlessness, insecurity, impulsivity and impaired social relationships.

On Reel: Nautanki Saala! (2013); Dev.D (2009), Raanjhanaa (2013); Moksha (2001); Ankahee (2006)

Dhanush in Raanjhanaa
Dhanush in Raanjhanaa

Mentally challenged 

Hrithik Roshan in Koi… Mil Gaya (2003)
Hrithik Roshan in Koi… Mil Gaya (2003)

 

Picture Courtesy: Google Images

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Harshitha

A self-confessed dreamer with a fine mix of sense and non-sense. Her mission is to bring a little more joy into the world. Graduate in English and Communication Studies, she studies at Christ University, Bengaluru.

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