Saturday, June 20, 2009

One Must Want Hept: A Feeble Myth

One of the most erroneous assumptions of mental health care is the idea that until someone is of the mind that he or she actually wants help, nothing can - or should - be done. This notion is inaccurate, misguided and impractical.

The point being missed is that the state of being which compels one not to seek help in the face of serious illness is itself a condition which should be seen as a mental health anomaly worthy of attention. Admittedly, this state can be even more challenging than what is often seen in a crisis. Not only are there the underlying effects of the illness itself, but other factors including denial, pride, and the fear of stigma further complicate matters.

From my own experience with crisis intervention, group therapy, etc., I've come across many people who plainly did not want to be immersed in the infrastructure of the mental health care system. They did not want help, and often believed they did not need help. Judging by what I saw of their symptoms and behavior, however, it was clear these people were right where they belonged.

At the very least, advocacy is always a worthwhile option. Doing nothing is not without consequence. Much as we hate to admit it, we fail miserably in our duty to our fellow man when we stand idly by and watch him self destruct. Sadly, it has become the way of things. A most specious reasoning has perverted our priorities; a self-before-others mentality has corrupted our instinct to give. How ironic and sad that apathy has assumed 'enlightened' status.

In a world where people aspire to indifference, something is very wrong.

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