She will not move a step, even in an open room. Are you mentally feared? Check here

The horrific murder of Shraddha Walker, allegedly by her live-in partner, Aftab Poonawala, in Delhi, followed by a series of revelations regarding her constant abuse in the relationship, has left all of us thinking about an abusive relationship, its gruesome consequences and possible solutions for the victims. 

Speaking at Times Now summit, Women and Child Development minister Smriti Irani stressed the importance of confronting violent partners and categorically mentioned how ‘mental fear’ among women/girls leaves them with no choice but to succumb to their partners’ abuse. 

“It is very easy to say to a woman to leave the abuser, but anyone who has worked on the issue and has studied the psychology and cycle of such violence, will know that mental fear is such that you can leave a woman in an open room she will not move a step,” the minister said. 

The Union Minister also emphasised the need for introspection for all who are aware of such constant violence but decide to stay quiet. “The issue is who are the people at the workplace, the family who knew that she was violated and threatened but were somehow compelled not to help,” she added.

Experts view

Dr. Priyanka Sarkar, a prominent Sport Psychologist believes physical punishment had been used as a popular method to teach discipline, but it leaves a huge impact on the receiving end.

“It takes years to realise the difference between discipline and abuse. This results in deep-rooted psychological conditions like stress, anxiety and nervousness, to name a few,” says Dr. Priyanka. 

She further explains that most women don’t speak against abusive relationships because of fear of more violence; hence, they end up confining themselves to the circumstances at hand.

While commenting on Smriti Irani’s a woman with a mental fear…. leave an open room’ remark, Dr. Priyanka believes financial support and societal impressions influence a larger part of their decisions. 

“What if caught while escaping” or “how can I survive” is a horror that plays in their mind constantly. And we live in a society where compromises in troubled marriages are common. Parents, the police and society ask the woman to “adjust” and live with her husband. The abuse might stop for a while, but again the husband continues domestic violence until the wife ends up giving up on her life,” adds Sarkar. 

Mental fear

Emotional response to a physically dangerous or threatening situation characterised by stress, anxiety, and nervousness. 

Symptoms of mental fear

The physiological symptoms might be increased heart rate, feeling weak or tired, hyperventilation, and having trouble focusing.

When subjected to prolonged and untreated circumstances, it might also result in panic & social anxiety disorder, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorders. 

Unfortunately, we are all students of the “University of YouTube” and rush to diagnose ourselves at the onset of any symptom. Any mental illness needs to be given the same importance as physical illness. 

It would be best if you didn’t google the symptoms to diagnose yourself. Diagnosis has to be strictly done by a psychiatrist or a Clinical psychologist. So it is for the registered practitioner to diagnose the person. 

ALSO READ || Slapped, abused and physically hurt? Smriti Irani has few suggestions, check here

Methods to cope with mental fear:

Fear is a negative emotion and so managing negative emotions is ideal. Keep track of your positive experiences each day. It’s even better if you write about your experiences because words can lead to conceptual development, which will help you predict new emotions to cultivate positivity. 

Develop a COAL attitude in which we are Curious, Open, Accepting, and Loving toward ourselves no matter what we’re going through. Despite all the above, you will still feel negative emotions that might make you anxious, sad, etc. At that moment, move your body.

Take a walk or dance if you must. Moving your body will change the predictions and, thereby, your emotions. But remember, therapy is therapy, and alternatives are not therapy. 

ALSO READ || Mental Adjustment; key to success in competitive sports. But what is mental adjustment? Keys aspects, challenges and solution

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