‘Joker’: A Complex Representation of Mental Illness?

Amala Poli // Joker (2019), a film directed by Todd Phillips, and co-produced by Todd Phillips, Bradley Cooper, and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, represents mental illness in a way that is neither easily acceptable or dismissible. Some critics have viewed the film as a troubling representation of mental illness due to its construction of the troubled…

A Rhetorical Shift in Television Representations of Medicine

Amala Poli // A noticeable discursive turn in attitudes toward the medical enterprise has captured different television and talk shows. A recent Netflix show Diagnosis, already reviewed in Synapsis, is a documentary take on medical mysteries that are crowd-sourced for various diagnoses, inviting the participation of experts and patients alike in solving what appear to…

Compelling Associations: Kay Redfield Jamison on the Artistic Temperament in Manic-Depressive Illness

Amala Poli // One of the foremost authorities on manic-depressive illness in the world [1], Kay Redfield Jamison in Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament, attempts to address a compelling association between artistic and manic-depressive temperaments through a literary, biographical, and scientific argument (5). Since the late eighteenth century, the glamorization of certain types…

Inhabiting Inner Worlds: Narrative Threads in ‘Mrs Dalloway’

Amala Poli // Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs Dalloway is a modernist text that captures the preoccupations of Woolf’s time. It also draws a timeless mindscape of an individual suffering from mental illness: the shell-shocked veteran Septimus Warren Smith. This article explores some strands specific to the character and the texts that discuss Woolf’s work on…

Common, yet Unfamiliar: Exploring Sleep Paralysis

Amala Poli // Stillness. A dark room that looks exactly like the one in which you fell asleep. Every detail captured in the first few moments of comprehension. You are awake, or so you think in a minute. Your surroundings begin to dawn on you. But there is this overwhelming sensation of being crushed, of being…

The Indian Mental Healthcare Act 2017: A Challenging Horizon

Amala Poli // In 2017, India’s Parliament passed a new Mental Healthcare Act that sought to address several gaps and problems in the previous act of 1987. While marking a significant moment in Indian history by attempting to prioritize patients’ rights and consent, the new act raises new concerns. Can the status quo be transformed through…