What do you think about mental illness?

There are news lately about a 20 years old Cuban guy who went into a lion den in the zoo to be mauled by the lion (suicide). The zoo authorities had to shoot two lions dead to save him. Of course, condemnations poured in about the guy’s selfish act. Mental illness will suffer a blow.

When we think about the bad sides of mental illness, we think that the guy must be lonely, have no friend, no girlfriend, no job, no money, and wished for an easy way out. We seems to forget that celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, comedian Robin Williams, and others decided to take the easy way out despite having fame and money. Why? Why does the celebrities which had enormous amount of money, attention decided to make the same pathetic decision as the 20 years old, unemployed, unappreciated guy? This is because money, attention are no defense against mental illness.

But you say, no, no, no, celebrities that commit suicide are still more “worthy” than the suicidal 20 years old guy with no job and money! The celebrities had luxury hotels, big pools, and cash! They surely enjoy those while contemplating to jump off the building!

Or, put it another way, they had so much money and attention, but still chose to die, doesn’t it mean that their suffering is so much greater? My point is, when we think about mental illness, we think about the poor, about the quiet ones, about the unpopular ones.

Let me give you a tip, even when in Nazi camps, people does not loose worth and contemplate suicide. It has to do with how people view themselves, do they keep criticize their own self, over and over? Is the reality inside their mind distorted?

4 thoughts on “What do you think about mental illness?”

  1. Thanks for the insightful post.

    Experts believe that we have 3 basic emotional needs.

    They are personal sense of security , self worth or self acceptance and a sense of meaning and significance about self.

    1. Thanks Dr. Vincent for the input. Do you have any books where I can read about these?

      This post is partly inspired by the 10 cognitive distortions and the book Feeling Good by David Burns.

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