Regardless of the numbers, it’s an epidemic in my opinion and one of the most critical areas I think we should focus on because of its negative impact on our country. The reason I say this is multi-folded for example:
- Many inmates in our prison system suffer from some form of mental illness with some murders being committed by people who are schizophrenic and haven’t taken medication to control it.
- Many people who are unemployed suffer from mental illness because they aren’t able to hold down a job; this affects taxpayers.
- Many divorces are due to one or both married people suffering from mental illness and we know the terrible affect this has on our society.
I could go on and on but the bottom line is mental illness is a contributor to the decline of our country. Solutions? One is getting rid of the stigma associated with it, this comes with knowing millions of people suffer from it and it is truly a disease, a terrible diagnoses.
Getting rid of or at least reducing the stigma would help get more people willing to seek help. How many people are out there not diagnosed and I don’t have a clue but maybe it’s as bad as ABC News says and 20% of Americans suffer from it. Wouldn’t it be great for those with mental illness to pursue help and what a tremendous difference this would make for all of us?
Then there’s the issue of not having enough mental health facilities and mental health professionals to manage the problem. Grow the size of government? I hate it but what’s the alternative? I think it would actually pay for itself based on the areas I listed above. Crime would go down saving us money in our prison systems, courts, etc. Unemployment would go down. More people would be able to maintain their jobs increasing productivity for both small and large businesses which would make us more globally competitive. There’s more but I’ll leave it at this.
Mental illness and the lack of education and resources to fight it is a major factor in the downfall of our nation but it doesn’t matter unless more Americans acknowledge it. My hope after reading this post is that you’ll buy in to the critical nature of mental illness. I hope you’ll do your part to help get rid of the stigma of having mental illness by understanding it’s a disease that can be managed through medications. I hope you’ll email your representatives to share some of what I wrote and that you’re worried about the extreme negative impact it’s having on our society. Ask them specifically what they can do about it.
I’ve never written this publicly and not everyone in my world knows this because I still feel embarrassed (thus one of my reasons for writing this giving me more courage), but I am bi-polar. Being bi-polar is a strange up and down ride to where I can be depressed and sometimes suicidal at times to where I’m pretty much high as a kite and losing almost all inhibition. My disease is strange and I can’t begin to give you total insight into my illness but the fact is if I didn’t seek help I would’ve lost my job and my marriage. I would’ve been one of the victims and society would’ve been a victim as well.
Thanks as always for reading this post but it doesn’t matter unless it has an impact. As I wrote in my overview for this site knowledge without the wisdom to do anything about it matters little. Please go out and make a positive difference. Thanks!