Giving a Voice to the Silence offers positive angles to the issue that faces those with mental illness. Living with Schizo-Affective Disorder and being able to share my experiences with others, is the best way I know how to pay it forward. Life can be difficult, my goal is to bring a bit of hope to a place where many feel there is none.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mental Illness is NOT a Simple Brain Illness

Mental Health Association 2007Image by ACCF Making Change via Flickr

It is my hope that by the 21st century we would be more open to the realities of the world and what our bodies are capable of. Unfortunately, in the case of mental illness we may as well be in the Stone Age at times.

There are still professionals who may delay mental illness recovery. There are churches that refer to mental illness as a sin or a demonic possession, or even worse the medical doctors who do not screen for these illnesses or teach the importance of looking at brain illnesses in the same way as other medical problems. Lawyers and judges do not protect the availability to mental health care, and lastly educators do not make available to information on suicides - a single event that claims more than 30,000 lives a year.

How they can refer to brain illnesses in the same way as the common cold. That is not what it is. Mental Illness is developed through genetics, biology, personality, social development, environment, as well as relationships. So many factors are involved, it is nearly impossible to say it will pass and take a pill to make it go away.

In the end what we need is education, education, education. Eliminate the fear. And treat those with Mental Illness like human beings, worthy and capable of medical attention specific to their illness. Many people would be surprised as to how many people they have a mental illness, people who work with them, treat them in doctor's offices, friends they share their lives with.

Do you think their attitudes would change if they knew?