There was an article today in the Los Angeles Times about a meeting place for mentally ill people in their twenties and thirties. The seed money was donated by the parents of a man named Daniel, who was diagnosed as mentally ill when he had a psychotic episode in college many years ago. He went on medication, graduated from college, was a client at another mental health facility and then a staff member, and then he committed suicide.
While I imagine the story was intended to be uplifting to low-functioning people in this age group who have no social life, I thought it was yet another depressing article about mental illness.
I truly wonder whether being bipolar is so bad or if it's just the treatment that is so ineffective. Isn't there a difference between people who suffer from psychotic episodes and those who suffer from depression? If people who suffer from depression get help--truly effective help that enables them to change their behavioral patterns and stop the triggers--isn't it possible to stave off this illness early on?
Surely, there are people--besides me and a few others who read this blog--who get well.
I've often wondered whether people continue to feel ill because they think of themselves as mentally ill? Do they continue to feel depressed because they're hanging around other people who feel depressed? Was it truly a good idea for Daniel--once he was well--to be a staff member at a mental illness facility? Might he not have felt better if he had spent his days in a more uplifting environment?