Nobody wants to be sick. Nobody wants illnesses placed upon them. I recently got warded for being suicidal and my only night there was unpleasant – with the lack of electronics – it made my self-therapy difficult. I had to keep myself busy and there were no opportunities for me to do so.
It isn’t like the common cold. You can’t simply prescribe antibiotics, some medicine for the flu and a throat infection and call it a day. Every mentally ill person has their own way of self-therapy and getting better.
We All Want To Get Better
Nobody wants to be sick. Every mentally ill person wants to get better and takes steps – consciously or not – to get better. If a friend tells you they are suicidal, please give them a hug and tell them it is all going to be okay. Those who are suicidal (myself included) would keep to themselves and the fact that they admit to themselves (and you) the fact they want to end their life is applaudable in itself.
Rick pretends that everything is fine when he actually wants to take his own life. He fails, but this is one of the most accurate representations of suicide. Quiet, organised and all loose ends tied up. No hoo-hah and big commotion. I just want to fade away.
It IS All In My Head
My brain, actually. Mental health issues are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. It is like how the flu can be caused by a throat infection. The infection might give you a fever and a runny nose but treat the infection and you should be good to go. Treat the chemical imbalances and you’re going to be back to normal.
This chemical imbalance can cause you to think differently, react differently or act differently. This is how people become depressed, anxious, bipolar, schizophrenic, or psychotic. Their mind has been changed by the imbalance in chemicals and they think differently, they react differently and they act differently.
My Form Of Therapy
Keep me busy and I will operate fine. My form of therapy is to try to function as close to a normal person without mental illnesses as possible. Your form of therapy could be visiting a psychologist or creating art. That is the thing about mental illness, you can’t simply put what worked for you on others. This is why I couldn’t stand being in a ward where there was no stimulation – I couldn’t operate. There was nothing to operate with.
My Plea to Others
This is my piece for people who might know someone who is mentally ill. Through my experience in the ward, I have had the opportunity to speak to many people, ward-mates, family members and friends.
If you are mentally ill, you are not your illness. You can recover. You might never get back to the point as you were without mental illness but you can get better. Treat that imbalance and we can get better. You are capable and you can achieve what you want to, but this illness is a monster that holds you back. It’s like the cold preventing you from going to school.
If you know someone who is mentally ill, your words mean the world to them. Your family and friend who might have a mental illness might be told that their thoughts and the words they say might have no justification and are simply untrue. This can be the case – whenever someone says they are worthless when indeed they have a lot to live for. Their mind has literally stopped them from thinking the way they should.
If you have to console a friend or family, your words are amplified tenfold. It is nobody’s fault that someone has a mental illness, it is simply the brain and how it was made when cells divided in the womb. But sometimes the tones and words used can seem accusatory and the recipient of your well-meant words could see it differently in a situation where emotions could be messed up and mixed up.
It becomes very easy for people to become hypocritical – I believe – in consoling the mentally ill. It’s difficult to bring across the message of individuality – not being a sheep – when your words might sound like you’re trying to turn them into a sheep of your thinking. And if you want to counter-argue that words can be interpreted differently, think about the same chemical imbalance that started this all, perhaps it gets difficult to ‘go to school’ – or in this case, change thinking.
At a point where your mind has control over everything, suicide might not seem like ‘giving up’ anymore, but more like ‘giving in’.