Anything & Everything

April 12, 2015

A Mind Turned Against Itself

Filed under: Health,Musings,Writing — Susan Morgan @ 8:58 am

It’s amazing (and terrible) what your mind can do. Some minds create beauty. Others harbor blackness and ill intent. Some are simple, others astonishingly brilliant. Creative. Quirky. Just plain average. No matter what kind you have, the mind is a source of so much of what you are.

mind-readerAstonishing really that 3 pounds of physical matter has such power.

When your mind turns against you it is a terrible, ruinous thing. The suffering is immeasurable. The pain as intense as any wound or illness of the body. Treatment, if you get it, can be life changing. Going without, debilitating.

It’s just as hard (vital) to treat, to acknowledge and address what happens when our minds are not well. To keep from making sickness of the mind something that brings shame, is hidden, shunned. To put an end to the silent suffering. If we accept physical illness why can we not have some understanding, patience and compassion for problems of the mind?

For the unwilling, inescapable suffering of another human being, if nothing else?

No one pines or prays for crippling depression. Or wishes to be stricken with constant anxiety. Or is profoundly grateful for the genetic risk of serious mental illness they’ve inherited and must carry every day of their lives. Anyone dealt one (or more) of these burdens should be given a pat on the back by the rest of us fortunate enough not to have that struggle.

Shame (silliness) should not enter into it, just as it doesn’t for those with physical disease.

Would you (or anyone) tell a diabetic to “get over” their inability to use or make insulin? How about a cancer patient, would you suggest they just “try a little harder” to kill off those cancer cells? And for someone having an asthma or heart attack, just assure them that they “took their meds” so all should be well. Sounds crazy, which is just what we’re doing when it’s the mind instead of the body causing the trouble.

Mental illness is not a failing, a character flaw or fault of environment. We need to stop treating it like it is. Mentally ill or coping with intellectual disabilities, it seems only too obvious we’ve not advanced nearly so far as we have in treating physical disease. Fighting cancer. Treating chronic conditions or transplanting organs.

Treatment for what the mind can do lags horribly; prejudice still exists and shame still comes with the territory. While this is a reality no one should be allowed to brag about modern marvels or life saving technology. No new electronics. Focus all that energy instead on understanding the suffering of a troubled mind, offering some understanding and resources that might help with (non prescription) treatment.

Do that and you can start crowing again about how “advanced” we all are.


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