Understanding And Surviving

The world can be a cruel place. Don’t believe me? Then just take a walk to your nearest hospital, and take a look at all the suffering patients. Take a close look at that little boy who has sprained his ankle and cannot stop crying because he’s in too much pain. Take a look that strong and sturdy man walking at a ridiculously slow pace, simply because taking a single step is excruciating for him. Turn around and fix your eyes on the old lady, once with a full head of luscious hair, now bald after a few bouts of chemotherapy. And don’t forget to stare in grief at that teenager on the wheelchair who came in with an overdose of Amphetamines, with a urine bag hanging underneath as he is wheeled to the ICU. As you can see, there’s an absolute abundance of physical illnesses, injuries and pain, waiting for us all just around the corner. All it takes is one wrong move…

But, unfortunately, the cruelty does not end there. In fact, that was just the tip of the iceberg. As you follow it down, you will first come across the friends and family members of the patients, and almost immediately, you will realize that they are in pain too. But this does not fall into the usual definition of pain…it cannot be measured or explained in physical terms. This pain, it is emotional, and it springs out of a mixture of helplessness, fear, uncertainty and love. This, my friend, is mental pain, and hurts like hell! What is even worse, though, is that nobody knows exactly how to prevent it.

You see, physical safety is a much better-researched concept than mental and emotional safety. The equation is actually quite simple…you don’t want to have a heart attack? Eat healthy, and exercise regularly. Don’t want to catch a flu, avoid the cold and maintain good hygiene. Don’t want to get a concussion? Wear a helmet and other protective gear. Don’t want to die? Follow all of the above AND try not to jump off a cliff, or the roof…

But, how do you NOT feel sad? How do you stay happy all the time? How do you motivate yourself to do something you don’t like? How do you not feel any fear or anxiety? How do you prevent schizophrenia, depression or dementia?

Don’t know the answer? Well, it is not really your fault. If you do need somebody to blame though, blame time, the ever-changing world, and the mainstream medical society.

 

My book Understanding and Surviving: Mental Illness will be available soon.

 

Tyler Simmonds