Saturday, March 30, 2013

Riveting quote on the need for helping the mentally ill

Have you noticed that you rarely hear in the media about the subject of mental illness? Mental Illness awareness is getting better but in the U.S.A. we still have a long way to go. It seems that you can be sick from the neck down and get some real attention. But there is something about the brain that makes people uncomfortable.  Here is one of the most famous quotes about society's need to recognize the horrors of a disease that assaults the brain and the central nervous system. It is by Russell Hampton, who suffered from depression himself.

If there were a physical disease that manifested itself in some particularly ugly way, such as postulating sores or a sloughing off of the flesh accompanied by pain of an intense and chronic nature, readily visible to everyone, and if that disease affected fifteen million people in our country, and further, if there were virtually no help or succour for most of these persons, and they were forced to walk among us in their obvious agony, we would rise up as one social body in sympathy and anger. There isn’t such a physical disease, but there is such a disease of the mind, and about fifteen million people around us are suffering from it. But we have not risen in anger and sympathy, although they are walking among us in their pain and anguish (The Far Side of Despair, 78)

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