Mental illnesses are like any other illnesses – the only difference is that they are illnesses of the brain instead of the body. Are they really so different from heart disease, diabetes and asthma? Yet, the tradition of bringing flowers, showing sympathy and support provided to people with physical illnesses, are missing here. Why deny them the same sympathy and empathy?
ARE MENTAL ILLNESSSES INCURABLE AND LIFELONG?
When treated appropriately and early, many people manage to recover. A mental illness is like many physical illnesses that require ongoing treatment – like diabetes and heart disease which can be managed enabling an individual to participate in everyday life.
Some people have only one episode of mental illness and manage to recover completely, but, for our son, it recurred throughout his life and required ongoing treatment.
ARE PEOPLE BORN WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS?
We understood that the causes were unclear. Stress, bereavement, the breakdown of a relationship or unemployment, can be the trigger. Many individuals explain away a mental illness as a ‘nervous breakdown’ rather than chance becoming branded as being ‘mentally ill.’