It’s certainly not an original story that hits the news cycle all too often: someone has shot a number of people, for no understandable reason.
The gunmen may posit an ideology of racial superiority.
Or, as the war rages in the Middle East many are claiming a God-given mandate to cleanse and purify those who are inferior.
Or, we’ve even seen the violence blamed on the financial crisis because those who have are not sharing enough with those who have not.
Perhaps most tragically we have witnessed deeply lost and hurting individuals who somehow seek inexplicable relief through taking a gun into a school.
I’ve noticed how quickly we question the extent to which mental illness may have played in each of these incomprehensible situations.
Those who do not struggle with mental illness may feel a greater need to distance themselves from those who do.
And, of course, keep them under tighter control.
If I were looking at it from the outside as they do, I probably would share their views.
But I’m not.
I’m on the inside looking out through my own oddly-colored bipolar window.
Continue reading Are the Insane taking advantage of the Mentally Ill?
Throughout history some of the greatest minds with the sharpest intellects have made contributions that have, literally, changed the world.
Abraham Lincoln was the great emancipator. Ludwig Von Beethoven could compose numerous works at once, many of which are still played in symphonies today. The incomprehensible work of the Sistine Chapel makes Michelangelo a name familiar to even young school children. Charles Dickens gave us literary works that share timeless insights into human nature and behavior. Winston Churchill produced 43 books on top of helping the world return to sanity from a global war waged in madness.
It would be hubris to place ourselves at the same level of accomplishment and brilliance as any of these gifted individuals.
Yet it is thought that Abraham Lincoln possibly suffered from clinical depression, that Beethoven worked through bipolar disorder, that Michelangelo was autistic, that Dickens may have also had severe depression, and that Churchill was yet another who was bipolar.
At the time many of them were given the benefit of the doubt and people would politely say that they were a little eccentric. Continue reading Is mental illness the thin line between genius and insanity?