We have our stars. They shyly admit they were depressed for a while. And a few bipolars, who are just like the alcoholic stars. They act inappropriately, disappear for a while, thank god for their recovery and are normal again, until the next time. But let’s imagine mental illness were treated like a popular disease. We could:
- Raise research money free from the taint of big pharmaceuticals. Treatments beyond just meds could then be explored. Magnets.
- Lobbying to be able to work part time and get benefits, instead of the “Can’t work at all” and “You’re too lazy to work” categories. Lots of lobbying.
- Reward employers and responsible media.
- Plus all the everyday stuff: job re-training, affordable housing and healthcare, half-way houses.
But there’s so much guilt that it’s hard to ask. I mean, what kind of illness makes you say horrible, terrible things you can’t control? It’s not an illness; it’s just bad. Or what causes you to miss a ton of work, inconveniencing everybody, because you’re suddenly afraid to drive? I feel bad; like I’m being a bad person. I’m ashamed to ask for a day off work when I’m hearing voices — how could I ask for others to support my horrible behavior?
If I had cancer, yeah, that’s a worthy cause. Let’s give housing aid and work training to the intellectually disabled. But I don’t deserve it.