The world is in chaotic distress. The number of people who suffer from mental illness is at a record high. Yet, so little is known about mental illnesses. It is, sadly, still a taboo topic. Could this be the reason why people still think it is not an issue, that mental illnesses like depression don’t exist, and if they do, they’re not serious issues? Forget lay people, even doctors are ignorant of these silent killers. Some of the responses you get from when you go to them seeking help really makes you wonder who among you needs help. But who really ends up with a good shrink or a psychiatrist. Most of the people don’t have the money and when they do, it is almost impossible to find the right person. They should really come up with matchmaking sites for therapists.
Not that the general public is any better. While people are struggling to put a name to their repeated checking of messages to make sure that the person at the other end is not dead, people have names for them. When a person does not understand why what they are experiencing is definitely not ‘mood swings’, friends offer a helping hand my calling it a ‘phase’. And then there are cures. Everybody wants to make you ‘normal’. Everybody has a favourite cure. Some have a suitcase full of them, you can choose the one you want. That’s how mental illnesses work, you know. You name it, we have it.
What do you have? Let’s see.
1. A vacation
Oh yes. Bi-polar disorder? Don’t worry, go to the hills. Chill. It’s all going to go away. Many a times when I have spoken about depression, I have been told that all I was in need of, was a vacation. Oh the irony. I have agoraphobia. Yes, I am used to the blank stares when the word is uttered. Don’t worry. It just means that I cannot travel and therefore I cannot take a vacation. But for clarity’s sake, what exactly do you think is going to happen on a vacation? I know that ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’ is the kind of vacations that you think about. But first of all, this never happens. And the second fact is that depression is not something you leave behind in places. It does not wave ta-ta to you when you pack your bags and leave from vacation. It takes the flight with you. Get it?
2. A hobby
This one is a hot favourite. Yeah imagine a person with obsessive compulsive disorder being asked to take up a hobby. For heaven’s sake they have one too many problems with hobbies. Just that they are strange hobbies and they indulge in it too much. You call them hobbies. They are called obsessions or compulsions. And it is a disorder. Not something you take up. Why don’t you take up a hobby instead? Take up the hobby of shutting up when you don’t know what to say. This will prove to be extremely useful for your own as well as other people’s health. It’s a winner. Take it up. Nowww.
I’m sorry, did you mean medication and get it wrong like you always do? You expect me to combat my mental illness with meditation. Cool. Let’s try that with other illnesses. Why don’t you ask a cancer patient to meditate to cure it? I know, you’ll get the answer on your cheek. Why don’t you solve your money problems, your relationship problems, in fact, all of your problems with meditation. Say some magic chant or something and wait for all that money to appear. Why don’t you?
4. A pet
Hmm. Sounds interesting. What will the pet do to cure my mental illness? Bark for food, meow for attention and say that humans suck? That will help me get over my problems. Tell you what, I’ll follow your advice. Get in a cage. I like keeping caged pets. Get right in that cage and repeat after me like a parrot. ‘I will not give stupid advice anymore’. And yeah, I’ll decide when to feed you. *Evil grin*
5. Hold my hand
Err… why? I can’t fly. You tell me that it is going to be all right and that nothing will happen if I hold your hand. How exactly do you think a person with anxiety disorder will receive your advice? Plus what do you think your hand is? A superpower? Sorry, no, it’s just the thing you hold your dick with when, you know what. So no. I am fine not flying and holding a book in my hand.
6. Get married
Woohoo! Here is the ultimate solution to all of life’s woes. Okay. So what about the problems which come with marriage? Will marriage take care of that too? Did you get married to cure your mental illness? Why aren’t all patients just given this prescription. What a competition it would be to antidepressants and mood stabilizers. Ever thought of pitching the idea to wedding planners? Go ahead and start a matrimonial site. ‘Mental Illness Matrimony’, you can call it and yeah, pay me for the idea too.