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Redefining Mental Illness – The Voices in My Head

It was refreshing to read that this form of illness diagnoses and treatment is being redefined, as it should be. Dosing patients with pills, making them lethargic and more vulnerable has for far too long been against human rights.

Hearing voices and talking to oneself procure different levels and we all concede to it and we all have succumbed it. Reading the articles, watching the videos and listening to the podcast had me thinking of 2,500 Random things in a way that in order to make a list like this you or any list you have to talk to yourself in silence or audibly. The Shaking Woman, The Man Who Walked Away and There Was This Goat all lend themselves to the issue. Especially, I think, There Was This Goat, where having been hit with such a traumatic tragedy, illness of this kind can manifest itself in so many ways, such as post traumatic stress disorder.

I enjoyed T. M. Luhrmann’s piece in the New York Times, especially when she spoke of the need to “figure out the biology of disease” and the many decades of failure made in combating it. Now the aim is to use talk therapy in order to help patients who suffer from this illness, no doubt to the chagrin of the pharmaceutical industry. The two video selections were also appreciated as a delightful positive in assessing the illness and overcoming it. Bell wrote of how Vygotsky says as children we engage in a banter with ourselves in order to learn language, internalising speech as thoughts with thoughts retaining dialogic qualities and having elements of “inner self-talk”, and it becomes confusing when you are told not to do it anymore when you start getting older. What was once a comfort now needs to be suppressed and as we heard in the Rufus May video, suppression assists the disease. Society plays a large part in who or why someone develops this illness, abuse, deprivation and inequality are factors all of these carry with them a certain amount of fear. Fear is a contributing agent of this illness.

I have recently seen an effort in schools to stop labeling individuals with learning disabilities or to let people be who they want to be. Categorization is huge a catalyst in promoting bigotry for all forms of biases and so called deviance. Communication and understanding must be a far better antidote, and a less expensive one for the wallet and a life.

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