The Brotherhood of Struggler's

The Brotherhood of Struggler’s.

Mumbai City is like a holy book. The more you travel thru its length and breadth, the more you discover. Every street holds unearthed knowledge on human nature that big classrooms, books or teachers can never give you. The beauty of its rich human resource lies in the power to fight any odd for higher levels of success.

The biggest contribution to the Mumbaiya aura comes from its recognition as the entertainment capital of the Hindi-speaking universe. The world of Hindi motion pictures (commonly referred to as bollywood) and its new sibling the world of Hindi television have a combined consumer base of over a billion people all across the globe. The Midas touch of this industry reflects in the shine of its glamour, aesthetic and fashion sense that colors throughout the landscapes of Hindi-speaking population. The fame and power that actors, directors and producers of this industry enjoy within its spreads, is comparable only to that of gods.

The Hindi motion picture industry is very much like the Caribbean Sea. It’s instantly appealing and mesmerizing from the outside, but very dark and extremely dangerous as you dive deep into it. As a mental health healer, I often get chance to connect with people of this industry who find it difficult to cope with the emotional and psychological pressures of the dark side. Recently I had once such opportunity, were for the first time I got to interact with the darkest link of this industry, the struggling actors.

I vividly remember, it was Wednesday morning and the first showers of monsoon were taking baby- steps towards cooling the badly sun-burnt Mumbai. After finishing with my morning appointments, I turned the 11inch blingy bright screen of my laptop to indulge into some online psychological fire-fighting. The magic of eye-brain coordination was exemplified when my attention suddenly got diverted towards the 3rd email from the top. The subject boldly proclaimed “please help us”.

Mostly the subject of email’s I get, point towards the personal problem of an individual. This was a rare time when it would mention “us”. The swift movements of my fingers thru the mouse-pad instructed the cursor to open this email. My ultra-slow internet-connection took enough time to increase my inquisitiveness and elevate the level of excitement attached to it. The screen refreshed to show a white background with multiple black spots. Slowly the black spots merged to form letters. The screen shrank to bring these letters closer and spell out the sad and loud cry for help from 3 struggling actors, Rohit, Ankur and Faisal.

After a quick telephonic conversation, an appointment was fixed to meet at a suburban coffee shop to discuss their issues. My earlier experience with people related to the field of glamour had conditioned me to expect a half hour delay. To kill the time, I launched into surfing the online world thru the 3inch display of my mobile phone.

“The three stooges” as they loved to call themselves, walked into the coffee shop exactly at 8pm. Contrary to my thought they had turned up perfectly on time. I took a second to close my mini-communication portal a.k.a mobile phone and come back to reality. After the formal introductions and exchange of pleasantries, we all sat down with large mugs of cappuccino plowing the way for a long conversation.

On first look, the triad of RAF or Rohit, Ankur and Faizal were like triplets. All three towered around 6ft, had huge biceps, their mannerisms while talking, walking were identical, and all 3 had prominent emotional pain reflecting in their eyes. It would take some “intelligent” conversation to realize that actually they where three very different personalities bonded by the glue of friendship.

Rohit was a 26yr old NIFT (national institute of film and TV.) graduate. After 3yrs of theatre and a thousand “connections” he still was struggling for that major break. His diary was full of countless and hopeful meetings with artist coordinators, assistant directors and pseudo-agents, who all promised the sky in exchange of a piece of land. His theatre jobs earned him just enough to support his basic needs but to sponsor these “all-important” meetings he worked in a BPO. The art of juggling between jobs, the gym, maintaining a social life and attending these meetings had created enough stress to break his back a 100times. The dream of becoming a superstar was slowly fading into oblivion and the pain of not being able to accept that was killing him from inside.

Ankur was a 24yr old graduate from U.P. His good looks where always an envy among his family and friends. Boasted by his family astrologer’s predictions, he had come to Mumbai in search of his destiny. Supposedly his nakshatras (planetary alignments in his astrological chart) were similar to those of Mr.Amitabh Bachchan. Loaded with rings and amulets, he had landed in Mumbai with dreams of the day he would drive thru the city skyline, with endless billboards flashing his photo. In the last 2yrs, his dreams had slowly been replaced by the hard facts of reality. The frauds, cheats and deceptions he faced were countless. He learnt two very important facts. First that struggle is a constant journey and secondly everyone in Mumbai is a human-vulture waiting to feed upon a weak prey without any remorse or compassion. He recollected how he had been cheated for thousands to make a portfolio. He had nearly been trapped within the “male casting couch”. And numerous times people had to sponsor food, alcohol and sex for dubious agents who claimed to get him that dream role. He was still supported by his parents. He was the most confident of the lot, but wanted a medication that would allow him to break his inhibition to a consented homosexual relationship. He believed that it was the final frontier and once crossed over, his guru’s words would come true. Clearly it was evident, that such an outrageous demand originated from the fear of accepting failure and returning back home. I was sure he had nightmares of the same, and these thoughts resounded in his mind more often than not.

Faizal was a 27yr old from Jammu. During his studies at Delhi University he had been approached by a model coordinator to do a small ad campaign. The taste of fame among his friends and university mates had left him wanting for more. He had landed in Mumbai with some reliable contacts. Over the last 5years, these contacts and more had got him several print media ad campaigns. Unfortunately thou his career graph had never peaked beyond that occasional photo in the corner of a magazine. The inconsistent flow of money, made him depend upon loans from friends. His family didn’t support of his decision. His adamancy to continue his struggle had left him in Mumbai with his friends as the only support system. He seemed to be the most relaxed of the lot. I guess because he was a few steps ahead of them in this unsaid hierarchy. His endless stories about the struggler’s campaign were an enlightening experience. He was battling an aging body and mind. The success of his college friends in various fields of life continuously made him questions his own decisions in life. He had come far enough to let the gains go, but couldn’t face himself when thought what others had achieved. This internal battle had taken over his mind.

As the conversation moved further, the 3 avidly shared with me, some funny anecdotes from the life of a struggling artist. I was enlightened on what I call the “great brotherhood of strugglers”. They told me how the community of struggling artists was a huge family. A family that had thousand’s joining it daily, while only a handful would resign from their dream of stardom.

The long audition queues outside a film studio were a family gathering of sorts, most of them knew each other and it was perfect time to catch up on the latest gossip. The western express local trains, tea-stalls and cigarette kiosks next to big production houses, were hot-spots for exchanging “useful” information. Money, alcohol, food and sex was the currency of their trade. Everyone and anyone from the tea-stall boy, to the teacher at the acting institute or the trainer of the gym would exploit your needs. The only person who could be blindly trusted was your own self. Talent was a myth built in acting and dance classes. Looks were a design carved out expensive gyms and plastic surgeons. And the only proven formula for success was to have a very reliable and influential “god-father”.

The final part of our meeting compromised of me customizing some treatment modalities for them to use in battling their emotional and psychological problems. Unfortunately I couldn’t give Ankur a medication to erase his inhibition, but I spoke to him on accepting failure. Rohit and Faizal needed guidance in re-defining their goals and accepting reality. Both were at a chronological and psychological age where change in a positive direction was possible.

Finally we finished our coffees, shook hands, and promised to keep in touch.

As I moved into my car, the respect for this brotherhood of strugglers in my mind, reflected as a smile on my face.


Effects of Broken Trust

" An air of disbelief, sorrow and pain filled the waiting area of a big 5-star hospital. Turn by turn, each of his family members got  a glimpse of him from the small window on the door. At 32yrs of age, Vikram a smart, educated and very well earning stock analyst fights a battle between life and death.
 His action- to fall in love with a girl who broke his trust.
 His reaction- consumption of poison to escape the unbearable emotional pain."

There are millions of Vikram's out in the real world. Relationships are slowly becoming more and more fragile. A breach of trust can lead to severe mind-body reactions that go unnoticed and undetected by family and friends until an unbelivable action happens.

There are few essential points which everyone has to keep in mind when dealing with broken relationships:

1. The meaning - in human psychology, scientific research on more than a million people has confirmed that breach of trust in a psychologicaly commited relationship constitutes the 2nd most dreadful cause for IMMEDIATE development of thought, emotional and psychologcial problems.

2. Clinical Relevance- in 90% cases it leads to a clinically relevant problems like  acute stress disorder and major depressive disorder.

By clinicaly relevant it means-  the increased generation of painful thoughts and emotional pain leads to breaking the boundaries of mind-body defences. This causes excess functioning of the brain, leading to decreased production of neuro-chemical serotonin in the brain.
A serotonin deficient brain creates a vicious circle of-

emotional pain ---> decreased neurochemical ----> more emotional pain.

This leads to altered behavior and emotions away from a persons normal personality.
3. Invisible pain - Emotional pain is only experienced by the sufferer.
The family and friends only detect a fraction of it by reading facial expressions and body language. They normally fullfil their duty by "counseling" thru comforting words and examples.
Such an effort is extremely important and useful. Unfortunately its value disapperas as soon as a person is left alone and flashbacks of old memories start happening.

4. Pain is proportional to attachment- higher the attachment and investment of love into a relationship, the higher the pain on it breaking.

5. Death trap.- If left unattended the pain crossess all boundaries of mind and body leading to devastating results.

a. It starts by affecting soft skills like concentration, memory, sleep and appetite.
b. slowly it progresses deeper into personality making a person easily irritable, getting angry without reason and taking irrational decisions in haste.
c. as it gets severe it can induce suicidal thoughts

d. The increased functioning of the brain requires extra load of chemicals. This is taken from the body. This causes a breach in the brain-body defense barrier. Its effects on the body are noticed as following:

i. decreased immune system - a person falls ill frequently -specially common cold, cough, lung problems.
ii. heart problems- hypertension, palpitations (feeling your own heart beat), chest pains.
iii.digestive problems- constipation, a change in more than 5% weight/month.
iv. skin problems- development of pimples, black spots under the eyes, older-look on the face.
v. hair problems- increase in hair fall.

6. How to fight it?
The best way to fight it thru natural means, is using the psychological technique called venting out.
its very important to let the harming images, feelings,sounds and emotions out of your brain.

this can be achieved thru writing it down in a dairy, talking with friends, yoga or meditation.
Also planning the day to such an extent that it keeps you engaged in some or other kind of mental activity is extremely important.

The mind is a kid.- if you can decrease those harming thoughts for 3 weeks, it will start to forget on it's owns.

7. Alcohol and nicotine - its important to avoid alcohol and nicotine/tobacco.
These are the most popular ways to escape the emotional pain.
Unfortunately both of them have a tendency to stimulate the brain in those specific areas, which make painful memories long lasting. This increases the healing period and in some cases can make those images permanent.

This is one of the reasons why sad songs, or movie scenes can trigger an uncontrolable flashback with surge of sad emotions.a classical example of the same is jagit singh's music and its popularity among those who drink.

8. A good support system is very important. - the support from family and friends is essential to fight this battle. Unfortunately after 1-2months, most family and friends start feeling frustrated. They feel that listeing to the same story again and again is just an attention seeking act by the sufferer.

In some cases, Religion and religious leaders become great support systems. One should not run-away from using their services to help one-self.

9. New age Options. - Its the 21st century. Science has moved light years ahead in the last 50yrs. Brain mapping, brain scanning and new research tools have found specific hyperactive parts of the brain responsible for recurrent generation of emotional troubles. consulting a professional in this field is always helpful. 

a. Family doctors/ general physicians-  they are great motivators and usually the 1st people to be consulted by family and friends. Their general skills in this topic are useful for minor depressive cases. In case of major problems their lack of expertise in the field of  psychological problems makes them ineffective for long term cure.

b. the psychiatrist- a psychiatrist isn't just a "mad-persons" doctor anymore. Research in the field of emotional, behavioral and psychological problems has crossed leaps and bounds to enter a new modern age.
Movies like "taare zameen par", "a beutiful mind",  " lage raho munna bhai", "the aviator" , "the matchstick men"  prove the modern day and modern man's inquisitiveness to learn about the deepest secrets of the mind from a scientific way.
the old and discarded outlook of electric-chair executing weird psychiatrist is left for those with non-progressive view-points based in 19th century.
The scientific psychiatric approach in such cases is a dynamic module which utilizes the life, mind and thought changing tools of counceling, along with physical protection thru limited period administration of soft-medications ( new medications that non-sedative and non-addictive with fewer side-effects than normally prescribed anti-biotics)

"Love is an arrow which shoots happiness through your heart. But if the arrow breaks, it can bleed it to death"

Being healthy is based on making informed and consented choices at the right moment.
Hope this little article helps you to gain knowledge on how to help those who go thru the traumatic experience of broken trust.

Dr.Hemant Mittal (MBBS, PG.DPM)

The HORROR of T.V.- how children get affected by psychologically violent material on t.v.

" Vaijanti, a 12yr old girl, was enjoying her summer vacations. On a Wednesday afternoon, she sat down to watch T.V after lunch. Her grandmother, who normally would supervise her activities, was sleeping in the nearby room.

She started surfing channels and curiously landed up on an English movie channel which she had always been banned from watching. For The next 2hrs she sat glued to the sofa watched a horror movie about a psychopathic serial killer called "Friday the 13th".

That night her parents noticed her behavior to be extremely restless and refusal to sleep alone. The fear in her eyes and continuous flow of tears down her cheek told a bigger story. Fearful of parental reprimand she initially denied any problem and lied on having fought with her friends.

2 nights later, concerned by this sudden change in behavior, her parents convinced her to confess the truth. She told them about the movie, and how the images of serial killing, blood and death still haunted her. The sight of darkness made her more fearful, and she feared something will happen to her parents while she sleeps.

Her parents tried their best to counsel her, but after 5 more days of torture they finally brought her to my clinic. On initial emotional, behavioral and psychological analysis her condition seemed deteorating. She required immediate attention, else the fear would have left a permanent impression in her psyche. A 7-day treatment module was devised after discussion with the parents. A few days later I was informed of her success in overcoming the fear and those images. She conquered this emotional trauma. She was lucky, not many are"

Its vacation season. Many children stay at home while their parents go to work. The child is normally under the supervision of a servant or a grandparent. This increases the freedom of exploration that a child gets. It’s this new found independence which ignites the child’s inquisitiveness to explore all that material which else is forbidden from him. One of such is the exploration of new channels on T.V. Most TV nowadays has child-lock facility for the same, but many a times this is either overridden by the technologically savvy kids, or not used by the parents.

Thou the Indian television industry does comply with high standards of censorship in regard to nudity and violence, the basic content of most programs has extreme focus on negative emotions and sexual content. Exposure of a child’s mind to such harmful audio-visual content can increase the negative and destructive emotions in their psyche.

In today’s world of TRP, the basic content of soap-operas, movies and reality shows is focused on plotting, planning and harming anyone who doesn’t satisfy the characters ego. This directly and indirectly affects a child psyche and teaches him negative ways of handling a situation.

The whole menu of soap-operas, horror movies and reality shows cook up a dangerous mix of destructive emotions and negative traits for personality which is easily imbibed by the fragile child’s-brain.

In case a child has been exposed to some really powerful emotions, which he/she is not able to understand, accept and comprehend. The repercussions on emotions and behavior could be devastating. Sudden changes in behavioral patterns are important markers of such a dangerous exposure.
Some of the classical behavioral changes/patterns seen in such cases are:

1. Crying without reason
2. Fearful behavior thru out the day- this can be manifested as sudden extreme attachment to parents.
3. Hiding in her room or in one corner
4. Decreased sleep
5. Sudden onset of anger, irritation- sometimes irrational demands/wishes
6. Fear of being alone.
7. Fear of darkness.
7. continuously talking to self without reason.
8. Drawings or essay writing shows destruction, death, injury to near and dear ones.
9. decreased appetite.
10. repetitive flashbacks of those violent images.
11. Fear of imaginary characters to harm friends and family.

A. counsel the child- the most important things to understand while counseling a child that:

i. he/she can think only in black and white.
ii. he/she has much more inquisitiveness than a normal adult.
iii. he/she requires a lot of patience, love and time.
iv. listening to the child can give you thousands of clues.
v. don’t compare to other children.
vi. dont hit or force him to believe what you believe in.

b. if the problem becomes uncontrollable, then don’t hesitate in approaching professionals.

i. general mbbs doctors/pediatricians are a good first line of defense. They can give a nice small pep talk. To the child. Avoid them using the fear of needles/syringes/injections to make a child believe in what they are preaching. This will just add to the fear burden of the child.

ii. priest/religious leader- religion and faith play a pivotal role in every individuals psyche. This role is defined very young in life. An experienced priest or religious preacher can help the child by using religion as tool to fight the fear.
Faith healers/tantriks should be avoided as they might use very strong images and rituals that can add more to a child’s fear burden.

iii. psychiatrists/psychologists- remember gone are the days when these just dealt with mad people.
Science has advanced a million steps, and psychiatrists/psychologists deal with emotional, behavioral and psychological problems.
They have a scientifically researched battery of tests and examinations which can help your child.
They have professional, scientifically researched knowledge on how to carry counseling.
If medicine (and the wrong concept of tranquilizers) is roaming in your mind, than ask them to focus on giving only ayurvedic or homeopathic medications.

Dr.Hemant Mittal

Multiple Personality Disorder or Schizophrenia are they same?


Its one of the oldest and most dreaded disorder in the entire history of health care. Single handedly accredited for the birth of social taboo revolving around Mind-brain-body health.

95% of cases are wrongly treated as cases of black magic/bhoot bhada/possesion cases all around the world. The lack of knowledge leads to tens of years before these 95% get the right treatment.

Wrongly confused with MPD or multiple personality disorder, its been wrongly used by many to create a wrong impression in the minds of others.

what is schizophrenia?
A combination of emotional and stress overload triggers several parts of the brain to simultaneously stop functioning at peak performance. This is manifested by the decrease in production of neuro-chemicals (brain chemicals) like dopamine, GABA, glutamate, serotonin.

what are the symptoms?
the disorder starts with the symptoms:
a. slowness in doing work
b. decreased social interaction
c. decreased emotional responses

This is the only stage where the disorder is completely curable. Unfortunately its also the most difficult stage to detect, as it requires it requires very professional approach. I do a complete 40min quality psychological analysis of personality and self which helps in detecting it at such an early state.

the next level, is where the brain loses complete connection with the subconscious mind. Lack of neuro-chemicals and increasing stress amount for start up of emotional and behavioral manifestations:

a. delusions- these are strong and false beliefs that an individual develops. These are normally against social and cultural self. Even thou there is enough proof to prove them wrong a person will be fixated into his belief.

for example- the patient might feel one or more of the following:
i. someone/family members want to kill him/her
ii. someone/family member want to harm him/againt him.
iii. someone is following him/her
iv. husband/wife is cheating upon her/him
v. feels he can enter into someone's mind and change the thought process.
vi. feels someone can read his mind, etc and many more of such.

this stage requires extensive treatment.
the third stage is the most devastating. It's the one in which most care-givers feel that the patient is having some ghost/gin/black-magic or possession.

e. hallucinations- the brain functioning further deteriorates to decrease communication between nerves. So a person starts to hear voice, images or touches of animals which are not present.
Person also gets violent as he/she tries to ask for help from the world around, but nobody is ready to listen to him.

i. hearing of voices of people or self, conversing with those voices
ii. seeing people/visions and talking to them
iii.feeling someone touching you, crawling sensations over the skin
iv. having unsual tastes of food- calling fried potato as strawberry taste.
v. having unsual smells when they are not present- like smelling of roses in a toilet.

This stage requires immediate treatment.

Like in most cases, this stage is left untreated. The treatment focuses more on swami, baba's and tantriks. Because most people cannot believe their family member has a "mental health issue". Since most mental health issues are invisible the pain is only experienced by the patient, which family members fail to see.
The final stage is one where complete destruction of personality and self is possible.

f. lack of self care- patient starts to loose himself in this imaginary world. Because of which he stops eating, taking care (stops bathing, stops brushing his teeth, starts doing his basic needs like urination and defecation in his clothes, and may start becoming naked in public places.)
if he/she is disturbed in this period they become extremely aggresive. and might even kill someone in their fit of anger

e. complete social withdrawn - with uncontrolled anger on meeting his/her own blood relatives.

why does schizophrenia happen?
a. genetic
b. substance induced- the most common cause is the continuous use alcohol, drugs, body building steroids for long term. They induce change in the structure of the brain, leading to onset of schizophrenia.
the most best known example for the same is actress pravin babi who died of schizophrenia.

c. psychological trauma- if someone has a sensitive personality, and is suddenly exposed to large emotional trauma (relationship failure, sexual abuse, death of near one) it might lead to the onset of schizophrenia.

d. Uncontrolled restlessness - if an individual develops imagination as a way to escape from his/her restlessness.

e. Depression- long standing depression when person becomes socially withdrawn he/she starts using imagination as a way to occupy his/her brain.

what is the cure?
after stage 2-
a. medications are the only cure. A patients family has the right to ask their consulting psychiatrist to prescribe something that is not too sedative, not addictive, a newer molecule with less or no side effects. That help a person to restart his life back.
Ayurvedic and homeopathic have long term success rate once the attack has been subsided and patient has been brought to certian normalcy.
b. counceling and all dont help once the third stage has started.

Rights of patient and his relatives?

a. A patient and his relatives have the right to question their psychiatrist on the type of schizophrenia, the medications, the side effects.
The psychiatrist should properly evaluate the patient and give his relatives ample time to express their concerns and questions.

b. Its also a patients right to demand medications that suit his requirements. The medications should be formulated to provide the patient with least problems, and maximum productivity.

c. unfortunately many times psychiatrists trying to cure the problem faster, tend to over medicate. I tend to follow the UK model of treatment where least medications is given, with least or no side effects. It takes a little longer but prevents side-effects and promises longer term cure. and give no time to examine the patient properly. because of which many patients land up with many unwanted side-effects.

Can a schizophrenic live a normal life?
YES. I have treated hundreds of individuals with such problem. And i am proud to say those who came in at an early stage are 100% back to leading a early life. Those who came at later stages have taken more time for cure.

SCHIZOPHRENIA is a disorder... ITS NOT EVIL...

schizophrenia is labeled as the disorder of the inteligent because of some famous examples.-
a. Bobby fischer- greatest chess player in histroy
b. Dr.John Nash- nobel prize winner. (discovered his nobel prize theories while suffering from this disorder)
c. Syd barret- famous musician from the band PINK FLOYD
d. the first son of Albert Einstein and first son of Mahatma Gandhi both had schizophrenia.

for any further query, feel free to contact me at:

Dr.Hemant MittaL

Motivational Speaker - Mind-Body Healer
(MBBS, PG.DPM, M.D.(Mind Mantra Wellness Concepts - Mumbai))
(Specialize in Emotional, Behavioural, Sleep, Memory, Concentration and Sexual Health)
Contact at -