Mental illness have been around for centuries. But to talk about it is taboo in many societies. Until recently has it been accepted to talk about it in support groups, therapies, etc. People were prosecuted in the mid 1800’s for witchcraft etc etc. There were many experimentation being done on people who fell into this class for no fault of theirs. This handicap has been classified into many categories for ease of studying and identification based on the elicited symptoms. Now we have entered the modern era. With very little understanding back then people were abused. This abuse goes on even to this day. All we have to do is hear the news. We have all heard of child abuse, child neglect, elder abuse, spousal abuse, abuse of people with disabilities, abuse of people with depression (especially the elderly) etc. The origins from which it emerges are many. It goes under fancy names too. But we want to treat it the easy way so People are given pills to calm them down. We want the problems to go away for the moment. We are still unable to zero in on the problem and to root out the cause of the disease.
The handicap is in itself multi-factorial in the etiological sense. It’s repercussions many. Statistics show us that 1 in 5 people have some degree of mental disability. This number keeps growing with many more going undetected. The increased use of chemicals in our diet, the addition of coloring agents, flavoring agents, various preservatives in candies and other processed foods, genetic modification of food itself is bringing in New mental diseases with strange nomenclature, that did not exist before. With it comes new breed of medications and its associated side effects. Do we still care? No. It’s all about money and profits for the few.
This is one aspect of the illness which we cannot see. Abuse and neglect of self is one of the many ugly faces of this illness. On the outlook it’s appears to be unlike any other handicap. The person is helpless. The people around them do not understand them. The epidemic of mental illness has been soaring for the past many decades. Today we see it even in kids, adults and seniors. Depression and loneliness is on the rise in all societies across the Globe. Depression has been on the rise in the senior population for many decades now. We are literally not seeing it but it’s there. What is going on here? Mental issues were previously unheard of meaning NOT REPORTED. Mental illness comes in (as branded) meaning a person is branded mentally handicapped, but we cannot see the illness as in a physically handicapped person. On the outside the person seems perfectly normal. But deep inside is where their daily struggles reside. Can we dissect it to see what’s inside? Since it stems from many underlying issues, it is nearly impossible to physically look into it by opening the skull. It is more functional than structural. This is what makes it much more unique and much more difficult to treat. Chronic stress do play a major part in its growth and progression.
For a diabetic, there are wrist bracelets or chains hanging from their necks indicating so. This goes along with most illnesses and even allergy braces are common place today. But how do we let an EMT know that a person is mentally challenged or handicapped just by them looking at the patient. How does the patient communicate the disease to the EMT in a life threatening situation, when the patient himself or herself is mentally incompetent to make judgement calls. The legal system does not consider the person with a mental illness to give a valid informed consent in the first place. This document automatically becomes void for this reason. Mental illness have taken a back seat in the sense of opening up since there is a social stigma attached to it. First there need to be acceptance that there is a disease involved here from which they are suffering. Then it needs to be diagnosed. The last comes the course of treatment. So the reported cases are minimal to none in most cases. Many people suffer silently in their own homes. With no way out, desperation leads to many adverse events.
We have handicapped seats for the physically disabled in all sorts of public transportation, but how do we give this person the privilege to use these facilities designed for them, when they look perfectly normal in all other ways. How about having specially designed logos for them? The public expect a handicapped person to be at a physical disadvantage and does not expect them to have a mental handicap. Both these handicaps vary in its outlook. One which we can see and the other which we cannot. So how will the public differentiate between those two? What signs do we have in order to display the person as handicapped mentally? What signs or symbols do they need to carry?Does it have to say mentally Handicapped? To soften the blow how do we say it? Will that sign be accepted in a public setting? Will people be reluctant to sit next to him or her? Will they ever make eye contact? Are we able to see through them to see what they are thinking?
Maybe some day we may be able to read the brain waves and decipher the code of what they are thinking, feeling and what they are perceiving. Science has yet to do miracles on these patients. They have their lives and their loved ones lives turned upside down. Hope someday we may be able to straighten it up for them. Mind is the most complex organ. It’s much easier to perform a heart surgery than opening up the brain. It has many more wires, switches, connections, regulators etc etc. So what’s the solution? Do we have one? But for now are we going to just keep popping in those toxic pills?
For us it may look like a bunch of mixed up wires but there’s more to it than that meets the eye. Inside the brain I mean. It’s the job of science to decode the brain and make it function normally. Now what is Normal?