The Final Front-ear…
Living with one or more mental illnesses does complicate living but perhaps one of the biggest issues a person faces is the constant, nagging desire of kidding yourself that ‘no problem really exists’ when in actual fact it does.
And the six inch thick folder on your psychologist’s desk attests to that fact!
Why is it so difficult to accept? After all if, say, you break your leg significantly, you KNOW that its broken. Not only are you in pain but you can SEE that it’s broken. And what’s more, you don’t need an X-ray to tell you that its broken either because you have gained sufficient knowledge over the years that witnesses to the fact. And it all comes together in your mind so that you know without a doubt that your leg is broken. And you accept the fact.
But what if the thing that collates and interprets the signals; that accesses the memory and the experiences; that forms cognative opinion is itself broken?
What if the mind is broken?
Fixing a leg that is broken is a relatively straight-forward procedure. Not so the mind.
To all intents and purposes, the mind is in itself an area that retains more hidden mystery than it gives answers.
We take so much of its workings for granted. In fact, do we not even completely ignore it from waking till sleeping every day of our lives?
Until we come to a moment where we forget and keep on forgetting; where our co-ordination falters; where familiar things and people become strange to us; where, gradually and without warning, words on a page; images on TV stop making sense to us…
Psychiatric services are split down the middle between those that believe, or more accurately, suspect that ‘chemical imbalances’ are the cause, and those that come down on the side of malfunctioning circuitry.
But getting to the truth of the matter is obviously one of the most complex undertakings known to mankind.In fact, some have noted that it was “easier to go to the moon and back” than it is to unlock the mysteries of the mind.
A well-known scifi programme always began: “Space, The Final Frontier…”. What if space itself wasn’t the ‘final frontier?’ What if the final frontier was closer to home?
To carry that anology further, it seems that progress towards truly understanding the cause or causes of mental illness right now seems like as if we were setting out to explore the Universe but we are only at the stage of clearing the launch tower.
If even that.
So where does that leave us then? To be honest, I really don’t know. I’m 58 or 59 years old ( I forget which ) and I don’t hold out much hope that a genuine breakthrough will appear any time soon. In the meantime, I think that all we can really do is be genuine; hold hands with others who are in a similar predicament; give and accept help and support; encourage one another and if one should falter, be there for them.
After all, we are only human.