Mental illness in America has been that subject that many have shied away from. More and more as time goes by, it is quite evident that something is terribly wrong with our present system of treating those who suffer mentally as many are misdiagnosed or sent to prison because of the troubles that they have gotten into in their brushes with the law. Afterward, many are highly sedated and medicated as though this will be a cure for them but it’s more about “getting them out of our hair” if the truth be told.
On the other hand, many of us who are silently suffering sometimes feel that there is a stigma that will label us as “crazy” or something wrong with us if we sought treatment for depression or thought of hopelessness, worthlessness and suicide.
Many families will distance themselves from getting help and treatment for those who deserve it as they to are human beings but too many families seem to treat that one as a blight on the perfect picture of family life.When family gatherings are underway, a great many persons who suffer from mental illness are not included and placed somewhere where they are not seen, hence the title of this show: Mental Illness In America: That Dreaded Secret In Our Attics.
When it comes to mental illness, many lines are blurred which causes confusion when attempting to understand or categorize the many different manifestations and problems that lead those to that point of being declared mentally ill. There are many questions that we wish to have answered in order to cut through the ignorance on this issue.
What is the difference between those who were born mentally handicapped as opposed to one who had some type of mental breakdown?
Is it more of a mental illness or is it drug use that has accounted for the increased bouts of strange public behavior all the way up to violent acts?
Is medication the best way to deal with one who is mentally ill or is that merely part of the treatment combined with other types of therapy?
Does the family of those suffering a mental illness need counseling on how to deal with the issues of their loved one?
How do we protect those who can’t defend themselves against the mental, physical and sexual abuse that transpires behind closed doors and oftentimes unreported for years if ever at all?
Is it even possible for a person who is suffering from a severe case of mental illness to even live a wholesome life afterward as an independent adult with responsibilities or will they be forever dependent?
No one wants to admit it but to many of us are literally embarrassed that our family member is suffering from something that they may not completely understand and will take the easier route by medicating them in some strange attempt at a “cure.”
What we fail to realize is that those who suffer from mental illness are people to, they have feelings and they are not as aloof as one might think because their feelings can be hurt too. We need to stop alienating our family and friends who need help and the only way to do this is through educating the masses about it and letting them know that there is nothing wrong with needed counsel or asking for help when the going gets tough.
While I am speaking in generalizations, understand that there are many causes and origins for those who may be label as mentally ill. It’s the illness that no one sees sometimes until it is to late although the pressures of the world make it evident from early on that something is just not right. The key here is to get our loved ones to speak up when they sense that they need some external guidance without ridiculing them or brushing off their cries for help.
While I may not be a mental health expert I urge all who have had experiences on a personal level to call in and speak out on something that needs to be uncovered so that those who feel the need to cry out are not ignored in the long run.
Discussion and acknowledgment are the first steps to healing the wounds and that is what we surely will do on tonight’s show!
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