The most banal definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting different results. So I wonder what one is to think of the countless people who began expressing themselves with this definition over and over again and expected to be considered brilliant. Stories that we tell to sensitize the world to the harsh reality of psychological maladies are so often told in a vacuum, that they are absorbed as fairy tales. They are either pure statistics, or tragic personal accounts. So often do people consider the personal accounts a medium with which one could publicly wallow in their own misery. Strangely people find no trouble putting their faith in numbers.

It is odd for the simple reason that numbers can just as easily be manipulated as people. The data tampered on research sheets has no more credibility than the minds played with behind closed curtains. But when an entire community has screamed wolf since it was given a voice and the world dismisses it as a farce, the only logical conclusion that can be drawn from it is that screaming wolf is a greater sin than being one. Generations of prejudice have clouded minds that still preach about how there were no psychological illnesses in their times. unfortunately, just because one turns a blind eye to something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

As a person who has her own share of stories about coping (and sometimes, failure to cope with) mental illness, the greatest tragedy is the ignorance of those around you. and colleges waste no time in establishing that someone with a mental illness is a danger to everyone around them.

The heartbreak of knowing that you have a malady that most don’t even acknowledge is that when someone is vulnerable due to a physical illness, they might not find solutions, but at least their problems are taken seriously. The callous indifference of society towards something they cannot see is a disgrace. And it is ironic that in a country like India where almost everyone believes in at least one mythical creature that is invisible, somehow people with legitimate problems are ostracised as being insane.

The last bastion of progressive thinking is expected to be educational institutions. So it is strange when they don’t practice the principles they shove down the throats of their students. A Christian college doesn’t want to handle someone with depression, even though they preach nothing but the strongest ethics.

When Elizabeth Wurtzel came out with Prozac Nation, the consensus was that she was an attention seeking  brat. Forget the fact that every doctor who met her diagnosed her with serious variation of a mental illness. Forget the fact that a person who had everything she wanted was still chronically in a state of nothing. Countless media figures wasted no time in branding her as a woman who was so consumed in her pity that she could think of no one else. An average depressed mind would go to google the meaning of depression, expecting standard meaningless, over processed answers, and find pages of words in the voice of a woman, a single woman, a spoke with the resonating sounds of millions suffering with mental illnesses, writing down the world of vacuum and nothingness that invaded all of them, that has always been impossible to explain, and apparently unnecessary to understand. And perhaps the only comfort that someone like me could find was in the texture of the pages of that book, someone who was exactly her age when I was hospitalized, and still trying to understand why no one ever could ever perceive beyond their own madness.

18 thoughts on “

  1. you are right……people do not want to be associated with whatever they presume “crazy”. Society wants normal people, to fit in the machinery………
    it makes them consume drugs, so that they are numb and they don’t have to deal with them anymore……..
    but with this growing population of stupid people……….people who understand are also increasing…… at least there is some hope……

    Liked by 1 person

  2. another dangerous phenomena is the romanticizing of mental illness, the mad genius, so you get people mimicking maladies of the mind to justify there personality preferences. i know plenty of people like this, they want to be creative, don’t want to do the work, so the behave like a basket case, in the hope that what little they do create might be expanded by their affectations. this sort of behaviour makes a mockery of actual sufferers of mental illness.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. That is absolutely true. And it gives people the chance to dismiss this issue altogether. Sometimes though, it’s hard to tell the real from the fake cases. It was assumed that I was faking it till I got so bad I had to be put in a hospital. I mean, again unlike things like cancer, it is much harder to validate those who suffer.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I am sorry to hear you had to suffer such a dangerous misunderstanding. It isn’t really peoples’ fault, they don’t know any different. But i believe tolerance of many previously intolerant things is beginning with the media’s coverage of medication and rise in stress related problems.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. It also makes a mockery of what being creative is all about. What they do is an insult to themselves and to actual creative geniuses; like that is all it takes. That said, a lot of people are still very ignorant about mental disorders. However, awareness should improve over time. Also, we can’t expect every other person to be reasonable. There would always be insensitive members of our species. So we should all try to live unburdened by others’ prejudices, as much as we can. Take care. Stay strong.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I wrote a poem years ago on the stigma of mental illness. Your post has motivated me to dig it up and post it. Thanks for sharing… it’s such a struggle with all the misunderstandings as well as inaccurate portrayals in the media.

    -> Person has mental illness, person commits crime, therefore mental illness causes crime.

    instead of…

    -> Person has mental illness, person commits a crime, therefore person is a criminal.

    I have a mental illness, I make poor choices sometimes, I don’t go commit crime. I also don’t tell people I have bipolar unless they are struggling with it and need some experience and hope because of the media.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dthe most frustrating part is knowing that mental illness makes you a likely victim. And yet, mental illness is always associated with crime. People around me know my conditions. And in part because it feels like I have normalised myself in this world.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have also normalized and am usually good at adjusting meds to avoid ups and downs but occasionally I get waylaid. The people closest to me know. I’m gun shy from people in the past responding to me, when I was having a (very normal) bad day with, “did you take your medication?”

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel ya. I come from a long line of depressed people on both sides of the family. “Melancholia.” And none of them ever went for therapy, none were on any kind of antidepressant. I, too, self-medicate (alcohol, weed, kratom, masturbation–whatever works). My oldest son is depressed and is in therapy, on meds and doing so much better, so I applaud that.
    Interesting fact: I seem to be drawn to people with mental illness and they to me. My best friends are beautiful messes like you, like me–bipolar, personality disorders, PTSD, GAD, OCD, etc. They’re all precious people with intricate minds and an intense life-force. Sometimes we’re hanging on to life by a thread, not really wanting to be here. But we commiserate and try to prop each other up, and somehow hang in for another day.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Perhaps there is some overlap, also, in the way people with invisible disabilities ( like ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia, etc) who feel very unwell but look “normal”, are palmed-off with anti-depressants or disbelieved by doctors. The implication being: “It’s all in your head” and “just pull yourself together!”
    Of course, after years of being dismissed in this way: people often end-up depressed. Then the doctors may take that as evidence they were right all along.

    Liked by 1 person

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