Vijayawada

‘Mental illness not ground for seeking divorce’

08-04-2015 ANDHRA PRADESH, RAJAHMUNDRY-Eminent psychiatrist Dr. Karri Rama Reddy and Director of Apple Valley Pre-School Gathey Kishore presenting memento to a kid during kids Graduation Day on Wednesday in Rajahmundry. Photo-S. Rambabu

Many are under the assumption that mental illness is a valid ground for divorce. “It is a very big misconception,” says Rajahmundry-based psychiatrist Karri Rama Reddy.

One of the panellists at a discussion on ‘Potential Legal Issues in Day-to-Day Practice – Play it Safe’, organised as part of the two-day ‘Telugu PsyCon’, the senior psychiatrist answered a series of queries from specialists from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Pointing to cases wherein prescriptions were produced in court as evidences of mental illness with a plea for divorce, he said most people were under the wrong notion that medical illness was a ground for seeking divorce.

“Patients of mental disorder,” he said, “are, therefore, afraid of leaving their prescriptions around. Sometimes, prescriptions can also enhance social stigma.”

Citing instances of patients suffering from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder leading normal married lives with the help of treatment, Dr. Reddy sought to explain that divorce could not be granted unless there was evidence to show that the illness had left the spouse incapable of leading a married life.

Another popular misconception, he maintained, was that marriage could cure mental illness. On the other hand, it gets worse after marriage. “There are several cases where mental illness surfaces after marriage, and both parties seek help from a psychiatrist,” he said.

When asked if it was mandatory to mention the diagnosis on the prescription, Dr. Reddy said it was not essential but advised doctors to maintain files with details of diagnosis and medication. Stressing the need for confidentiality in such matters, he suggested that psychiatrists maintain files so that the history of the patient was known to them if treatment was discontinued.

Divorce cannot be granted unless there is evidence to show that the illness had left the spouse incapable of leading a married life.

Karri Rama Reddy,

Psychiatrist


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Printable version | May 5, 2022 11:21:31 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/mental-illness-not-ground-for-seeking-divorce/article8024521.ece