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Madness, its consequences, meaning, and resolution
In the first instance, madness can be located in the system and in the institutions, we are born in and struggle to live in.
Who and what we are naturally as human beings has to fit into the society we are born into (which of course we have no knowledge of when we come into the world). So, for the many thousands, millions in this world who have experienced madness to varying degrees it is the emotional pain associated with the confining institutions we are born into that either cause or exacerbate the problem.
Institutions such as the family, school, hospital. Of course, I am not suggesting that we should do away with these institutions just yet, only that they change in their outlook, culture, and work with human beings and humanity rather than against it.
Mental illness and work
There has been much said, written about and policies made to make people sick with madness go to work. There has always been and always will be a number of people who are willing and capable of working.
They never needed any encouragement like discharge from day centers, or obscure and hampering benefit rules such as the permitted work rules (which have quite frankly put off hundreds possibly thousands of disabled people from working) as mechanism for obtaining work.
People with mental illness very often make very good healers, just as they do in other parts of the world, in Africa and Asia for example. There is very high recovery rates in parts of these continents and other areas of usually what is known as the third world. They ( those displaying symptoms of mental illness) are not outcast but sometimes revered and quite often given roles (or work) in their societies that involves healing, whether it be emotional, spiritual or physical.
It is no good trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, many of us who are or have been mad simply cannot fit into the jobs and the associated working environment that exist without getting so stressed out that we are likely to become a danger to ourselves and also to those around us. Basically we have limited functioning capacity in a workplace.
This is a fact for many of us and it is a hurtful fact for us to face. It is because of this that we become outcast.
Primarily mental illness is treated by psychotropic drugs, this solution is forced on us in our society (the western world) and we have no choice. One problem that is encountered as a consequence of this is non-compliance.
Current resolutions to the problem of madness is to threaten and consider locking people up even though they have not done anything. Of course this is intellectually and morally absurd and shows the lengths some people will go to in order to ostracise a group of people they maybe fear and do not wish to allow the same or similar rights as the rest of the population.
A good resolution is simple, the medication may or may not help us, personally I take it (the bitter pill), there needs to be more education and discussion about psychotropic medicine, but just ask anyone who is involved in the administration of medicine, this is only a small part.
For Madness and is consequences to be alleviated our basic needs have to be looked at and provision made. Housing, food, warmth and human company. Most of us will not just take and not give anything back. We are as I have said before excellent all-round healers, entertainers, musicians, artists.
We have special needs, cannot, and should not be forced into a working environment that we are simply not capable of being productive in.
By Sophie. 3rd September 2007