I sometimes worry that all this talk of mental health issues might give the wrong impression to some. Convincing them perhaps, that there is a way of ‘perfect being’. A ‘correct’ way to be, mentally. That to feel depressed, anxious, high, low etc, etc is somehow, wrong.
My own view is that the above feelings are natural (whatever that means) and actually states of being that help us to make decisions and survive in an increasingly complicated world.
I might go so far as to wonder if these so-called negative states are in fact evolutionary and the consequence of the way we live today. In other words what I’m suggesting here is perhaps these states of mind should not be talked away or, (and of course this has to be judged on their severity) even treated. Rather than talking treatments, I’d suggest listening treatments?
What I’m saying here is that these states of what some might call negativity are in fact ‘safety valves’. Warning signs that are basically telling us to slow down, change or, whatever.
To assume that these feelings are wrong is to suggest that there is a better way. A ‘clean, ‘fresh’ way where negativity, bewilderment, anxiety etc does not exist and if it does, it’s bad.
A long time ago I worked for MIND (a mental health organisation). My everyday work was trying to ‘help’ those with mental health issues. It was carried out in the presence of people who were being actively ‘treated’ for all of the above and more. In most cases their treatment was severe and the side effects unpleasant. As I watched, I wondered frequently, if all this pain (because that is what it was), was worth it. And the truth is I never saw anyone get ‘better’. Better controlled yes. Suppressed yes. Easier to ‘handle’, yes…but never, ever ‘cured’.
And I had also begun to notice a disturbing pattern within the Mental Health Issues.
In amongst the drugs regular side effects of listlessness, lack of concentration, dry skin and lips, loss of balance etc, etc there was on the surface a bitter resentment. A ferocious anger aimed towards the NHS (National Health System) staff who administered the drugs. Doctors and nurses who believed wholeheartedly that they were helping, but some might say, were actually medical professionals engaged in (albeit unwittingly), a program of social engineering.
Yes the patients were different. Yes, because their behaviour did not conform they were considered outsiders. That they didn’t fit in was of no doubt. But for God’s sake, did they deserve this?
It was only after a lot of thinking and observation I began to realise you can’t squeeze a size 10 foot into a size 8 shoe. We are not (obviously) all the same and it was a criminal act to try to make it so.
People who are different.
It was the pressure of being on the edge of a society that didn’t want them that brought on the depression, the anxiety, the illness, the mental health issues. Barely surviving in a world that had made them outsiders because they lived outside the system, they had become, collateral damage.
I don’t know what the solution is.
Maybe, because we are so far gone and our ideas regarding mental health so entrenched, there isn’t one.
Perhaps one day Society will get its wish and develop a drug, a treatment that will render us all, exactly the same.
Or perhaps, we just need to learn that eccentricity, different-ness is nothing to be frightened of.
That those who are different should be treasured. They should be respected and often consulted for a different and possibly a more enlightened point of view.