Unfounded fears

Day 062/100

Just reading some short stories and one struck a cord. The central character of the story is discussing a radio her grandfather bought her for her twenty-first birthday and now twenty years later unfortunately it has become broken. She sets out to get it mended but hidden between the lines is something else, hints at how she does not seem to be a part of the world at present and is fearful of entering out into it. At the close of the story she reveals that she is bi-polar, and beginning to experience the symptoms of the condition. Her greatest fear is telling her children and of what it means for them. It was such a beautifully written piece and so matter of fact in its ending that it felt like a breath of fresh air in the difficult realities of how do you explain to others, you have a mental health condition. One of the biggest mental health conditions in Ireland today id depression and as expected with the current financial and economic challenges, it is becoming more prevalent. Yet, in this country we choose not to talk about it and by doing so those who have the condition feel yet more isolated. Additionally there also appears to be a stigma associated with having any mental illness, the usual statement made when a person is feeling down, is pull yourself together, what are you whining about. Not all that helpful when emotionally you can see no way forward, thus, people become very reluctant  to tell others, for fear of being misunderstood or even abandoned. This is not common in all cases but people are fearful of what they do not know or understand. You do not catch depression by shaking hands, being in the same room, having a coffee together or even chatting, things are a lot more complex than that. But is it heartbreaking when someone you love begins to slowly disappear before your eyes and you have no idea in how to help them, or when will return to the person they once were. Recovery for sufferers can be a long and challenging road, but their journey can be made easier and more effective with the help and support of friends and family. What people need to do is to face their own fears about mental illness head on, do not judge, ask your friend how you can help, how are they doing, and be there when they need you most, those small gestures can mean all the world, when it has become a dark and foreboding place.

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2 thoughts on “Unfounded fears

  1. F(r)iction says:

    Unfounded yes, but very real. You sum up well the anxiety of the unsounded foreboding that many mental health dissorders often brings about in others. I like the radio “metaphor” in the story you cite… something broken, worn by time, out of sync.
    You mention you’re off on a journey; may I say one senses your apprehension. Where are you off to?
    (You might want to have a look at Lisa’s blog. http://therawserenity.wordpress.com/)
    Take care

    • vacantpages says:

      Thanks for the comment, much appreciated. Unfortunately we still have a long way to go to fully deal with mental health problems and as I have seen from personal experiences with others, we still have a difficultly in supporting sufferers. I am off to Canada in a few weeks and it has been a while since I have seen friends, we all change. Just hope not too much. Have a good day. Cheers.

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