Not conforming to mainstream society, how has that affected you? #MyNariStory
Having panic and anxiety disorders are not easy issues to explain for anyone. But as an Indian American woman, I’ve received comments like:
“You’re just nervous because you’re not managing your time well” “It’s in your head” “Your friends/cousins are in the same situation, and they don’t have any problems”
“But you’re back to normal now”
“Your symptoms will go away if you switch from coffee to tea”
The last comment was from my doctor, another young Indian woman, when I told her about my panic attacks almost 5 years ago. It’s time to change this narrative.
Agreed! I think its very easy to give advice but to come from a place of listening only and not judge is extremely difficult. Our immediate reaction is to either shut down or tell the person to shut up – either of which is not useful in the long term of trying to change the narrative. I’ve had panic attacks as well and I can bet that switching from coffee to tea will not help them go away. They are a wider manifestation of other issues and there is a very limited understanding of mental health in the Indian culture. In India people are scared to get treatment for fear of being labeled “crazy” or “damaged goods” (esp marriage age girls). Your last statement – that the narrative needs to be changed is absolutely correct! Question is – how do we do it? 🙂