Why Is Mental Health So Challenging?

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I grew up with a direct experience of “crazy”…

I grew up with a direct experience of “crazy” when I was young. I didn’t understand it, but I experienced it firsthand. That’s what they used to call us. “Crazy.” I include myself among those that I’m referring to because I have had my own challenges, not then, but in recent years. I wasn’t the one that was called this lousy word. No, they called someone I loved, crazy. They didn’t call him, or ‘them,’ “people dealing with their mental health.” They didn’t call him, or ‘them,’ “someone dealing with some type of mental or emotional challenge.”

Crazy. That was the word. Still is. One word to lump all people in. One label full of stigma and hot, prickly meaning.

Who was that “crazy” person in my direct experience? My father. He had a nervous breakdown when I was 10, or 8. I don’t remember the age, but I do remember so much else.

What do I remember? I remember being told I wasn’t going to be seeing him for a while because he was sick. “Sick” can also be a confusing word for a child. I didn’t think that “while” would turn into years. I mean I was a child. But those years were years of absence from me – miles of distance between us – and much understanding between a father and a daughter was lost in that time and in that distance.


Nowadays, we’re emotionally intelligent. But that doesn’t mean people don’t still call it, crazy. Of course, they do. Crazy is a “majority rules”-type answer. But things are changing.

In my family there’s also a level of secrecy that goes along with calling someone crazy. I mean, we may talk about it in our family – very sparingly, but you sure as hell don’t discuss it with anyone outside of the family. And don’t let one of your relatives hear it from someone else’s mouth back to them. That is definitely not on the menu, called “Keeping it in the family.” And it is that level of secrecy and the stigma connected to it that make for a lethal combo. And that is why mental health is so challenging to get out into the light away from the darkness it used to inhabit in Nurse Ratched days.

When will we peel back the layers and get that there’s a level of danger attached to being crazy… ? It’s why people can’t allow themselves to “fall prey” to that kind of darkness. Except… it’s not true.

It’s not darkness and it’s not dangerous. That’s only the meaning we’ve built around it as human beings building a collective dream that we all live in on a daily basis. We’ve got decades and centuries built into those meanings.


Related article from the (r)evolution of bliss

Are We Healthy, Truly?



When we can take the darkness out of mental health… when we can release ourselves from the anguish others have taught us to have about and around mental illness… when we can find the beauty of the challenge of our own emotional and mental well-being, then we will be able to release our well-built stigma brick-by-brick, piece-by-piece. And in that release, we can easily find our own resilience.

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Published by MoniqueM

As fierce bliss, I continue to seek and find grace and splendor everywhere. Bliss is a possibility for all of us. I'm here as a guide for anyone who seeks more of their own.

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