John Nash, a Beautiful Mind; on Madness as a Release
People are always selling the idea that people with mental illness are suffering. I think madness can be an escape. If things are not so good, you maybe want to imagine something better.
Nash had won the Nobel Prize. He was one of the great mathematicians of the our times. He had been diagnosed with Schizophrenia
Brian Wilson, former Beach Boy. Musician extraordinaire. Many a music critic considering him one the best lyricist, stylist, composers…of our times. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, the Beach Boy, found himself in the hands of a controlling, dictator, doctor. As is common with misdiagnose, it took years for Mr. Wilson to find his way out from under the thumb of a common therapy…over-medicating.
Bettie Page, America’s one an only Pin-up girl. Shunning the conventionality of the 1950’s by performing in ‘Adult’ films. Bettie has had fans that span the last 6 decades. Bettie battled acute schizophrenia beginning in the early 1970s.
“I could never tell anyone about what I was actually thinking. When I did! I found myself alone in a cement room with no windows. Every voice I heard meant more time alone!”
In most instances, the signs were there. The delusions, the paranoia, the isolation. Yet, as a society, we opt for ignorance. And, if ignorance isn’t a stigma for mental health. Indifference is. Indifference to an early appropriate diagnose. Indifference to a balance between therapy and medication. Indifference to the silent signs being held out for, help!
Mental Health Reform
One thing that most Americans can agree on is that the mental health system is broken. In many parts of the country, mental health treatment, services and supports are not available until a crises occurs. In some communities, jails and prisons have become the default place for mental health treatment.
The facts make one thing clear: mental illness is a major public health crisis in the U.S. today. However, changes to our mental health system can help address this crisis.
Mental Illness is not a decision. Ignorance is the true disability!
My spouse, who is diagnosed with schizophrenia, is an active, productive, member of society. It is through her personal triumphs, distant voices, distant rooms, that I have been encouraged. Encouraged to not shy away from what I do not understand. Her struggles with mental health has become her greatest adversary. It is by her brave honesty that we can begin to open closed minds.