drainI’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer, just trying to keep it real.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the only people who care about understanding, or acknowledging mental illness, are the coveted circle of loved ones that know someone with a mental illness, and the person that actually has a mental illness.

Ask yourself, how many people outside of having a mental illness, or knows someone with a mental illness, are actually educated and invested in learning about something that affects everyone.  When a schizophrenic person with psychotic features runs into traffic, and you swerve to avoid an accident, do you just say that SOB is crazy? Probably. Crazy gets thrown out real fast, and it manifests ones inability to educate themselves, and open the door to understand the reason for a person’s behavior. 

How many shootings do we need to have before we take a good look at mental illness at the root of the majority of the shooters?

Here are 3 Problems to Consider:

  1. Pharmaceutical Drugs: A big problem when it comes to understanding mental illness is the availability of drugs for anyone and everyone. How many people, that are not mentally ill, are taking medications because they are caught up in the hype and inundating commercials to make them “feel better”. Sleeping aids are considered a convenient help, yet, most of those pill poppers aren’t suffering from insomnia from a manic bipolar episode, so the realities of mental illness gets lost, and everyone needs that pill. If everyone can get it, what makes you different from everyone else?
  2. Media:  It makes me laugh when we see immediate samples of mental illness in celebrities, yet don’t touch the topic.  Amanda Byrnes, Charlie sheen, and several other people in the media, have a mental illness yet, we chalk it up to oh, he’s on meth, or she’s a pothead. 
  3. Firing Range:  People don’t care unless it specifically affects them.  You have to care if you’re a mom dealing with a child suffering from depression. You have to care if you are depressed and need to find a medication. If it doesn’t immediately concern you, you’re not likely to care.

Solution: Money

So, if you really think about it, people outside of immediate and extended family that are not in the world of mental health illnesses really don’t care.  However, I bet if it affected their pocketbook they would.  If we had health care programs funded by the government to help better treat the mentally ill, you better believe people would wake up and see what’s up.  Otherwise, we are left with only those that experience it first hand, or second hand, because it directly affects them.

What do we need to do culturally to wake people up and acknowledge the reality of mental illness when it’s outside of their line of vision? Break the bank!  Money talks.

Money drain image available from Shutterstock.