“When we are told what mental illness is….”

silo-porto“…we are being told what ideas, behavior, and fantasies are wrong.” I wrote this morning about my depression being strong right now. I re-read it just a while ago and saw how I am so hard on myself.* This is the message that the dominant culture projects out because it cant look at the fact that we are suffering from the externalities of our system. The by products of our way of life creates a dissociation in how we look at life. I hear the voices from people who are in my life and there is an underlying non-acceptance of the fact that we are getting more and more cases of what is referred to as “mental illness.”

pier-montego-bay-jamaicaWhat is that? I have this wonder full friend of mine who says that “depression and alcoholism is a brain disease and in the genes.”Then what would they say when I say that none of my three sisters ever were alcoholics. They drank a little bit like everyone did when we were in high school, but not hardly at all after that. But two of them smoked cigarettes until just recently. One of those two has MS, or something like that, they are not sure, and she has ephysema. She also has a morphine drip. One of my other sisters has a morphine drip and she is in her mid-40s. They have health issues but no one would say that they have mental health issues. All of them complain about the “others,” the immigrants,the husbands, the government, etc. etc. etc.

st-basils-cathedral-moscow-at-nightBut since they didnt experience the troubles that come with drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs (caffeine and nicotine are legal) they are not seen as having any mental health issues. But based on my observations of them they do.

“When we are told what is healthy we are being told what is right to think and feel.” For me this is the crux of our dis-ease. We begin to create realities based on what we say to ourselves. This is individually as well as collectively. If you dont think that is true watch a sporting event on TV and look at the ads from drug companies. No, not just for erectile dysfunction drugs, but from alcohol products! Either that or fat, fast food.

louvre-parisOne last posit. Why does it cost more to produce food(organic) that uses less products in it’s production than it does to produce food that is full of man-made chemicals? (The question is rhetorical!) We say we start a new year tonight at midnight. Please tell my depression that!

Quotes by James Hillman *Thank you Julie for your thoughtful, kind and loving words. They meant the world to me yesterday when I read them. Although I couldnt answer your email, I want to let you know I received it.

123 RV, SA.

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2 thoughts on ““When we are told what mental illness is….”

  1. I like your points. They ring very true to me. It’s like if we have a certain kind of problem or disorder, we’re messed up, but if we have another kind, it’s OK and we’re normal. I strongly believe you’re observing the right things and asking the right questions. I see you discerning between what is truth and what is bs (or is it B.S.? (not to be confused with a college education in the sciences 🙂 )) Don’t ever kid yourself into thinking you’re not getting anywhere. Some of the greatest growth is invisible and unrecognizable to the masses. You inspire me. -Julie

  2. “For me this is the crux of our dis-ease. We begin to create realities based on what we say to ourselves. This is individually as well as collectively”

    It’s very hard to except, but I believe it is true that we tell ourselves the story of our lives. Psyche loves to imagine and fantasize. Perhaps when we are ill, depressed, sad, and convinced about anything, we have lost sight of how much our imaginings have become so real to us. It’s hard not to.

    I have often felt haunted by collective voices and conventional ways of being in the world and understanding it. People can seem so sure of stuff that strikes me as bunk, lacking depth and favoring the quick answer. I try to forgive them and myself for feeling so separate and not always knowing how to build bridges.

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