Sunday, October 09, 2011

Today's Mental Health

Our family has a lot of experience with mental health issues. Bipolar disorder, or more specifically, behaviors that are the symptom of the disorder, killed a son 3 years ago. My late son's girlfriend came over today to wish my youngest daughter happy birthday. She told us of her plans to become a mental health nurse. Since Ryan died it has taken her 3 years so far to get her life moving in a positive direction, and hearing her say that brought tears to my eyes. Because I know, more than anyone else, she gets it. Gets what?

Mental illness is not curable.

Situational issues probably can be cured, for example, I think PTSD might go away over time. But those born with Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other mood or brain disorders are going to have those disorders forever.

She understands that modern psychiatric medicine is, at best, like throwing darts. And the best you can expect from a medication is that it will make life more pleasant for those around the sufferer, and help them fit into a society that doesn't really want to understand. And of course, with luck, it will keep them alive. But that medication exacts a significant toll, more on that another time.

The world will be a better place when there are more mental health workers that understand mental health treatment should be based on compassion, and helping to preserve and cultivate the gifts that are often the result of a mental illness.

No comments: