Sunday, 20 January 2013

Wise words

Here's a link I came across while following another link from an article on Mad in America.  I spend a large part of my days reading around the subject of mental illness, and when I come across a gem such as this, I feel that I should pass it on.

I just wish that this guy operated in England - I would love to be life coached by him.  (Actually, with the Net, all things may be possible.  I think I'll contact him).

Read on, anyway.  I particularly liked Dr Borelli's discussion of the muddle that the defence of insanity has made in the criminal law.  It says just what I have been voicing on here, but more succinctly (although I do think that allowances should be made for the adverse life circumstances that account for almost all crimes).

By the way, (on another tack entirely) I am reading 'The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet' by David Mitchell.  It is a very interesting book, although it does take some concentration.  I'm about a third of the way through, and I would definitely recommend it. 


  1. I have been reading the book Mad in America and highly recommend it for anyone interested in the history of mental illness treatment in America. The treatment for mental illness early Americans experienced was quite barbaric.

    Although I still advocate for better modern day treatment of mental illness and for fixing our ailing U.S. mental health system. I must say reading that book made me think of the old proverb: "I cursed the fact that I had no shoes until I saw a man that had no feet."

  2. Yes, I have read all about that book but not actually read it yet. I will put it on my list. The Mad in America website is also an amazing resource. Treatment in the UK was much worse in the past too. The Magdalen Laundries in Ireland were only closed at the end of the twentieth century - they were catch-all repositories for all sorts of women, including the 'fallen' and the mentally ill. Things have certainly improved over time. Although it is interesting that people recover from severe mental illness better in the Third World - where treatment lags behind that of more developed countries. I think this is because the key to becoming mentally well is treatment that accentuates inclusion into society. Kindness is the key - medication cannot cure, unfortunately.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing that proverb - I like proverbs, and that is one that I am not familiar with. It's very true. Once when I was younger, I was visiting the optician, and moaning about how I hated having bad eyesight, and that it wasn't fair because I was the only member of my family who needed glasses. He replied I was lucky - that often he saw and treated people who could only get their eyesight corrected to the point that mine was without correction. (I.e. even with glasses they would only ever see as well as I did without them).

    I often look around and thank God that I and my family are blessed with good health. There are a lot worse things I could have had than mental illness, and I am truly grateful for all the lessons I have learned (and am still learning) through my experience. My aim, and that of other mental health activists, is that eventually everyone suffering from emotional distress will be treated with kindness, compassion and understanding. Fingers crossed!

    All the best, Louise