Mentally ill people are not broken.
And mental illness is not . . .
- a moral failing
- best treated through medication only
- best treated through jail
- a problem of the individual
- impossible to treat
- somebody else’s problem
Rather, mentally ill people are just people, like you and me, who have a medically diagnosable illness. Like cancer. Only we’re not as kind to them as we are to people with cancer.
Mental illness is . . .
- a mismatch between the abilities of a person to cope and the demands of a society that is becoming increasingly hostile to basic human needs
- an illness that probably affects you, a family member, or a close friend
- and therefore, a problem that affects whole families and communities, not just the person with the illness
- super common! About in four adults in the U.S. suffers from it in any given year
- worsened by overwork, poor sleep habits, and inadequate diet
- treatable through a combination of medication and counseling
- an opportunity for growth
This is stuff everybody should know. I wish we taught it in high school. Because early intervention can make a huge difference! Here are a couple of links to helpful pages on the American Psychiatric Association web site.
Another cool site is the National Alliance on Mental Illness.