For me and my family, as for countless others, he has been an angel in disguise. For, the ability to not only treat patients of mental illness, but also offer ceaseless support and encouragement to their caregivers with love and warmth is something only an angel can carry out, isn’t it?
I met Dr. Anand Nadkarni around 20 years ago. He treated my mom-in-law, who was a patient of schizophrenia. The anxiety I experienced on learning about her condition eased quite a bit after I met him. The most important reason behind it being, I knew he would always be there to help us and support us as we traversed the rough terrain life can be with a sick family member.
But, the instance when my belief in him grew profoundly was when I discovered my hubby suffered from bi-polar disorder. I remember we were out of town when hubby had an attack. He had been suffering since some days, but I was not aware of the storm brewing in our lives.
I called up the good doctor at an ungodly hour from the resort we were staying at, and he made all the arrangements for hubby to be treated by another doctor at a hospital where hubby had to be admitted, till he himself took over hubby’s case.
Dr. Nadkarni not only treated hubby, but ensured I went in for counselling as I was under enormous pressure. The fact that I am here today, sane and stronger, is all thanks to Dr. Nadkarni.
Dr. Anand Nadkarni has been practicing psychiatry since 30 years now. He began his journey towards bringing the concept of mental health in the spotlight 27 years ago. He established the Institute of Psychological Health, an NGO at Mumbai, where mental health professionals work towards treating mental illness patients, as well as organise support groups and conduct community projects that help spread awareness regarding mental health.
He not only consults patients, but also conducts training programs for corporate executives, and mentors young athletes, artists and players to optimise their performance. He conducts training for elite commando forces and is also the founder and trustee of Muktangan, a de-addiction centre at Pune, Maharashtra. He is also a prolific writer with 17 award-winning books to his credit.
For a man who is so deeply immersed in his work, it will come as a surprise to many to meet this warm, friendly person, who has the knack of putting you at ease the instant you meet him. The time he gives you as a doctor, a counsellor, or even a friend/guide, is all yours, without any distractions whatsoever. I would like to add, simplicity and humbleness are this wonderful man’s forte!
I remember pouring my heart out to him – how I feared losing my sanity from all the stress I went through at home – to which he smiled, kindheartedly, and said, “You are doing absolutely fine, my dear. And, you really need not fear, I am here for you!” These words – spoken almost 15 years ago – echo in my mind as I type this post today.
A man who has spent so many years of his life working towards sensitising the public about mental health; who has made it his life’s mission to bring awareness about mental illness deserves to be called a Hero, isn’t it?
Damyanti Biswas Shilpa Garg Simon Falk, Eric Lahti, Lynn Hallbrooks, and Guilie Castillo are co-hosting the We Are The World Blogfest this month to share a snippet of positive news that shows our essential, beautiful harmony, and restore our faith in humanity.
Do join in with a real life story that speaks of something positive in a world that can be quite a scary place with all the negativity we see around.