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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Picture Courtesy: Google Images