"India" a country of religions and sentiments. Unity and Diversity we proclaim, implying how our country is welcoming to everyone irrespective of their faith and ideologies. Unfortunately, this land is home to millions of people who look up to irrational religious beliefs when it comes to dealing with their mental health. By stating the previous sentence I nowhere intend to hurt the religious sentiments of any individual. Why and How someone practices their respective rituals is personal and I shall not comment on it. If we attempt to contemplate "what" makes them approach the path may catch you off guard. It can start with something very widely observed behavioral changes, anxiety, and trauma. When I mention "religious practices" it is not the daily rites but certain morbid rituals people tend to believe in and perform by bestowing faith in self-proclaimed babas. Before cutting to chase, it is significantly important for us to know our stand on mental health. Seriously, even if you are a person who endorses mental health then recognize to what extent you are acknowledging in breaking the taboo. Because, when I started exploring I begin to find that it is much more than what you and I think. The importance of choosing therapy, venting out to someone, and seeking help is often covered in the spectrum. Would you be astonished to know that religion has a massive influence on mental health and the adversity followed leaves the entire world in chills?
To understand better, think of a recent case that happened in Andhra Pradesh. A couple from a well-educated background fell into the trap of the rituals that costed the lives of their two daughters. As much as you are, I was appalled after reading the news. Though it wasn't personal, I won't deny that I spent sleepless nights after finding out the story. It triggered me to an extent where I've decided not to read about such events. Because since childhood we all were conditioned to believe in the delusional existence of spirits, superstitions, and invisible powers that may trouble us. We have heard stories of black magic too, they may be true but it is absolutely false to give them the credit as the reasons for someone's deteriorated mental health. If you know me, you probably know I promote mental health but the sight of this event made me reiterate my stand. I refused to accept that people took decisions without any room for logic. Are the babas to blame? To an extent, but why people chose this path cannot be dismissed. Majorly influenced by traditions people scorn approaching therapy and the priority automatically is given to the babas. The problem isn't with faith but why do we select the path of beliefs over logic.
Even around us people follow the rituals disguised in the name of religion rather than doing what is required. A lunatic who is insanely talking by himself claiming he can see what is invisible to the naked eye is framed as a "cursed man" instead of taking him to a psychiatrist in the majority of the cases. I feel as much as it is vital to break the barriers of mental health taboo, it is required and the need of the hour to accept that people who perform horrific things like killing their kids are deeply disturbed and affected. They aren't haunted by spirits but are in sheer need of psychiatry. Spiritual songs and divine chanting of the lord's name can undoubtedly lift your mood but failing to draw a thin line between faith and absurdity is a trap no degree can get you out of.
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