Not fair to label those with mental illness as ‘weak’

Filmmaker and journalist Rukmini Sen revisits her mother's Bipolar Disorder in wake of the controversy surrounding Sushant Singh Rajput

mental health

My mother Smt Sangeeta Sen Gupta suffered from Bipolar Disorder. She was the strongest, brightest, smartest woman of my life.

I am watching many colleagues turning into mental health experts now. Apparently people with Bipolar Disorder can’t be functional and because Sushant Singh Rajput was successful he must have not suffered from any kind of clinical depression or Bipolar Disorder.

I am not an expert. However, let me tell you about my mother. My mother was a Professor of Sanskrit. She had excellent interpersonal skills. The most functional, wise and constructive person of my life. She also had Bipolar Disorder. You have no f***king idea what kind of depression and/or mania a person with bipolar Disorder suffers. It has nothing to do with being strong.

So many of you suffer from angina, blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid. Are you weak? Others suffer from Spondylitis, arthritis ….are you weak? Are your parents suffering from these conditions weak and that’s why they have these conditions? Or are they fragile because they have a condition?

Very few people from my Ma’s college or among our relatives knew about her condition. She suffered a lot when she suffered and I who was her primary care giver in my teens and in my thirties saw that pain. My mother, ask my school and college friends, was known for her dignified self, kindness, generosity, politeness… and intelligence. She worked till she retired. 

Lastly, do you feel that live-in partners share less than married couples? Why does a long term ‘live-in partner’ not have stake in her partner’s property and earnings? Our law recognises domestic partnership beyond marriage. Doesn’t it?

I really wonder are all patriarchs and regressive people journalists these days?

“Sushant depressed nahee ho sakta” (Sushant can’t be depressed). What does that even mean? Anyone can be clinically depressed or suffer from Bipolar Disorder. Anyone who is hopeful, optimistic and wise….any illness can happen to anyone….

And there are friends and family members who stand by their loved ones…you can’t lynch them and defame them and presume they didn’t care… because a person commits suicide.. you were not there when the person was suffering…the loved one you are abusing was there…

Can you be respectful for once? Your pain as a fan is not bigger than their agony.


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