Photo taken by contributor Uday Narayanan, a 26-year-old from New Delhi, India. Uday has an uncle who suffers from Schizophrenia. His uncle has been living with him for the last 20 years. Growing up, Uday remembers his uncle as being a loving man who would play with him every evening, but who would get extremely moody at times. As a kid, the frequent switches in his uncle’s behavior would annoy Uday. It was only after his parents explained to him about his condition that he realized how tough it is for him. In a country like India, mental illness is still a taboo. No one talks about it openly. Going to a psychiatrist or even a psychologist raises several eyebrows. It is very important that people are educated about mental illness so that they don’t shy away from seeking professional help. Uday’s uncle takes medication regularly and is leading a very healthy, content and normal life. Uday stresses that mental illness should not be considered different from any other disorder. Like in any other illness, it’s a case of a certain body part not functioning exactly the way it should. With proper medication and care it can be treated effectively.
About this photo: “Life, in a lot of ways, is like a swirl of smoke. Mysterious and unpredictable. You never know what twists and turns it would take or how it will shape up. Like smoke, it is short and temporary. The purpose of life is to live the experiences, both good and bad, before it finally, like a puff of smoke, drifts into oblivion.”