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What Does It Feel Like To Lose One’s Mind?

February 1, 2014

Healthism, Insanity, Madness, Mental Health

Insanity

Someone I love (let’s call him RT) is scared he is losing his mind and, given certain behavioral characteristics since childhood, he may be right. He is currently in a psychiatric hospital, a location which, to my naïve and unprofessional mind, is a sure way to speed the process of complete detachment from the wider world.

What is it like to lose one’s mind? Is it like the approach of night, a darkening or blackening of one’s range of perception? Is it like the loss of peripheral vision but with respect to thought, that is to say, you don’t notice it until you attempt to think about certain things or think in a certain type of way? For RT it appears to be more a delusional way of looking at the world together with an inability to cope with the normal activities of daily living. There is a certain tension in the fact that, while RT is unable to function safely in the real world without constant monitoring, it is the real world which seems to provide the only anchor for his mind, which otherwise would sink rapidly into delusional oblivion.

Religious leaders, sensing his vulnerability, have already been circling, filling his mind with their bogus certainties. Told that he would go to hell for failing to adhere to the strict doctrines of orthodoxy, eschatological fears were needlessly added to his daily burden of living. Despite lacking both an aptitude for self-examination as well as certain practical life skills, RT had once had a fine mind, one capable of nuanced judgments based on wide reading although limited real-life experience. However, retirement and the loss of his life partner of many years, seems to have triggered the rapid growth of a range of insecurities that had long been present, but which had been kept in check by the constraints of both work and family life.

When I spoke to him by phone the other day, RT did not know he had been admitted into a psychiatric hospital, but I heard the fear in his voice as he described the strange people he was meeting and the horror he felt at the possibility of being swallowed up in the cavernous depths of such a frightening place. By now he has probably been involuntarily committed because he is perceived as a danger to himself, losing even his legal personhood.

In another age RT would have been simply another member of the extended family, living on a farm and given jobs to do well within his capacity. A little slow and eccentric maybe, but RT would have enjoyed being around the children and other family members, would have enjoyed sitting at the table with everyone for dinner, and otherwise being looked after without being singled out for pity or special help. RT would have grown old with dignity engaging meaningfully with the world around him. Modern urban life, on the other hand, seems harsh by comparison, adding as it does, complexity to even the most basic tasks in life.  More importantly, it also encourages the belief that the pursuit of sanity is the job of each individual, and that when we fall below certain standards the only solution is institutionalization, which, by cutting off the individual from the wider community, only hastens the  process of mental dissolution.

______________________

“Health is a complex, dynamic process that has to do with social relations, land, and cultural identity, which are all linked to quality of life.”  Othmar F. Arnold at Ofradix

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About Malcolm Greenhill

Malcolm Greenhill is President of Sterling Futures, a fee-based financial advisory firm, based in San Francisco. I write about wealth related issues in the broadest sense of the word. When I am not writing, reading, working and spending time with family, I try to spend as much time as possible backpacking in the wilderness.

View all posts by Malcolm Greenhill

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50 Comments on “What Does It Feel Like To Lose One’s Mind?”

  1. Bonnie Marshall Says:

    You write with such insight and kindness, Malcolm. )B

    Reply

  2. johnrchildress Says:

    The old saying, it takes a village to raise a child, has just been given a new meaning. Thanks, Malcolm.

    Reply

  3. Othmar Says:

    Malcolm,
    I whole heartedly agree with your conclusion, that in another time (or culture) a person like RT would be compassionately included in an existing social network (or burnt at the stake). In our society, we have several systems that claim the authority to know what is best for us: Medicine has a diagnosis and a treatment, social services and/or law enforcement have the power to apprehend a person for safety reasons, the churches save a soul, etc. There are many ways into the systems, but very few out!
    Thank you for speaking out for a more humane medicine and a caring attitude, which goes hand in hand with the idea of empowering the individual, diversity, and the sense of community that has to come from the heart and not be mandated and regulated from an ascribed source of power.

    Reply

  4. Hanne T. Fisker Says:

    Your post raise really good questions (as it always does) and it made me think of words by Krishnamurti: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a sick society” Once, people who saw things differently in a tribe was honored as medicine-men and Seers, today we diagnose them as being sick.They are not looked upon that they might be on to something that we can’t see. They are not really being seen. They are not listened to that they might bring something new to our world and perception of it. They are looked upon with superior eyes that see them as weak. It’s rarely looked upon how tremendous strength is required to survive and fight off feeling so shitty, insecure and perhaps judged. On another note, entering this darkness full of uncertainties and fear can be, if looked upon with love and delicacy, this persons greatest breakthrough towards their own true being and unique walk in the world. It’s a tough journey, since the ‘programming’ is fighting to keep its tight grip on you, but the darkness can also be a sign that the programs are loosing the battle and they do all that is in their power not to be thrown in the recycle bin. Like the well known sentence; the darkest night is before dawn. He might in fact be on his way to be liberated from who he was taught to be. The wound is the place where light enters you” Rumi or in other words even though it’s for writers I think it can count for all of us; the French poet Edmond Jabes said about the birth of big creative ideas that dramatically transform one’s life: “For the writer, discovering the work he will write is both like a miracle and a wound, like the miracle of the wound.”

    Reply

    • Casey Says:

      I wish there was a way to ‘like’ your comment. Well said.

      I am very much in agreement with what Hanne has said, right down to the quotes.

      Have you ever heard of the Soteria Project of the 70’s? Loren Mosher, a Harvard trained M.D. felt that the best way to treat schizophrenia and psychosis was drug-free, with compassion and personal support.

      “Soteria was just a house, with regular people (not mental health professionals) trained to take care of people not by pouring toxic concoctions of psychiatric drugs down these clients throats… not by pushing these clients around… but instead by building relationships.

      Soteria clients did better, of course, than those who were pushed through the strangling ringer of the current mental health system. But that data threatened the mental health system, and the profession has done much to try to suppress the “evidence based” humane, empowering model that Soteria championed.”

      This was best done with first-time psychotic patients, so that they hadn’t been through traditional psychiatric techniques which would only serve to entrench the behaviors.

      Kazimerez Dabrowski had a whole theory of positive disintegration whereby the process of ‘de-conditioning’ entailed spontaneous mental breakdowns and restructuring as a necessary step towards higher personality development.

      I really, truly believe medication is interfering with a valuable process. He was aware that some people do not make it through this process. If they don’t re-integrate at a higher level, they will at a lower level. If they don’t re-integrate at all, they kind of get stuck in madness.

      But he still saw this breakdown as absolutely necessary part of the developmental process.

      There is a very brief overview of what TPD is here:

      http://positivedisintegration.com/#overview

      I think if people were given an understanding of the benefits to mental breakdowns, they would not be so afraid of them.

      Reply

      • Malcolm Greenhill Says:

        Casey, thank you. This is fascinating information. Loren Mosher’s work sounds similar to that of the late Dr. Thomas Szasz, particularly his belief in drug-free treatment for schizophrenia. I am interested in whether your view is that drugs should never be used to treat mental illness. I am actually thinking of RT because there was a time when he was thinking suicidal thoughts and anti-depressant medication brought on a remarkably quick recovery, although the effect was not permanent and he subsequently suffered a relapse.

        Reply

        • Casey Says:

          I think this is something that is a case-by-case basis. People need to have choices. And a valid choice a person might make could be for medication or a parent might need to make for a child under the age of 18.

          I don’t want to make a sweeping generalization when I know there are some people that swear by their medications.

          And there are others with general life problems that request medications that aren’t needed. Most people call themselves depressed when what they really are is sad. We are a nation who fears sadness and runs from normal stages of the grieving process.

          I just know that “happy is not the only acceptable emotion”.

          I just know I’ve had suicidal thoughts off and on since I was 13 (and was being bullied by classmates, then later bullied by my mother, and then later experiencing problems with my husband’s binge drinking and depression), but never medicated myself for them. I’ve had mild anxiety and PTSD. Never medicated for that either.

          I know my sadness and my grief intimately. I learn to dance with the pain. To let it ride without trying to stop it prematurely. I just learned to feel everything and hold on.

          Most people just want an end to their pain and they think suicide is the only way to end it. Usually, they are people in double binds with choices restricted by social or religious constraints and simply can’t think of a solution that they can live with. We live in a fear-based, shame-based culture who don’t know how to connect with each other and who won’t let each other feel their real feelings. So many people are pushing people to ‘get over’ things too quickly. So they learn to push themselves to get over things before they had a chance to even process their feelings or even identify what they are feeling.

          I recently spent time with a friend who had two suicide attempts in 6 months. She was still in a very tenuous situation emotionally (and in a huge freaking double bind situation with regards to her son and her ex who was abusive) but what compounded her distress was the fact that every time she cried out for help, her parents threatened to hospitalize her and some of her friends threatened to tell her family who would have done so. Knowing this, and knowing what i’ve been through and survived, I simply just sat with her and gave witness to her pain. I spent 8 hours with her one day. I didn’t try to convince her to stick around but told her she’d be missed by a lot of people. I jspent time with her, took her to get a free massage and craniosacral session from my husband and went to Costco so she could get some grocery and cried with her and held her when she needed holding. I told her I loved her and I’d understand if she needed to go, if the situation she was in was completely untenable.

          The last I’ve heard, she’s experiencing a turn-around and getting her life back on track. She’s on medication but it was also her choice. There is no way I’d ask her to give up her medication if it’s working for her and she feels more capable in her ability to meet the challenges sent her way.

          I believe, if someone is able to remain alive, not a danger to himself or others and is productive on medication with little side effects, AND WANTS medication and is living well with medication that’s the right choice. I know there are people who have been helped by medication and want to stay on it.

          But I also have read some research reports about how some of these medications are not working like they are intended to. And that eventually, the brain seeks equilibrium and undoes the effects. And not only do they not simply affect the brain, but other organs that also have the same receptors (causing damage to other organs that don’t need to be medicated). I don’t recall the article off the top of my head to reference, but it wouldn’t be too hard to find.

          I also know that there are many, many people who have been harmed by iotrenogenic effects of medications. There are many people on a cocktail of very dangerous combinations of drugs (often additional drugs being prescribed to counter the effects of the original drugs)…and a LOT of misdiagnosis and little in the way of long term support and with little counsel of how to build a toolbox of self-care skills. Quick fixes with no long-term support in place is bound to fail.

          It’s not been my choice and in the future, won’t be my choice. But I know there are so many other things that do work for me.

          And yeah, I know a bit about Thomas Szasz

          http://thesprightlywriter.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/the-myth-of-mental-illness/

          There is a lot of misdiagnosis. A lot of misunderstanding about what is really going on. a lot of things can be mistaken for something else…

          Anyway…I’m sure I could say more…but I’ve already rambled on too much…if you really want to read more, you could look up Monica Cassani’s blog Beyond Meds on wordpress. She’s got a great resource there, chock full of research resources, alternative options to meds for healing.

        • Casey Says:

          Sorry for the typos…it’s about 1 am and my ex-brother in law died today in a car crash. It’s been a long hard day, but i knew I wouldn’t be able to get back to you for a while if I didn’t respond tonight.

      • Hanne T. Fisker Says:

        Casey, thank you much for this massive piece of insight And the ‘like’ :). I still haven’t looked deeper into all of the links you send, but your words resonates with what I poorly tried to express.

        Reply

    • Malcolm Greenhill Says:

      Hanne, I agree with you that sometimes wonderful transformations can emerge from the darkest of experiences but very often depression is simply a mentally and physically debilitating condition resulting from illogical mental tapes and bio-chemical causes. If untreated this can frequently lead to serious illness and even death. RT in the post is suspected of having damaged his heart from being so depressed.

      Reply

      • Hanne T. Fisker Says:

        I agree with you Malcolm, my question is to look deeper than the condition towards what might have caused it to happen in the first place and thereby also looking at the one in darkness with fresh and open eyes, to look at these mental and psychological conditions from a different place and with different eyes than from what might have caused it in the first place. And yes, we damage our whole physicality with our thoughts as well as we can heal it with our thoughts… “laugh it off” as you once wrote. I’m not excluding treatment, however this might work even better if it was all looked upon from a different mindset than what might have created it (Einstein)

        Reply

  5. Michael R. Edelstein Says:

    Malcolm, thank you for bringing this important issue to light.

    It is quite sad to see individuals deteriorate in this manner. As a clinical psychologist, I help them return to a more functional view of themselves and the world. Toward this end, I assure such benighted souls it’s impossible “to lose one’s mind.” Our minds our always with us. It’s how we use our minds that’s at issue.

    Although “losing one’s mind” acts as an innocuous metaphor for many of us, the expression tends to reinforce for those afflicted misguided views causing them initially to descend into their disoriented state.

    A more helpful and immediately actionable way to describe their experience involves the notion that, rather than losing their minds, their thinking is misguided and they can learn to change their thinking. Having established that, rather than embarking on the amorphous, impossible task of helping them find their minds, we can help them adopt a more functional view of themselves, their capabilities, and their options.

    Michael R. Edelstein, Ph.D.
    http://ThreeMinuteTherapy.com

    Reply

    • Malcolm Greenhill Says:

      Michael, thank you for pointing out the problem with the “losing one’s mind” metaphor. I assume you agree that there are also bio-chemical causes of depression? Also, I wonder what you think of Casey’s comment quoting Dabrowski on the importance of having a mental breakdown as “a necessary step towards higher personality development”.

      Reply

  6. Iris Weaver, Shamanic Herbalist Says:

    Oh, Malcolm, I have such compassion for your friend. Losing your mind is awful, a scary unknown experience that is utterly bewildering.

    I am sitting here feeling I am losing mine from the effects of Prozac withdrawal. I am working hard not to go anywhere near a hospital, as you are absolutely right, the “treatment” there would only make things worse.

    It is terribly difficult when what has been tucked away and suppressed comes to the surface for healing but occludes one’s perceptions of the present and forcefully demands that one pay attention to it. It leaves little emotional or mental room for everyday functioning. This is when a community is needed to hold and care for the person. Our society doesn’t have that, has only labeling and pathologizing for answers. It is inhumane and unconscionable, in my opinion.

    And you are also right that in another time and place your friend would be held in the family and community and nurtured as he went through this spiritual emergency of change and growth, and would be loved and valued for what he did have to offer. And would probably move through this time and be more present as he healed.

    Blessings to him. I hope you are able to give him support.

    Reply

    • Malcolm Greenhill Says:

      Iris, thank you. It’s interesting that like Hanne and Casey you also use the words “change and growth” as if you believe it’s inevitable that something new and better will emerge from the experience.

      Reply

  7. Mikels Skele Says:

    The cult of rugged individualism is our curse. Ironically, in those earlier times you alluded to, there really were rugged individuals, who nevertheless recognized another’s inabilities, and did what they could. In our modern cult, we’re all about our rights, and none of our responsibilities toward each other.

    Reply

    • Malcolm Greenhill Says:

      Mikels, thank you. I would say that the cult of rugged individualism is certainly a two-edged sword. I would also add that the state has done much to erode what Albert Jay Nock called “social power”. For example, if you know that the state has provided homeless shelters you are much less likely to open up your home to the homeless.

      Reply

      • Mikels Skele Says:

        True, but how many of the homeless end up with shelters in either system? Seems to me that’s the key consideration. Shall we sacrifice a few so that we can feel more charitable?

        Reply

        • Malcolm Greenhill Says:

          Mikels, you are assuming that when the state attempts to help the homeless that is exactly what it does, something that is far from the truth. I apologize for quoting myself again to you but I did touch on this subject in more detail in another post here.

        • Mikels Skele Says:

          “Approximately one third of the homeless are mentally ill and approximately three quarters are substance abusers” Source? And if this is true, how are we individuals supposed to help with that? Sounds like it requires institutional intervention, rather than “ask a junkie to dinner.”

        • Malcolm Greenhill Says:

          Mikels, thank you. I really appreciate your challenging questions. If you Google the subject the numbers are similar to the ones that Marvin Olasky quotes in his book, The Tragedy of American Compassion. He says there that “Most of the homeless – three fourths of all men in a Baltimore study conducted by clinicians from John Hopkins University – are substance abusers.” The numbers are taken from Policy Issues in Homelessness: Current Understanding and Directions for Research by Randall K. Filer and Marjorie Honig at the City University of New York. Olasky also says that the mentally ill may constitute up to a third of the homeless quoting publications by E. Fuller Torrey, Nowhere to Go: The Tragic Odyssey of the Homeless Mentally Ill and Thirty Years of Shame: The Scandalous Neglect of the Mentally Ill Homeless.

          Yes, this problem does require, among other things, institutional intervention, but why do you assume that only the state can provide that? Before the state attempted to monopolize the social welfare function the latter was provided by a plethora of voluntary organizations such as unions, churches, cooperatives, philanthropic foundations, charities, friendly societies and corporations, not to mention non-institutional friends, relatives and neighbors.

        • Mikels Skele Says:

          Indeed, all unregulated and many not only ineffective but downright unhealthy. True, many were also wonderful. Much like the private nursing homes we still have.

        • Malcolm Greenhill Says:

          Oh dear Mikels, I have a long way to go with you 🙂 In all your life experience interactions with individuals, organizations, businesses and institutions are you really convinced that the only effective interactions are ones that are regulated by the state? Do you really think reputation, credibility, a tit-for-tat ethic, competition and general empathy are not the decisive factors in these interactions? Do you really think that no government actions are “ineffective” and “downright unhealthy”? Which institution would you rather deal with, the Post Office or FedEx?

          Most government welfare programs such as the War on Poverty have been an unmitigated disaster well documented by Charles Murray and others (Charles Murray’s book ‘Losing Ground’ is a bit dated now but it’s a good place to start). Of course many private philanthropic efforts fail, that is how we discover what works and what doesn’t. The difference is that when a particular institution that has a monopoly (in this case the government) fails, the failure tends to be prolonged at the taxpayer’s expense. Furthermore, the incentives of a monopolist are very different from those of private institutions and private individuals. Government welfare programs are riddled with political corruption and bureaucratic incentives that vitiate any initial good intentions.

        • Mikels Skele Says:

          Post office for me. It’s cheaper and more effective, I’ve discovered, in spite of being hamstrung by conservatives in congress. Thanks for your tip about which book you agree with to start my long journey of proper education. I think I’ll pass all the same, and I think I’ll pass also on the invitation to engage in dueling references. Unmitigated disaster? Unmitigated hyperbole, as is your characterization of my comment. You seem to despise government. Might I suggest a vacation in Somalia?

        • Malcolm Greenhill Says:

          “Cheaper and more effective”. The Post Office ran up a deficit of 15.9 billion dollars in 2012. As to references, your initial comment on this thread requested sources for my reference to the number of homeless who are mentally ill and substance abusers so it was reasonable of me to believe that you want sources for other statements that you might otherwise find surprising. I value your comments and cannot see why you thought I was characterizing them as hyperbole.

          However, since you suggested that I take a vacation in Somalia I checked up on what 20 years of anarchy have done to Somalia. The results may surprise you. Seriously, I am not claiming that the absence of a state is a sufficient condition for bliss, but rather the more modest claim that however prosperous and law-abiding a society is, adding an institution claiming a monopoly on the use of physical force and violence will only tend to make matters worse.

        • Mikels Skele Says:

          You may be surprised to learn that, unlike private business, the priority of the post office is not to make a profit for their stockholders. In any case, the PO deficit is entirely due to congress refusing to let it set it’s own policies. And despite the deficit, it remains the cheapest and most effective way to send mail. As for Somalia, I’m speechless. Do you really rank economic improvements above the myriad problems suffered by civilians, cited in the same article you refer to above? Did it not occur to you that the millions made by the pirates may have contributed to rise in per capita income? And do you really think Somalia’s previous military dictatorship is comparable to the US government? But the part of your comment that truly amazes me is “adding an institution claiming a monopoly on the use of physical force and violence will only tend to make matters worse.” Shoot ’em up, cowboy. Lynch mobs forever.

        • Malcolm Greenhill Says:

          Mikels, I am, of course, aware that profit is not a priority of the Post Office. Only a company that does not make profit a priority can get itself into the mess that the Post Office has. Here is the conclusion of the Forbes’ article I linked to earlier:

          “The Postal Service is locked in a death spiral of more losses, poorer service, fewer customers, more losses. The system needs money, lots of it. However, Uncle Sam has none to give. The only answer is to turn mail delivery over to market competition.”

          You say: “And despite the deficit, it remains the cheapest and most effective way to send mail.” How can you ignore the deficit when making a statement about how cheap it is for the end user to send mail? Who pays for the deficit if not the end user and others through taxation? You say that because it appears that I despise government I should take a vacation in Somalia. It is then, a reasonable response to quote a BBC report that says:

          “Remarkably for a country which has suffered two decades of conflict, living standards have slowly improved. Somalia remains poor in relation to most African countries, but its economy and its people have found ways to get by without a government.”

          You were “speechless” thinking that I was ignoring the very real suffering of the Somali people. However, you ignored the fact that I started the next sentence with the word “Seriously” showing that I was just replying to your cheeky suggestion and not in fact recommending Somalia as any model.

          Finally you were truly amazed that I suggested that “adding an institution claiming a monopoly on the use of physical force and violence will only tend to make matters worse.” You concluded by intimating that without government we would have lynch law. However, you ignore the fact that until Brown versus Board of Education in 1954, segregation, which encouraged lynch law, was enforced by the U.S. government. You also ignore the fact that nowadays business is contracted around the world among parties from all countries. Although there is neither a world government, nor a world court, businesses don’t go to war with each other over contract disputes. The reason they don’t is that parties to international transactions usually select in advance the dispute settlement mechanism they prefer from among the many options available to them. Few choose trial by combat. It is too expensive and unpredictable. Many elect to submit their disputes to the London Commercial Court, a British court known for the commercial expertise of its judges and its speedy resolution of cases that non-British parties may use for a fee. Others subscribe to companies such as the American Arbitration Association that provide mediation and arbitration services. Most do whatever they can to avoid becoming enmeshed in the coils of the courts provided by the federal and state governments of the US which move at a glacial pace and provide relatively unpredictable results. The evidence suggests that international commercial law not only functions quite well without government courts, it functions better because of their absence.

          Mikels, I have enjoyed this discussion as I have others with you, but I’m sure you will agree it has taken us far from the original subject of the post. If you wish I will let you have the last word but then I will close the thread. Thank you once again for being willing to engage with me.

  8. Anne Says:

    RT is very fortunate to have you as a friend.

    Thank you for this insightful post. It has given me a lot to think about.

    Reply

  9. becwillmylife Says:

    It’s depressing how we have become a society that alienates individuals when they need us the most. I can’t imagine how scary this must be for your friend/loved one. It’s probably time for me to evaluate how I would respond to a loved one in the very same situation.

    Reply

    • Malcolm Greenhill Says:

      Yes, scary for them and in today’s urban environment, scary for the caregiver. How many of us stay at home all day and have the time, even if we have the inclination, to supervise and care for someone who might be a danger to themselves or others?

      Reply

  10. NicoLite Великий Says:

    I once thought I was losing my mind. I had no idea why I was doing what I was doing, I felt like I was being pushed toward something by an external force, with no say in the matter. That was ca. 6 years ago. My will was paralyzed, my body and mouth acted on their own. It was terrifying. Luckily, it lasted for only a few days. I was not hospitalized, and I doubt I would have been, since the other controller was acting fairly rationally. But I am still wary of this state. I don’t ever want something like that to happen again.

    Good care for mental patients, or any medical care, is exorbitantly expensive. If you have the room, and the time, keeping them at home seems like a better option than warehousing them. Not everyone, however, has those resources. In Germany, you can apply for tax benefits when caring for a chronically ill person at home. I wonder whether that applies in the US as well?

    Reply

    • Malcolm Greenhill Says:

      Nico, thank you. You are right to point out that care, particularly 24 hour care, can be exorbitantly expensive. I am not a tax specialist but in the U.S. there are very limited out-of-pocket medical expenses that caregivers can deduct. You describe a very scary personal experience that I hope you never feel again.

      Reply

  11. dalo2013 Says:

    Malcolm, you have a way with words that cuts right to the core. Life has a way of beating down some, and with the way modern society works it seems to exacerbate the problems people do have…which sends them into a downward spiral. I could not agree more with your assessment that would this happen decades/centuries ago, RT would be “simply another member of the extended family, living on a farm and given jobs to do well within his capacity…” And he’d be happy. I would imagine his family sharing in the happiness (even if with some sorrow).

    Reply

    • Malcolm Greenhill Says:

      You raise an important point about the caregiver being happy. I think that when we institutionalize care-giving we remove an important source of happiness from people who might not have much else that makes them happy.

      Reply

  12. Michele Seminara Says:

    Thank you for this, Malcolm. I know a fair few people with varying degrees of ‘mental illness’, and it seems that as a society we fear this state and the loss of control it entails. Therefor we shut it away and demarcate the ‘abnormal’ from the ‘normal’. Which as you pointed out, could only ever make things worse. Our minds, like our bodies, dependant on so many circumstances, will go through all sorts of stages throughout our lives…if only we as a society had the strength and wisdom to accept this.

    Reply

    • Malcolm Greenhill Says:

      Thank you Michele. I heard somewhere that one out of four people suffer from mental illness. As my three best friends are perfectly sane I think that implies something about me 🙂 And yes, I agree that, as a society, we lack the wisdom to deal with this.

      Reply

  13. The Savvy Senorita Says:

    I have always felt that being ‘committed’ into any mental health facility does more damage than good; once that bridge is burnt there is no turning back. It is a sorry state of affairs, and sad fact of today’s world; there is such little support, time or understanding for those who require a little more. It is almost as though if someone doesn’t fit the mould of conformity/productivity then they are rendered useless, and cast off like any waste product.

    Reply

  14. Gregoryno6 Says:

    I am deeply sorry for your friend, Malcolm. Though it sounds callous I almost hope that RT’s descent into total disconnection is swift, since there seems no way back for him.

    Reply

  15. Tahira Says:

    Mental illness is so prevalent but continues to still be uncomfortable to talk about, let alone admit. Thank you for shining a light, Malcolm. Your writing always holds my attention.

    Reply

  16. bullright Says:

    So great that you can take on an issue like this, Lots of creds to you. Such a large issue.

    Reply

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