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Dealing with a shadowy world

Special Correspondent

Bangalore: The shadowy world of mental illness is the area of specialisation for Father Hank Nunn, a Jesuit priest of Canadian origin who has made Bangalore his home. He has established, off Bannerghatta Road, Atma Shakti Vidyalaya; a "therapeutic community" for treating chronic cases of mental illness.

"Hidden within the bright glittering world of information technology that is today's Bangalore, is the shadow world of mental illness and I have been involved with it for 25 years," says Fr. Hank. The mentally ill cannot communicate rationally with family or friends or those who want to help them. It becomes acute when the sufferer is a young adult who needs support. "Carl Jung, psychologist, referred to the unconscious real of our personality as the shadow and we all carry that shadow within us. Only when that shadow world begins to trip us, causing some of us have uncontrollable negative feelings, we may start to withdraw in anger and depression," he says.

Mental illness often begins when a person is 15 to 18 and the beginnings are not always obvious, he says.

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