Bhram – The Haunted Past is an upcoming eight-part psychological horror/thriller digital drama starring Kalki Koechlin as the protagonist Alisha. She is a novelist suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Owing to her condition, Alisha experiences all sorts of extremes – paranormal, psychological, physical and others. She even sees a girl, who supposedly died 20 years ago, outside her bedroom window, but kya #SabBhramHai? The Sangeeth Sivan directorial is one of the rare attempts to throw light on PTSD. Read on to know more about it on World Mental Health Day which is celebrated on October 10 every year to raise awareness of mental health issues and advocate against social stigma.
What is PTSD?
In Layman’s language, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder abbreviated as PTSD is an anxiety disorder a person may develop after going through trauma. Many of us experience trauma, but not all of us are able to get over it. It affects our physical, mental and social health in ways more than we can imagine. Things we once loved might turn to a fear-inducing trigger, or even lead to the development of new fears. Even when the trauma has passed, the fear lingers on long after. It is the inability to tackle that fear may result in PTSD. Several schools of thought believe that PTSD is not an actual disorder but a response to stimuli, in case here it is trauma. Natural calamities, violence, death, sexual abuse, etc can trigger PTSD too.
Catch a glimpse of Kalki Koechlin’s character Alisha live in a personal hell in Bhram here:
Symptoms of PTSD:
Symptoms of PTSD may manifest within months or even years after the trauma has occurred. There is no clock here. Nightmares or flashbacks of the traumatic event, emotional stress, guilt, concentration issues, hopelessness can be termed as symptoms of PTSD.
The National Center for PTSD lists four specific symptoms that may vary from person to person. The four main symptoms include:
1. Re-experiencing the trauma through thoughts, flashbacks or nightmares.
2. Avoiding places, people, situations, activities or conversations that remind of the traumatic event.
3. Difficulty in sleeping, concentrating, feeling guilty, shameful, numb, afraid, distrustful of places/people, disinterested, easily angered or irritated.
4. Always on the alert, feeling worked up, jittery or hyped.
PTSD cannot be blamed on the person suffering from the condition. However, feeling embarrassed or guilty may often lead to the person not seeking any help.
The good news is that PTSD has effective treatments. But if left untreated, it may lead to chronic depression, anxiety, and panic attacks, which can pose a greater risk to mental health. The symptoms could get in the way of day-to-day functioning too.
More awareness needed:
The stigma attached to mental health leads a person to ‘suffer in silence.’ Feeling stressed post-trauma is completely normal, but not dealing with it may lead to psychological problems that may result in PTSD.
One can and should deal with trauma if need be by opening about the event and undergoing therapy. Psychotherapy and medication are used to deal with traumatic stress. If attended in time, PTSD is a treatable disorder. Several people assume that only war veterans suffer from the posttraumatic stress disorder. Let us tell you that anybody can suffer from it. We need to spread as much awareness as possible about the condition.
To understand PTSD, once must first realize that the condition in no way is a sign of weakness. India is an ocean of taboo subjects, mental health is one of them. PTSD, in fact, is an indicator of your survival. It is because you made it. Our country especially needs special attention to PTSD. Considering it is only now the dialogue around depression and anxiety has opened, thanks to celebrities like Deepika Padukone, Ileana D’cruz, Shaheen Bhatt amongst others who shared their experience on public platforms and motivated others around to take note.
Bhram will start streaming on ZEE5 from 24 October 2019. Stay tuned for more updates and dope on the forthcoming web series.
In the meanwhile, watch Aghori a supernatural thriller on ZEE5.