Trying to lessen the stigma associated with mental illness requires a change of societal views through education and increased awareness. When we talk about people by naming their illness first, as in he is a mentally ill person, we actually dehumanize that individual and reinforce the stigma.
So, what should a person with a mental illness do? What can they do? How should they behave?
Well, they can try to walk away from all the situations that upset them and try to ignore all that is bad for them.
They can learn to fill their lives with something creative, constructive and positive.
If they are sufficiently brave, they can learn how to share information with others that they feel they can trust. But this is very difficult to do.
They can work very hard at forming happy, rewarding, symbiotic relationships, either people in the same position as they are which is easier, or in another circle.
They can try to find hobbies that will bring them joy and an interest in life once again. I know someone who starting playing a musical instrument and eventually met other musicians with whom he formed a close relationship. He also provided himself with a time-consuming hobby that helped him pass the long hours after work. He was only able to concentrate on his work for four hours at a time so his days stretched endlessly until he discovered music. From that day one, his life changed for the better.
But it is not easy to learn how to cope with each new hurt and loss. Not everybody is caring and tactful, but there are surprises en route. One of the most difficult things to cope in today’s world is to be different. No matter what that difference is and no matter how large or small it may be. People in general are either uncomfortable or afraid to be with someone who does not fit into society easily.
It isn’t easy for for anyone to cope with old memories that are continually being raked up by family and friends but this is something else that they have to accomplish.
They have to learn how to adapt, evolve and find peace within themselves.
They need to find laughter and remember how to enjoy themselves once again, slowly at first, step by step.
They have to learn how to think positively and try to erase all thoughts of desperation and of harming themselves. One can live on various levels and although they might not manage to live the way they did before the diagnosis of mental illness was dropped on them, they can live balanced, happy lives once again.
Their families have to give them all the support that they can. This is not easy. My family noticed that many husbands leave home, finding mental illness too hard to bear. These men left their wives and childdren with an unfair burden. Marriage vows state, In sickness and in health, so this applies not only to one’s attitude towards a spouse, but to a sick child too. These young people have more than enough to put up with so the last thing they need is a splintered family.