“Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”
A mirror can show you a lot of things. From what’s behind you and in front of you. More importantly, it shows an image of you. You can lose a few pounds here or there, is your tie on straight, should you put on a little more makeup, to name a few. The mirror’s judgment is that you look okay…from the outside.
The inside of you may paint a different picture. Not physically, but mentally and emotionally. “I look okay, I feel okay, but am I really okay?”
Human behavior and the mind has been a novice interest of mine. What makes us tick? Or explode? How do we suppress our inner demons so that we can function daily? Is it hard to think things through by words and actions? Do we convey those feelings and thoughts sanely or in ways that go over the edge?
Mental illness, in the public eye, continues to be misconstrued as what we “think” it is and what it “really” is.
If you think I’m writing this based on the information that has been gathered so far about the Tucson shooter, Jared Loughner, you are right. What you don’t know is that there is another reason for writing this.
We, as a society, need to start taking mental illness seriously and learn more about it.
These “nutjobs” “kooks” and “crazy people” are you and me. They are also friends, family, homeless, loners, and even outcasts that society has ignored.
I should know. I’ve been there. Not at the level that Loughner reportedly was. Far less than that. I have battled depression since I was teenager. Several times, I contemplated suicide. Dealing with a form of mental illness isn’t an “one pill cure all” type of therapy. Some may need medication, others might need a therapist to carve out some behavioral tendencies. It takes years to get “straighten” out.
Everyone’s friend Paul Yeager wrote about mental illness in December when PBS “Frontline” aired a documentary about the difficulty the Ohio prison system had in caring for the seriously mentally ill and how these individuals struggle with living after being released.
Now, is this to say that Jared Loughner has displayed the signs of schizophrenia, bipolar, or a different form of mental disorder? We don’t know yet. Officials at Pima Community College recommended him to take a mental health assessment if he was to re-enroll after voluntarily dropping out in the fall, after a number of incidents in his classes.
I understand that the topic of civility and rhetoric is more on the minds, sorry for the pun, of everyone. But that is a separate topic in itself, for which I’ve written about many times.
Right now, this isn’t about civility. That will come in due time. The media is missing the main crux of Saturday’s tragic incident.
This is about addressing a growing issue that is getting worse before it can get better.
The mental health of our society is not in the best shape. Not doing anything to help fix it will result in more problems and unfortunate results.