I have a dream. A dream that is now ripe enough to go into the world in form of tangible words. These words will disperse and grow wherever they want. No one has to plant them. And then their seeds will blow in the wind and they will find a new place to grow. I harbor a vision of the world where mental illness is treated like fever is. Even AIDS for that matter, to at least get acknowledgement as sickness, before it can be washed off the stigma.
My mother spent 30 years battling something no one could put words to. Then the next 7, finding a doctor to help. Precious lives wither & wilt in these years. I want a world that walks around with mental disorders at the tip of their tongue, later I will fight the privileged fight of overused of terms like OCD.
I am fighting a basic fight. People suffering from Schizophrenia are still beaten and locked in rooms in Amravati. Like we are trying to negatively reinforce the sickness out of them.
More people are writing about mental health on the internet and that makes me happy, but I want to put my breath into pushing the cause further, where it still needs to go. My dream is like a video game, a level leads to next, till you have finally rescued the princess.
We have skipped level 1: Identifying
Depression. ‘Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during 2-week period and represent a change from previous functioning’;
1. Depressed mood
2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure
3. Significant weight-loss or weight-gain
4. Insomnia or hypersomnia
5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation
6. Fatigue or loss of energy
7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate
8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate
9. Recurrent thoughts of death
At level 2, you talk about it out loud, till it becomes a bad word. “Don’t talk about this in front of her. She will over react.”
3, is tougher. You seek help, for yourself, for others.
4, even worse, keep at it.
I am at level 5: “Put your oxygen mask on before helping others” I have my oxygen mask on and in it I breathe bigger dreams, a level 15 at least.
I want to rewrite the DSM, the book of mental disorders, and name things nicer, so when my sister hears ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’ she does not get scared of herself. Maybe I will call it ‘Prairie Aster’. Then I will go ahead name each disorder after a different wildflower. Godetia, Morning glory, OxEye daisy. Prescribe enough sunlight, water and love. And when people read them, suffer them, they will know, that like wildflowers, they must allow themselves to grow in all the places people thought they never would.