I have always found our society’s discouraging attitude and misgivings towards psychiatrists and clinical psychologists as very perplexing. Why is it that when a person decides to consult some professional help, for an emotinal and psychological turmoil, he is labeled as “deranged” or “psychotic”? What is wrong in discussing your internal conflicts with a shrink, who is not supposed to judge you and who can help you more than anyone else can? Do not all of us need someone to sympathize with us, to hear us rant and to advise us? If a shrink plays this role in some people’s life then what is our, the judgmental strangers’, problem with it? If this, the assistance of a therapist, is how some people deal with their issues, then we should not reprove them or call them insane, but we should encourage and support them. Maybe consulting a psychiatrist makes us uneasy because it is highly unconventional for us, but it is already a regular norm in the Western society. I am not advocating that we start going to a shrink every day to vent our feelings. But what I am suggesting is that there is nothing wrong in going to a shrink every once in a while for a therapy session that will help us function normally in our hectic day to day routines.

RIMSHA ARIF,

Karachi, October 19.