I, Dr. Shashi Bhushan Kumar, M.B.B.S; M.D. (Psychiatry), just, wish to share some deep and memorable experiences of my eventful 19 years journey.
Indeed, in this cyber era and on this information highway, we are all together like a big family. I was born in a farmer family in Bihar. My motherland is one of the biggest cultural heritage places not just in India, but in the entire world. Buddha attained enlightenment here only and lord Mahaveer, also attained salvation in this holy land. World's first residential University, Nalanda, is the symbol of this very geographical area. I consider myself fortunate that I was born in this sacrosanct place. My sagacity grew with growing age and the profession of medicine seemed to me like a divine and the noblest of all professions. With the help of few tablets, my mother, who was suffering from Malaria, not only recovered but started making chappatis again. That incident left an indelible mark on my mind. Since then if anybody asked what I wished to become when I grew up, my quick reply was- Doctor, nothing else but Doctor. Anyway, the journey started. After completing my Intermediate (12th std.) from a Government school, I started my preparations for the medical entrance examination. By the holy grace of God, I tasted success soon and got admission in the Patna Medical College. My ambition was in my heart as time presented a challenge before me and that was to get a Post Graduate degree. Two dreams started growing together, as means was limited but hopes were high. My fondest wish was to do Post Graduation (MD) from AIIMS (Delhi), only. I realized this dream as well with the blessings of all and my sincere hard work. I grew fond of my subject, psychiatry, in a very short span of time. The patients who were suffering from mental illnesses and their families touched my heart deeply. I found the world of psychiatry fascinating and informative and soon my views and opinion began to change in a positive manner. The three years of AIIMS flew away like a dream and it seemed as if I had come, just yesterday.
While studying, I started to examine all aspects of Psychiatry. I thought that this field of science is completely novel as in the beginning of 19th Century; John Christian Reil had used the word “Psychiatry” for the first time, which simply meant “medical treatment of the soul”. But one question started to haunt me and that was, what was the perspective of our Gurus on this subject according to our tradition (how did our ancient Gurus dealt with this field of science as per our tradition). In this sanctimonious journey I came across a very ancient and respected treatise “Charak-Samhita”, which was an overwhelming experience.
It means- Diseases are of three types — (1) Self, (2) Accidental, (3) Mental. Self diseases- Body-related which originates from VATA (the air or Nerve System humour), PITT (the fire humour), KAPHA (the water humour). Accidental- which germinates from poison and polluted air, fire, accident, injury etc. Mental- Mind- related, which emanates as a consequence of the unfulfilled desires and by the acquisition of unwanted things. Not only this, it is mentioned in the Charak Samhita that if a person lives and acts within his social, economic and physical amplitude, he can save himself from mental illnesses. Even today, the basic definition of Psychiatry is the same. If someone agrees with this exposition, he can liberate himself from stress and disharmony. As the time passed, I became a resident of Delhi. But soon afterwards I was dismayed to see the hectic life here. The never-ending rush since morning till evening, the competitive life and cut-throat competition all of this left me exasperated. The breakdown of the joint family system and the increasing weight of the city culture is enough to wear out any human being. Economic liberalization, commercialism and consumer culture has given us a lot of facilities and fulfilled many of our needs but has robbed us of our gaiety and beatitude. Consciously or unconsciously, people are tormented with a lot of problems and their mind/mental health has to pay the biggest price and it becomes quite painful when somebody's mother comes along and informs that her son wants to end his life. Somebody else says that her mother-in-law intends to terminate her life by poisoning the water. The mother of a small kid says that her son cannot retain or recollect whatever he has studied. The pathos and predicament of human suffering forces me to consider this moot question that when would our youth start contributing towards the righteous goal of nation-building? But I am firm in my resolve to serve the society in every possible way.
I did my M.D. in the year 2001 to 2003 from AIIMS, New Delhi and then did my senior residency from Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi in the year 2004 to 2007. Afterwards I worked in Metro Hospital, Patelnagar . Henceforth I joined one of the most esteemed hospitals , 'Indian Spinal Injuries Centre', Vasant Kunj and still serving (giving my humble contribution) there. In addition to this I am proffering my services to Sunder Lal Jain Hospital, Ashok Vihar, New Delhi.
Along with serving people in my humble capacity at above mentioned places, I also run my private clinics at Shalimar Bagh and Rohini. I have strong desire and giving my concerted efforts to ameliorate the suffering of people and to make them free from mental illness.
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