- The “patient” has an incentive to overestimate the extent of his illness, since he can “get away” with certain things by claiming to be more sick than he is
- People around the patient have an incentive to underestimate the extent of illness. They think the person is claiming illness only to extract sympathy and get away with things that would be otherwise not permissible
- The second point here leads to internal conflict in the patient, as he can’t express himself fully (since others tend to underestimate). Feelings of self-doubt begin to creep in, and only make the problem worse
- There are no laboratory tests in order to detect most kinds of “mental illness”. Diagnosis is “clinical” (eg. if 8 out of following 10 check boxes are ticked, patient suffers from XYZ). This leads to errors in diagnosis
- The method of diagnosis also leads to a lot of people in believing that psychiatry is unscientific and some reduce it to quackery. So there is little the medical profession can do to help either the patient or people around him
- That diagnosis is subjective means patients have incentive to claim they’re under-diagnosed and people around are incentivized to say they’re over-diagnosed
- I don’t think the effect of a lot of medicines to cure mental illness have been studied very rigorously. There are various side effects (some cause you to sleep more, others cause you to sleep less, some cause impotence, others increase your mojo, and so on ), and these medicines are slow to act making it tough to figure out their efficacy.
- There is a sort of stigma associated with admitting to mental illness. Even if one were to “come out” to people close to him/her, those people might dissuade the patient from “coming out” to a larger section of people
- If you were to be brave and admit to mental illness, people are likely to regard you as a loser, and someone who gives up too soon. That’s the last thing you need! And again, the underestimate-overestimate bias kicks in.
- Some recent studies, though, show a positive correlation between mental illness and leadership and being able to see the big picture. So there is some hope, at least.
I bought these Adidas sneakers earlier this year. Maybe in February. I ddn’t really need a pair of sneakers back then – my old Nikes were just fine, but I thought some retail therapy might help cure my NED, and hence the new sneakers. The therapy’s effects were short-lived. I got back to my then-ground state of NED the following day. NED meant unwillingness to wear my new sneakers to the gym, or to work, or anywhere else. So they lay, in a box, until I brought them to Gurgaon three months back. The old faithful pair of Nike was left behind in Bangalore.
I don’t know if my feet have grown in the last ten months. Or if in my eagerness to shop way back in February, I didn’t check properly for the size. But the sneakers are simply too tight. One theory is that my right foot is bigger than my left, and when I had tried out these sneakers in the showroom, I had put the left one on, found it perfect, and bought the pair. This reasoning is based on the observation that it’s only my right foot that hurts, and my left one does fine. The length of the shoes is perfect. It’s a problem with the width. The fourth and fifth toes of my right foot end up getting squeezed.
Having made a mistake the last time I shopped for sneakers, I don’t want to take any chances now. I don’t want to buy another 2K+ pair. I want something cheap, yet comfortable. Went shopping last weekend, checked out all the major showrooms, and whenever I found what looked like a good pair, I would chicken out, head and feet full of self-doubt. I still wear the same tight pair to the gym every morning. And the fourth and fifth toes of my right foot still hurt.
It is winter in Delhi, and gets fairly cold in the evenings, and sometimes even during the day. In Bangalore, Madras, Bombay, etc. my normal footwear (when I wasn’t required to wear formals or sneakers) was floaters. That clearly doesn’t seem to be an option here in Delhi. Which means I need a general pair of shoes. So far in my life, I’ve owned only one “general” pair of shoes. The rest have either been uniform, formals, floaters, bathroom or sneakers. That one general pair I own has been left behind in Bangalore. It’s an old faithful comfortable Liberty pair. Now, the presence of that shoe in good condition, even though it isn’t accessible, deters me from making up my mind about spending on a new pair. Last weekend, I found some really good shoes at Woodland, but again chickened out. Maybe the scars of the wrong choice of sneakers has started affecting in my other shopping decisions also.
On a different note, one thing I’ve noticed here in Gurgaon is that service providers who come home (for example, the guy who fixed the washing machine) refuse to take off their shoes when they enter your house. They even don’t think twice entering the kitchen wearing shoes. Coming from a background where shoes inside the house are a strict no-no, I find this fairly shocking. I remember reading in A Farewell to Alms about differences between Japan and Europe. Japan seems to be like South India in this regard, outlawing footwear inside homes, while Europeans had no such restrictions and is hence like Gurgaon.