Mental Illness or Taboo


Written by: Shehzad Memon

Joking and tragedy are two extreme bidirectional paradigm poles. Both poles provide the opposite. On one end we laugh and enjoy and on the other end, we regret and mourn. These both angles never meet but the pendulum on the horizontal scale interchange and displays the pointed gradual direction.  As soon one end enters to the other end, total eclipse intensity gets visible but it requires having the proper set of glasses to see it. Not knowing what eclipse is and looking at it without lenses this disorder has severe consequences.

It’s a total loss, when mental illness is seen as a joke and then treate\Euphoria

Depression in Pakistan

While roaming around  in Lyari neighborhoods, like Kumbharwarra, Kalakot, Sadarber lane etc., seeing some people makes me think something is not right with them, for example, a person is talking to himself, someone delivering a speech to a crowd but there is no one seen but seems this person can really see large number of people in front of him. One is just decorating his head with a number of strange objects, a number of people so fast to get mad and ready to fight at any time and known to be fighters that people are afraid of them, one is always laughing for no reason, one is usually sad and quiet. Someone’s behavior is interchangeable (Pal Main Masha Pal Main Tola), this interchangeability is referred to as Depression and extreme level of depression can be seen as disability or mentally retarded.

The mental hospital facilities are described as taboo like “Giddho Bandar” people make joke of a mental treatment facility. Mental illness is seen as a taboo (not to talk about it).

Taboo may cause a person to gradually elevate from depression to mentally retarded – it’s not a joke.       

When a society sees and/or not aware of dangerous consequences and on top of it treat it as a joke, it’s an unfortunate. How a self-destruction can be seen as a laughing matter when one needs help???

Depression gives thoughts of suicide and self-harm, it’s not uncommon people have taken their lives. In Lyari, Psychic is a vast area and there is an urgent need for people to gain awareness of depression. Unfortunately, only physical illness is taken into consideration and not mental – Mind drives the body.

Lake of awareness and treating depression as a taboo is a serious trouble and is even worse when a head of the family suffers from it. People attach many references to a person that she/he is very tempered, is Jalali, don’t talk to her/him will get mad, one gets loud and harmful to others and overpowers and get what she/he wants (tactics) and in general depress person acts with an obsessive-compulsive behavior.

When you not sure how the person will react to you, when you reach her/him, is unpredictable and usually angry, is short-tempered, is rude, often argues, on small things makes things worse out of nothing, has outbursts, often praises her/himself,  challenge and question everything, holds grudge, beat children and women and animals. See if you can help her/him to advise to see a Doctor. Thank You, Sir, very kind!!!

When head of the family suffers from depression, doesn’t listen and dominates and becomes a problem for everyone, see an older, stronger or influential person to intervene and calm her/him down before damage is done, or even it may cost a life. Seriously, stress is serious, it impacts all and family suffers. We live in men dominate/priority society, strong measures must be taken and prevent further damage.

Watch movie “As good as it gets” by Jack Nicholson:

  3. One may also search on Youtube “Living with depression”

People attach a term “Ganook” (Mentally retarded) to disabled people which is an extreme level of depression but misses the point why the person has gone to that level, who used to be normal.  At very high level a depressed person rotates between two ends- Depression and Mania.

Negativity is the first noticeable visible sign of a depressed person which means they have an opinion which creates conflicts with others. They praise themselves cause of illusion and delusions and don’t listen to others which creates low self-esteem in them, interesting to note that speaking high is also low esteem! They rotate on two poles meaning they are interchangeable, for example, one person speaks very confident and determined on achieving something, when she/he starts, soon you will find her/him quitting that and you will find her/him involve achieving something very different and not completing the first-bipolar. (Spiral waste of time and energy) Such a tragedy when the head of the house is depressed.


It’s a behavioral problem, they act in such a way that they make you believe they are very right but totally wrong, it’s the perception they get when you see someone like that stay alert to make sure.

They become very unpredictable.  Here are the symptoms when one is depressed.

Symptoms of Depression

 Symptoms of a Mania:

  1. Long periods of intense joy, excitement, or euphoria
  2. Extreme irritability, agitation, or a feeling of being “wired” (jumpiness)
  3. Being easily distracted or restless
  4. Having racing thoughts
  5. Speaking very quickly (often so fast others are unable to keep up) and cunning voice.
  6. Taking on more new projects than one can handle (excessively goal-directed)
  7. Having little need for sleep
  8. Unrealistic beliefs about one’s abilities
  9. Participating in impulsive or high-risk behaviors such as gambling or spending sprees, unsafe sex, or making unwise investments.

Some people with bipolar disorder experience “mixed mood states” in which depressive and manic symptoms coexist. In a mixed state, a person will often have symptoms that include:

  1. Agitation
  2. Insomnia
  3. Extreme changes in appetite
  4. Suicidal ideation

To gain a better understanding, please visit Mayo Clinic

You may find someone very soon with above symptoms, please help her/him to seek help.

One datum suggestion, to control symptoms is to see a Doctor and take medicine regularly. 

It is very important to look out for symptoms from early on starting at childhood, head of the house or a child or any other may have, to prevent any upcoming damage and help the effective as quick you can- it’s not a taboo but serious mental illness. Please seek help, there are many and some may stand just next to you every day! As I found around me and lot damage was already done! It took 40 years.

Depression in Children

The symptoms of depression in children vary. … While this does occur, particularly in younger children, many children display sadness or low mood similar to adults who are depressed. The primary symptoms of depression revolve around sadness, a feeling of hopelessness, and mood changes.

Depression in Women

Restlessness, irritability, or excessive crying. feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, pessimism. Sleeping too much or too little, early-morning waking. Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain.

Depression in Men

Common symptoms of depression include loss of interest in usually pleasurable activities, fatigue, changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, and apathy.

During my very recent visit to Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN, laying on bed seeing through the window opening to Mayo Clinic sign and it started mumbling in my ear “Ganook” and encouraged me to share the above with Lyari and all and repeat, it’s a Mental illness NOT a taboo or a Tumboo (tent) we stuck in as a laughing matter joke!

It’s not “Jatheeg” either the Jin ritual.

A depressed person is innocent, she/he has not done anything wrong but something wrong has happened to her/him. If you find someone with above symptoms, please take her/him to a Doctor. See the actual person right behind her/him, not the front one you see……..Will you? They are already struggling in life! Mercy

 Treating mental illness as a taboo is a disorder on its own (an addition). Depressed and the laugher both needs help. The ONLY one who understands, this is mental illness NOT taboo can help THE both!


Shehzad memon is having expertise in solution architecture.