Kitt O’Malley put me onto a research project by Marya Hornbacher who is writing a book that “will profile the lives of people who have a mental illness or who work in the field, and she’s trying to develop a deeper understanding of how the public views mental illness.” I couldn’t resist throwing in my own two cents. Because I have a long track record of never being included in such studies, I thought I would share my answers to her questionnaire here for your consideration and discussion:
Has mental illness affected you personally? If so, how?
Yes, I live with bipolar disorder, PTSD, and ADD. I lived in quiet torment for many years, occasionally bubbling over in rages that left my wife emotionally overwhelmed. This left me with feelings of deep guilt, but I didn’t do anything at first because I had been told that suffering was part of life and I should just buck up and endure it. When I finally did seek help, I was diagnosed with major depression and put on Prozac. Because I was “cured” the next day, I sought no further insights into my diagnosis until I came to the brink of committing suicide at age 47.