Monday, February 22, 2016

Cultural Pathology in India-7-BLIND LOVE

Blind love is another phenomenon but this is of course not unique to India! I have seen this both in  people with and without psychiatric diagnosis . I have seen it in friends and relatives. To me blind love is where a person is having so much love and affection for a person that  it blinds them to the loved one’s defects.

I have given one example of blind love here; one psychiatric patient killed a person and  reached his  home late that night. He confessed to his mother that he has just killed a person and do you know what his mother's response was? His mother told him,” what is done is done and cannot be undone. Eat your dinner. You are late and you must be very hungry”.  She was more worried about her son's hunger  than about the murder he had committed!

There are many such people, who love so blindly that they simply fail to see even the most severe faults in their loved ones. Mothers blind love and forgiving nature towards their ‘oldest child’, ‘youngest child’, ‘only son’, ‘only daughter’ , ‘grand-child’, is bizarre, moving and sickening all at the same time!
 I know an old lady, whose son borrowed money and failed to return and the mother accused the moneylender! The lender had actually lent the money out of compassion but this mother accused him of loaning money to her son for the selfish reason of charging interest! She did not acknowledge the fact that her son did not even bother to return the money or pay interest or even call the money lender to apologize.
The extent to which blind love, twists people’s logic is simply amazing. I know of another mother who was treated very harshly by her adult son.... Instead of feeling anger against her son, she  blamed the maid-servant  in the house for putting black magic on her son and turning him against her!  The human mind has an infinite capacity to be deluded!There are millions of cases such as this but again, they are not really mentally ill according to any criteria. But to the eyes of an objective outsider, the delusions appear highly pathological!
Twisted perception such as the ones mentioned above is another common pathology one sees in India. Indians (or is it the entire world?) interpret informaton in ways to suit their beliefs, they twist reality and make explainations to suit their perceptions. The reason I keep harping on India and Indians is that I have lived in Canada for 8 years and I do not see the extent of delusions, lack of logical thinking, and denial and twisted perception among the Canadians...whatever their level of education, age or background is. They seem to be more grounded and realistic than Indians are. This makes me wonder if we Indians are somehow more delusional and pathological than the rest of the world. One good reason I can think of for this could be that: The stress caused by living in India is much higher than living in Canada. Therefore we all become a bit mad, in order to survive living in India. If we were completley sane and not delusional, then living in India would become hell! (No defense mechanisms to survive the ugly truths we face in India means ouor ego will collapse in no time!)

As society evolves,  people evolve too and adapt to the change. It is possible that the pathologies are not new but have been influenced by the culture and transformed into new maladaptive behaviours. For example the addiction may have changed over time but  addicts have existed at all points in time. It may have been alcohol addiction in the last century and drug addiction today.

There is an ongoing Metamorphosis of culture, society& behaviour and therefore metamorphosis of  pathology too.  I wonder  if a day will come when society has evolved in a healthy direction and  to such an extent   that there will be very little need for pathological behaviours.
One example of society evolving and decrease in pathological behaviour I have observed is that in my family (about 100 including all uncles, aunts, grand parents, cousins, their spouses, siblings, their spouses, etc)there seems to be lesser of blaming parents as autonomy in choice of partner has increased in the recent generations. My grand parents generation had no choice in selection of their own spouse, parents generation had no choice too; but in my generation, those who married 30 years ago had no choice but those marrying now select their own spouses....the marital harmony, respect for women, economic equality between genders, 'about' equal levels of  education between the genders and also greater levels of education than pervious generations, etc seems greater in the newer marriages than the older ones.
Another example I can give about evolving leading to decreased pathology is  the lower prevalence of mental illness and greater mental health in healthier societies today such as the Scandinavian countries.

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