Part of the reason that I was not given help sooner was that I was actually seeing a child psycologist at the time, because I had taken an overdose shortly before my 15th birthday. She last saw me a few days before I was put on a a four week session, and I still can't understand why she thought that all my talk about the conversations that were going on in my head was an invention, surely it must have been obvious to her that I was ill? So,if even a psychiatrist can't recognize the symtoms of mental illness, than how can people in the community help people who are mentally ill?
I feel that if the subject was brought out into the open and people were given the facts about mental illness then they would be more understanding and able to suggest that a friend of theirs is displaying symptoms of a schizophrenic or manic depression type illness and get psychiatric help. The situation approved dramitacally in recent years with regards to peoples perception of depression. So why can't the same understanding be granted to other mental illnesses? The basic problem is that people feel threatened by anything which goes beyong normal. They are frightened by people they see as weird or crazy. The media doesn't help either, the only time it is mentioned is when there is an outcry over an escaped psychiatric patient who has committed murder, which only adds to the hatred and fear of mental illness. They don't bother to mention that the majority of mentally ill people are perfectly harmless, peaceful people, who wouldn't dream of committing a crime.
The only people with the true picture are the mentally ill themselves and their friends and families. Mental illness strikes ordinary people at randam and is nothing to be ashamed of, and the sooner society realizes this, the better.
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