As the university admissions near, i’m getting a lot of questions about what i’m going to pursue. I used to say i’m going to major in Psychology, but I know better now. The reactions that people here give me are rather prejudiced, and unexpected. They say, why would you want to major in psychology?? You’ll become a psycho studying it. And while many of them mean it as a joke, some say it quite seriously. They say most psychologists we’ve seen become mentally ill themselves. And that results in me explaining to them the difference between psychology and psychiatry.
It’s true that sometimes a psychologist is influenced by his patient’s illness, but that only happens out of serious concern, and is not permanent. It does not mean that the psychologist himself has got that illness. Psychologists are actually very helpful to the world. Studying psychology has always been an interest for me since i’m very curious about the mind.
And that’s what psychology is. The study of mind and behaviour. Getting to know humanity. understanding people. Finding out what causes emotional and psychological stress in people. What the root cause of their stress is. Finding out what makes for better mental development. How much our physical state affects our mental state. What triggers emotions. What makes for a better learner…. The subject is so vast, that it has not even been given a very definite definition yet. Though I think it would be most appropriate to define it as the study of mind and behaviour. It’s a vast enough definition and covers the scope of the subject.
So with the subject being that vast, it really isn’t fair to judge it based on one small part of it. Psychology aims for better mental experiences, and health. And it has gained quick acceptance all over the world, people are fascinated by it’s subject matter. It’s the key to knowing and possibly even controlling human minds, though the controlling aspect might make it sinister. If you know psychology, you’ll know how to handle people better, you’ll be able to handle personal traumas better, you’ll be able to help others handle them. You will be able to love people better by understanding them. You’ll know to hate for the right reasons.
One problem that I’ve noticed many people have with psychology students-and I say students because I think professional psychologists are better able to contain themselves and know to keep their analyzing minds to the office and refrain from judging- is that they start trying to analyze everyone they interact with. They start trying to study them and their situations. Well cut them some slack, I say. They’re only exploring their subject. Everyone does it. You learn something new, you try to find it in society. You develop an interest in a subject, you try to study it in depth in real life. And if that subject is psychology, then our laboratories are your minds. And our own minds too.
Of course, I admit, it must be frustrating to know you’re being analyzed, maybe judged too. And it probably doesn’t feel nice. But that’s how the developing psychologist learns his limits. Learns to control his curiosity, his power. And by all means, tell him off if it gets too creepy!
Another thing, we Muslims are prejudiced against the subject because of some psychologists like Freud I think. But hey, we can’t alter theories if we don’t get into the subject and introduce better ones, now can we?
Here I will end my rant, or justification, or explanation-call it what you may. It felt nice to say this, though I see I got slightly carried away up there.