Fail, fail, fail, fail, succeed

You Are Not Defined By Your Mental Illness

As of 2015, the National Institute of Mental Health estimates approximately 4.3 million adults suffered from any mental illness in the United States – or about 18 percent of the population. I want to make a very important point here, one that may not be self-evident if you or a loved one suffers from a mental illness that has not been successfully treated.

Although your disorder can define your ability to function effectively in the world – it does not define you. Let me explain…

We all have certain gifts, the combination of which are unique to each of us. Psychology has developed many tools to test for our potential as humans – but there is a wild card at play here. One may be gifted with above average intelligence, or have a personality type that might express itself successfully in a particular work environment, or innately have a gift for personal expression that could develop into a powerful artistic expression. But none of this potential can be realized if the individual is impaired by mental illness – the symptoms cause an instability that will prevent the full manifestation of who that person is. Treat the illness successfully – and suddenly the individual is able to begin realizing their potential.

Now of course there are other factors at play here – like how badly the person wants to express their potential and their willingness to work hard to do so. But the point I am trying to make is this:

If you are suffering from mental illness, you might be shocked by what you are able to achieve if the disease is effectively treated. Accept and recognize your limitations and ask for help. Sometimes (if you are lucky) a third party will need to intervene because you are so impaired you are unable to recognize your disconnect from reality.

It’s too bad there is such a stigma attached to admitting you have a mental disorder. You might be surprised at how many successful individuals would be unable to function without their medication