I am a Bollywood movie freak. I watched “Ghajini”, a Bollywood movie starring Aamir Khan and Asin on the first day of its release. I think that it was an average movie, however, had got necessary attention and popularity due to Aamir Khan’s unique way of publicities. I thought that “Deewangi” starring Ajay Devgan, Akshayee Khanna and Urmila Matondkar was lot better than “Ghajini”. Ghajini is based on short term memory loss whereas Deewangi was based on split personality.
I was impressed the way movie makers were able to take out a subject related to brain’s disorders and make a movie out of it. However, when I read Daniel Goleman’s book on “Emotional Intelligence”, I think that several hundred movies can be produced on the topics that he has listed.
He has very brilliantly explained how brain works, how does its parts function and what effect does it have on the situation. Amygdala is a part of brain that understands emotional part while frontal lobes are leveraged to analyze the situation. For instance –, when you miss an accident narrowly, amygdala remembers what may have happened, how scary was that moment etc that are all related with emotions. Whereas, frontal lobes help to analyze the situation in a logical manner like if it would have been possible to avoid the accident, how narrow the gap would have been etc.
After reading the book, it opened a whole different world for me to look at people whose brain has been unfair with them. For instance, why do certain people behave weird sometimes whereas they are normal at times? I also felt sorry for some people who have these different parts of brain either not developed completely or have damaged or have less capabilities and the consequences that they have to undergo. Imagine a mentally retarded person now. If you try to relate scientific reasons, you may tend to have more empathy towards him/her. People, in whom amygdala is not functioning properly, may not display emotions and they may not understand emotions either ! Imagine the emotions you would display when a gun is hold next to your forehead against the person with little amygdala development. He understands that the gun is held against him, however, he cannot express expressions related with fear.
Consider another disorder related with brain – Amnesia. Recently, I watched Bourne Identity and Bourne Supremacy. Matt Damon has acted brilliantly and has done a good justice to the role. It is only in Bourne Ultimatum where the writer Robert Ludlum reveals what the truth is. Can you imagine the people suffering from Amnesia? One of the character in Bourne Supremacy (who has played a student studying the folks in Germany) mentions that such folks do not make mistakes and they plan out the things. I am not sure, however, tend to think that it might be true based on movies that I have watched. All the characters tend to have a plan and never miss out (or is that just a story line to produce a movie?).
Then there is another movie in Marathi “Devarai-The sacred grove” that deals with schizophrenia. Indeed Atul Kulkarni has done a fabulous job and justice to the role. This movie not only points out the conditions of the schizophrenia victim but also the impact on the people who are close to the people suffering from it !
Ok, let me share a real but a different case that I have witnessed. I have a relative (let us call him Mr. X), who is 25 years of age. He is normal, so to say. He has a good family background, his mother is intelligent and keeps herself up to date on general knowledge. His father is a hard working and down to earth man with loads of sense of humor. Mr. X somehow completed his 12th, however, was confused on his next step to career. He did not show inclination to take further his father’s business. He wanted to make a career in computers, hence they bought him a computer and enrolled him to a course. He dropped out without completing it. He then continued to spend time looking out for something “interesting”; planning to make his career. Eventually, all he did was just spend time rather than actually doing something. The latest status is he does absolutely nothing. He wakes up, takes out scooter, goes out for a breakfast (yes, you read it correctly, nobody has idea why does he go out for breakfast everyday rather than having it at home), comes back, locks him in a room and sits in front of computer. Nobody knows what he does inside the room. Some of my relatives have scared his mother by asking her to spy on if he watches adult movies in the room ! Give me a break, can anybody do it EVERYDAY? Well, you never know. We are talking about the brain disorders here…
He does not talk to people visiting his house, gets irritated with children making noise (so much so that he travelled 500 kms for a week to stay there for 10 days to get rid of his sister’s children who were visiting their grandparents for vacation!), scans several channels of TV when in front of it and sleeps! Interestingly, when someone talks to him, he answers politely and does not appear abnormal in his behavior.
His parents, frustrated with his behavior, took him to a psychiatrist. He examined him, asked several questions for an hour and declared that there was nothing wrong with him and that it is all about attitude and arrogance. When I had heard this story before reading the book, I too had agreed that it may be true. However, after reading the book and understanding about how brain functions in general, I think that we tend to punish these kinds of folks in society ignoring because they do not seem to work or earn. Is it right? But, I do also think we have to devise few methods to “tame” these disorders of brain (mind you, I am not referring to tame those people though).
Psychiatrists, can you help these guys by devising “effective” methods for taming such brain disorders pls?