Turtles All the Way Down

by

John Green

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Dr. Singh Character Analysis

Dr. Singh is Aza's therapist. She uses both cognitive behavioral therapy and medication to help control Aza's anxiety and OCD. She encourages Aza to remind herself that her thoughts are just thoughts and don't actually control her, though Aza struggles greatly to accept this. According to Aza, Dr. Singh's catchphrase is that whatever Aza is experiencing is "not uncommon." After Aza's mental breakdown, Dr. Singh encourages Aza to take her medication and reminds her that she will get through this difficult time.

Dr. Singh Quotes in Turtles All the Way Down

The Turtles All the Way Down quotes below are all either spoken by Dr. Singh or refer to Dr. Singh. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dutton Books edition of Turtles All the Way Down published in 2017.
Chapter 5 Quotes

I have these thoughts that Dr. Karen Singh calls "intrusives," but the first time she said it, I heard "invasives," which I like better, because, like invasive weeds, these thoughts seem to arrive at my biosphere from some faraway land, and then they spread out of control.

Related Characters: Aza Holmes (speaker), Dr. Singh
Related Symbols: Circles and Spirals
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

I wanted to tell her that I was getting better, because that was supposed to be the narrative of illness: it was a hurdle you jumped over, or a battle you won. Illness is a story told in the past tense.

Related Characters: Aza Holmes (speaker), Dr. Singh
Page Number: 85
Explanation and Analysis:

You're right that self isn't simple, Aza. Maybe it's not even singular. Self is a plurality, but pluralities can also be integrated, right? Think of a rainbow. It's one arc of light, but also seven differently colored arcs of light.

Related Characters: Dr. Singh (speaker), Aza Holmes
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:

And we're such language-based creatures that to some extent we cannot know what we cannot name. And so we assume it isn't real.

Related Characters: Dr. Singh (speaker), Aza Holmes
Page Number: 89
Explanation and Analysis:
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Dr. Singh Character Timeline in Turtles All the Way Down

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Singh appears in Turtles All the Way Down. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
...She puts a new Band-Aid on her finger and practices her breathing exercises her therapist, Dr. Singh , taught her to calm herself down. Aza checks the "Human Microbiota" Wikipedia article again,... (full context)
Chapter 7
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
...nervous, and asks Aza how the "med situation" is and about her upcoming appointment with Dr. Singh . Aza offers noncommittal answers but explains to the reader that she doesn’t like the... (full context)
Chapter 8
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
After school, Aza drives to her appointment with Dr. Singh . Aza tries to think about what to say to Dr. Singh. She wants to... (full context)
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
Dr. Singh tells Aza she's being cruel to herself by calling herself crazy. Aza asks how a... (full context)
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
Dr. Singh asks Aza if she's taking her medication. Aza says she is, but says it freaks... (full context)
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
Dr. Singh asks Aza to frame her mental state around a word other than crazy. She asks... (full context)
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
Dr. Singh immediately tells Aza she doesn't have C. diff, and runs through the symptoms with Aza.... (full context)
Chapter 13
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
The next day, Aza has an appointment with Dr. Singh . Aza tells her about Davis and Dr. Singh notes that a change in circumstances... (full context)
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
Aza tells Dr. Singh that she fears she's a fiction. She explains that she wonders if there's a part... (full context)
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
Dr. Singh mentions a moment in James Joyce's novel Ulysses where a character speaks to the author,... (full context)
Chapter 17
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
...drinking hand sanitizer won't make her clean or healthy. Back in bed, Aza remembers when Dr. Singh first asked her if she felt like a threat to herself. She wonders how, grammatically,... (full context)
Chapter 18
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
...after school while she waits for Daisy to join her. She thinks she should call Dr. Singh but thinks that it won't do any good, since five years of therapy and three... (full context)
Chapter 21
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
...and the hospital staff thought she was an alcoholic until they got in contact with Dr. Singh . When Dr. Singh arrives, she sits next to Aza and they talk about Aza's... (full context)
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
Dr. Singh comes every morning and a doctor checks on Aza's liver every afternoon. On Aza's last... (full context)
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Dr. Singh comes to Aza's house twice per week. Mom makes sure that Aza takes her medication,... (full context)
Chapter 22
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
...that Davis is going to want to "put his bacteria in her mouth." She remembers Dr. Singh saying that unwanted thoughts are like cars on the road and you don't have to... (full context)