We had a lecturer come in today from the British Psychological Society, and I thought it would be a normal lecture about psychosis but he told us about the people he was working with and for. He told us about a mother of two who is suffering from schizophrenia, and how she holds the delusion that her children have been replaced by ‘fake ones’, she has a voice in her head compelling her to kill her own children. And with the sort of narration he was giving about the patient who was a threat to her own family even though she loved them, it suddenly struck me that he was talking about a real person with real problems. I don’t want to sound like a complete nutcase but as psychology student we do come across many different things and cases, but that’s the thing, we forget at times that they are not just ‘cases’ but real human being suffering profoundly. We go through brain scans showing strokes, we hold real human brains, we observe children with autism and we watch tons of videos with people suffering from neurological disorders. And after quite a while I felt emotions towards again about people who are suffering from psychological disorders. We as students and future practitioners need to be strong but I made an error, I stopped being empathetic at times. I looked at everything just as knowledge and not as humans beings suffering.
This is just one patient that he told us about. It really affected me, thinking about the case he told us about. After the seminar was over, I went up to him and asked that through all the assessment techniques and procedures, as a psychologist what kind of a positive change can be brought about in her life. He took a short pause but then he smiled at me and said that that was the thing, that he had been the consultant of that particular woman for three years. He told me about how she had had a tough childhood and adolescence, how going through abuse and drugs had affected her. The thing is, psychologists in general like to focus on biological factors and say that schizophrenia is majorly a biological disorder. What I really admired about the Psychologist who has just given us the talk, was that he said we hope to help her connect with her family one day and he smiled as he said that. It was so heartwarming to know that a person who had been working with patients with psychological disorders for twenty one years was still so empathetic towards them and still wanted to help people doing his best. It is very hard to do so in my opinion, because day in and out when you meet people with so many disturbing disorders, I imagined that a person might become indifferent after a while but listening to this man made me believe that if we keep working hard and help people in the best way we can, we might be able to make a difference someday, somehow.
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” ― Steve Jobs
PS : Zoya Rana was with me. Remember her.