What do the following have in common? Angelina Jolie, Ben Stiller, Cameron Diaz, Eric Clapton, Tom Cruise. What about Sting, Drew Carey, Stephen King, Craig Ferguson, Barbara Streisand, Anthony Hopkins.
All of them have, or do suffer from some sort of mental issue. It may be depression, dyslexia, obsessive compulsive disorder, alcoholism or drug abuse.
Some are known to have “issues”, others not so much. Everyone thinks that Jolie is/was crazy, Eric Clapton was a drug addict.
What about John Cougar Mellencamp, Hugo Weaving and Neil Young, Charles Woodson and Troy Aikman, Bruce Willis and Tiger Woods, Donald Sutherland, Alice Cooper.
They have/had spina bifida, epilepsy, club foot, stuttering, polio, asthma.
It seems that those with physical issues succeed ‘despite’ while those who have mental issues have their actions or personality ‘defined’ by what happens in their heads.
Having a mental issue is nothing to be embarrassed about, nothing that should be hidden, nothing that makes someone any less than anyone else. Star quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, Troy Aikman overcame having a club foot just as Tom Cruise overcame dyslexia.
Issues, be it mental or physical, shape the person, there can be no disagreement with that. How they deal with the issue, affects who they are and how they compensate for it. It doesn’t matter if you were born with six fingers on one hand or have bi-polar, it changes the person and it is how that person deals with it which defines them, not the issue itself.
Regardless if you have epilepsy or obsessive compulsive disorder, you need to seek advice, help and perhaps treatment.
It is wrong to refer to those who have mental issues as having to suffer them while those with physical issues simply overcome them. If someone is insane, who lives in their own little world and is perfectly happy there, surely that cannot be referred to as suffering, as they clearly are not.
As science learns more about issues such as depression and addiction, and the percentage of the population who have issues continues to grow, perhaps the normal or average person against all others are measured is change. Perhaps there really isn’t ‘normal’ anymore.
There is a danger that issues and conditions are created for everyone, to explain everything from bed wetting to overeating, from excessive yawning to failing to keep the front yard clear of leaves. Simply because something can be given a name doesn’t mean it needs to be treated. Especially with children, there seems to be an over-eagerness to pumping chemicals into bodies to reduce the differences between them and the ideal child. After all, if a pharmaceutical company creates a product, there obviously has to be an issue to be treated by it.