May is Mental Health Month, so if you know someone who is bat shit crazy, but 'em a drink or something. How-To Geek is celebrating by posting information on suicide: Know the Signs of Suicide, Save a Life. They have also proclaimed today as Mental Health Awareness Day.
As Main Lady used to say, "The neurotic builds castles in the air, the psychotic lives in the castle, and the psychologist collects the rent." The picture here reminds me of the consummate neurotic.
Probably the best description of clinical depression I've ever read is provided by Depression, Part Two by Hyperbole and a Half, who states that she doesn't want to commit suicide so much as she wants to not be, as in 'To be, or not to be, that is the question.'
I have had several bad encounters with crazy women. I had one threaten suicide if I left her. I, naturally, took her threat seriously and didn't have the brains to tell her to try and not make a mess. For her part, she eventually found someone else to fixate on and left me the hell alone. What a relief that was. A good friend of mine went through a very similar scenario, but married the idiot. She finally divorced him when she got well and truly fed up with the bullshit. He, sadly, still survives.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness - Mental Health Month wants to remove the stigma from mental illness, which is a nice thought. Try this - next time you go to a party where no one knows you, introduce yourself to a few people, and by way of light conversation reveal that you're a paranoid schizophrenic with delusions of grandeur, and you're thinking of running for President. See what kind of reaction you get. If possible, collect all the cordless phones in the house and place them in the wash basin of the guest bath.
I was out with Main Lady - true story - visiting some friend of hers in the hospital. Main Lady introduced herself to the nurse as a licensed clinical psychologist. By way of being helpful, I introduced myself as well, and told the nurse I was Main Lady's patient, but that I was allowed out because I was on my meds. Thorazine, this week. The nurse started to quietly freak out and Main Lady spilled the beans.
Anyway, I write about this for two reasons:
The mentally ill segment of our polite society is the most vulnerable group in the world. They are unable to cope with the bureaucracy (and the petty bureaucratic assholes) who are supposed to provide them with social services, so they don't starve to death or forego their medication because there's no way to get down to the pharmacy and pick up the prescription. They have no money, and so cannot hire adequate legal representation to prevent them from being abused by State workers or other governmental monkeys. Since the vast majority of them are harmless to themselves and others, they are often severely neglected. My point here is that funding for the mentally ill is often cut in favor of other welfare programs, and it shouldn't be. Funding should be increased at the expense of other welfare programs, and this is where I'm going to stop because if I don't I'll write a class-A, scorchingly profane and politically incorrect rant that offends everyone except white American men and women over 40 who actually work for a living and who know what it's like to have to get along on less -
Shut up, Mad Jack!
Thank you. Secondly, many years ago one of my co-workers successfully committed suicide. All the signs of impending suicide were there for anyone who cared to look for them. I even asked him if he was getting along okay, and when he said he wasn't, I hadn't the vaguest notion of what to do for him. He was gay, an artistic type whom I found to be pleasant company, but who was very unhappy with his life. He'd been abused as a child and as a teenager, and his current partner had all the empathy of a table lamp with a burnt out 40 watt bulb. By the time the pellets hit the windmill, his partner formed an effective barrier that kept me and the rest of the staff from knowing that there was a crises until it was too late. In my mind the partner should have been arrested and tried for depraved indifference, but that never happened. So I'm bothered by this, even though it was many years ago. I wish I'd done something different. My point here is that if you think someone is suicidal, do something, even if it's wrong.
And that, as they say, is that. I'm going out with a few friends for dinner tonight. We're having Indian food at Star of India over on Reynolds road. Likely I'll have a manhattan.