So there she was, soaring heights, asking people about mental illness and how they felt. Very bold, very apt, very natural. So I thought, what have I experienced through my ill years, trying to unhide through my hiding? And here I am, asking through soaring heights mind what I wished I could have asked before I came out of that closet none dare enter. Well, if I wished I should have asked before I came out, I would have done exactly that.
>>..what is the average Joe's (if such a person exists, that is) conception of mental illness?
...forget the average Joe, what is YOUR idea of mental illness?
>>>Are you alright? Jesus! OK, she is crazy. Oh ok, so you are a mental health professional. (another psycho...hehe)
>>When would you consider a person to be mentally ill? Think in terms of behaviours or thoughts displayed by a mentally ill person and use these to construct an image of such a person.
>>>Well, ummm, they just keep on talking to themselves, hitting people, acting plain weird.
>>....so now that you have an image of a mentally ill person, do you think you will be likely to use it if you were to deal with a mentally ill person?
>>>yeah, I would walk far far away from that person, and hit him if he were to hit me. He dare not do that to me!
>>.....now, can you try imagining your face in place of the image you constructed, with those thoughts running through your head, and those behaviours being your behaviours, and you being mentally ill.
>>>(She's crazy for sure! Not me.) No Answer
>>How easy or difficult was it for you to construct this image?
How easy was it for you to slip from a detached construction to being personally involved with mental illness?
What are the thoughts and behaviours you attributed to the person with the mental illness?
Did you make her/his mind to be a confused maze without many exit points?
Did you regard the symptoms as volatile, uncontrollable (florid symptoms, as the medical professionals say)?
Did you gloss over the image?
>>>Definitely No Answer...(Incomprehensible language)
This is what I've experienced. However, I remained much detached from such people. Not because they were going against me. But because they were detached from me. (Metallica again..."If you can understand me, then I can understand you...") Igniting anger was hopeless. They can't judge what they don't understand. That is what brings fear, denial.
This was not, however, everything I'd experienced. I've experienced much love, because of which I'm writing here. The answer I feel, leads on to the question. If you ask the right question, you will get the right answer, and so on... So here I was, standing confused, scared (a bit), people now knew about 'me'. Labelled I was. In audible words, yes. Certain talks going on in hushed tones. Things I shouldn't hear. I didn't even care to. Five years down the line. Most of my college mates knew I had some problem. The closest resolved their personal problems to support the me whom they loved. And the rest of them got to know from me later. Literally spilling their neat Smirnoff out as I recounted the days I never had dreamt I would have, days I wish I never relive. And now I've the support of people, a number that I cannot count and neither wish too for an attempt that would be futile towards plain irrationality.
Nothing in this world, nothing, can ever replace the care of the mentally ill, by anything other than love. There are issues that emerge with this care, issues that could anger at the least, shatter hope at the worst, in the caring individuals. It happens. I've seen it happen. The question, however, still remains...The future depends upon the answer you are seeking.