TED Conversations

Arjuna Nagendran

Doctor,

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What experiences have made you more comfortable with mental health disorders?

What things make you fearful of mental health disorders? And what experiences have made you more comfortable with it?

In the quest to dispell stigma, how can we help our society grow out of its fear?

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  • Nov 7 2012: Perhaps, my experiences as a student nurse before have made me see people with mental disorders in a different light. As part of the learning process, we were tasked to stay in a mental facility and take care of patients with various conditions - schizophrenia, dementia, bipolar disorders,etc. I used to have this fear of being harmed by these patients, having the stereotype that they are rather banes of the society. But how was I able to outgrow that fear?Being knowledgeable of what these people are going through and above all, empathy. It is believed that once we put ourselves on the shoes of others, taking it in the figurative sense of course, we learn to understand them.When we leave our own boxes and see things in a different perspective, that's how we begin to see the bigger picture.

    Also, we need to put into consideration that the etiology of some of these disorders is unknown. These people or most of them do not even understand what they're going through.

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