The injustice done by Parva

parva poster

Yesterday, I went to watch the Nepali movie  ‘Parva’ starred by Namrata Shrestha and Koshish Chhetri. Initially I thought it was a horror movie and anticipated to have some goose bumps and heartbeats racing over the scenes. And frankly there were some episodes of that anticipation of the horror but my expectation of it being a horror movie completely took a downturn.  The movie touched my mind not because it has excellent storyline or because of the acting of the actors. It touched my mind because the issue it happened to showcase is the matter that is close to my heart or that I am more familiar with.  I am not here to review the movie.  I am writing this piece because I am troubled thinking the message that audience might be getting after watching the movie.

For those who haven’t watched the movie, it might be a spoiler alert. But I have to write this in the context of the movie and the roles of the actors to make my point.  So if you are planning to watch the movie, you might want to read this after watching the movie.

So coming back to the movie, the movie has circled around the issue of parent child relationship and its causal relationship to the mental health of a child. Up to this point I have not much to say about. But after this, the movie progresses into the sensational case building up. And this is where I have my serious concerns raised.

Without adding much suspense to the so called suspense thriller story, the movie revolves around the character of a severe depressive patient with psychopathic traits. In a nutshell the character likes to lure the girls who remind him of his mother and hacks them to death. The psychiatrist in the movie diagnoses the character to be suffering from childhood depression that progresses into full blown severe depression but is allusive of the diagnosis of psychopathy ( he gives the hint that the character might develop antisocial traits).

parva poster

The movie orients the audience about depression and the importance of parent child relationship in achieving mental wellbeing of children. But the tendency of the movie to associate depression with violence is the issue that I would like to object. I don’t know how much of study has been done to include such sensitive issue in the movie but from my movie experience ‘depression’ is sensationalised for pure entertainment gain in the movie.

Mental health issue itself is hugely stigmatized topic in Nepal. And people have this myth that people with mental illness are potentially violent and aggressive. And this movie has gone beyond to depict the gory violence of a ‘severe depressive patient’ which has reinforced the aforementioned myth about people with mental illness. The question here is what picture will the innocent audience will have of depressive patient after watching the movie?

It is already established fact that mental illness is neither a necessary cause nor a sufficient cause for violence. In Nepal we do not have official data to ascertain the exact percentage of people with mental illness involving in criminal activities. The comprehensive study done in the USA which was published in 1998 and famously known as MacArthur Community Violence Risk Study is a landmark study which studied the prevalence of violence among the discharged mental health patients from the hospitals.  The study found that  mentally ill people in general are no more violent than the normal population. And the subsequent studies have also supported this claim. There is a certain subcases in psychopathologies like substance abuse, antisocial personality disorder and in some cases of psychoses like in schizophrenia where violence can be observed in behaviours of the people. But in such cases also, the instances are very rare to establish violence as the effects of such conditions. It is exceptions rather than rule.   In fact there is a compelling evidence that most people suffering from mental illnesses are themselves the victim of violence. And tragically many people deprived of adequate treatment and support end of committing suicides, a self perpetuated violence.

Parva has insensitively made ‘mental health’ as bait to violence to make the movie a thriller genre. The takeaway from the movie is damaging to the psyche of audience who might correlate mental health problems with violence. The movie has only served to make the issue of mental health more stigmatized in the perception of the educated mass as this movie has been intended for the urban movie goers. This movie has done great injustice to the throngs of people who are suffering from mental health problems such as depression. It has needlessly and callously glamorised the ‘depression’ in such a way that there is a danger that people might tread the condition with caution and repulsion than empathy and emotional support which they actually need.

 

VIOLENCE AND ANGER

‘Psychology of Violence’ is one good topic to do research in Psychology or any other social sciences. I am saying ‘Good Topic’ not because it is interesting to go through the details or academic quest to study but because it is the topic so so prevalent in today’s world.  Who knows a good research of this, understanding of the outcome, realization of the causes of  Violence and ways to lessen it can change our world into upside down in regards to violence.

Just few days back, when the whole nation was celebrating Tihar, I was sleeping with the sound of laughter of deusi-vailo echoing through my window. ‘What a beautiful world it is’ were the sentences i was uttering  myself when i was falling asleep and  the next day when I woke up, grab my phone and going through news updates, everywhere it was about  ‘Bataclan Bloodshed’

I am wondering how strong the emotion of ‘hatred’ can get. How can anybody opt for killing people. What’s wrong with the mindset? And why so much of violence in our world? Where does this violence stem from? Can’t we just cut its roots and never let it grow? Why it is manifested all over the places?

And, uncountable questions always strike my head each time I hear voices regarding aggression and killing. I believe and I know many of us believe, Violence should never be an option, not in Nepal, Not in Libya, Not in Paris!  And, not in any forms, Not in ‘State Brutality’, Not in ‘Blockade’, Not in ‘Bomb Attacks’, Not in ‘Simpler Threats’.

I do not want to talk about Big Attacks here nor I want to write how to make India be little less-captive towards Nepal. I do not know how to do this, I do not hold the capability of talking these bigger issues with comfort.

But ‘psychology interested’ in me is wanting to start with a small problem.
Violence within our ourself- Anger!

gandhi

Face it- Anger is a fact of life. Our world is filled with violence, hatred and aggression. Psychologically, many theories of human development focus on the infant’s struggle with anger and frustration and the primitive fantasies of aggression, guilt, and reparation that result from these feelings.

In essence, we grow up with anger right from the beginning of life and may be this is the reason of all those violence all over the world which are manifested in different forms.

Here,  I want to share some instances would help us to control the anger. If next time if you think this emotion of rage is getting over you, just try these, who knows it might stop whole circle of violence and aggression!

anger

The FIRST STEP can be: learning a healthy response to feeling of anger.

This is not as easy as it sounds.

For example, when you get angry you don’t really allow yourself to feel your inner vulnerability and hurt. All you can think about in the moment is your desire to get revenge, to defend your pride, to do something—anything—to create the feeling that you have power and importance.

But, if you know the healthy responses which is good for you, it can let you ventilate anger easily and without harm.

Expressing and Getting Rid of it can be one way to tackle it in healthy way.
Here expression means expression in a positive way, like talking, writing, expressing your energy in different thing, running, gardening or whatever you feel release of energy.

Another step can be : Take a break, deep breathe and visualize a happy face.

If your heart hammers with rage, slow it down by controlling your breathing. Deep breathing is one of the most important steps in meditation, which can contribute to controlling emotions.  Even if you do not fully “meditate,” using deep breathing techniques can offer similar benefits. Then visualizing a happy face or happy moment can be a get-away from the moment of rage you are going through.

Next step you want to try if you are young-angry-man is: Learning Assertiveness and sharing of your rage with the person you trust.

If you try to be in someone-else shoe and understand them, it might reduce the conflict from your side.
Like wise, if you learn positive affirmation it can change the whole picture of the situation. Likewise sharing your rage to the person who will listen to you non-judgmentally can be plus point in calming down your anger.

Anger is strong emotion. It needs loads of practice to control or vanitate in the effective manner. And, it can be more disruptive if it is the way you deal with situations. So if you are aware of your anger pattern and you want to control it.

Another Step can be: Managing Anger Journal.

It sounds funny to be keeping the record of the moment when you are getting angry. But, if you seriously do record your anger, the causes and outcome of it for few days and later understand the pattern it will help you to realize what can be the cause of you anger and what you can do instead to lesson the causes. If you are getting angry with no reason, the anger journal can help you to realize it and next time when you are in verge of getting furious, you will say- Oh! Am I getting angry with no reason like last time. I should stop!

Also if you are watchful to you anger, it can help to reduce the early warning system for future conflicts. It can also help you determine if your anger is due to something deeper of not!

BUT, if you are getting angry with no reason and for a long time, you should start seeking help of professional later.

Still, if you can manage and do self help, first try! You never know just trying can reduce the bigger conflicts and bigger picture of violence in the world. Take care!

Spread Happiness not rage!