MENTAL ILLNESS AND SUICIDE, THE SCOURGE OF 21st CENTURY – THE HEAVIEST PRICE WE, FRIENDS AND FAMILY PAY FOR THE ADVANCES OF THE MODERN WORLD AND LIFE AS WE KNOW IT.
APPROX. 25% OF THE WORLD POPULATION HAS OR WILL HAVE SOME KIND OF MENTAL ILLNESS. (Stats: WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION 2005).
Furthermore, it is estimated that 15% of the diagnosed and medicated patients with bipolar disorder die (on their iwn hands by suicide). This means that an early diagnosis (the ideal), medication and even regular treatment are NOT sufficient to stop suicide! My son is 35 and knows it with a couple of his mates having taken their lives. NOBODY deserves to lose a friend, let alone by suicide!!! This smacks of: The close circle of friends and familioes didn’t listen long enough, often enough or just LISTEN to them sitting quietly!
ARE YOU OK? Of course am ok, what do you think? This is the commonly accepted and widely promoted by media. The question ‘enabler of all communications’?
In my modest opinion, this is ‘the most inadequate, imprecise and misleading question becuase it provides for the easy way out! – Do not try to be ‘LAW and ORDER’ or ‘Boston Legal’ or RAGE ( Richard Roxburgh)… any of these police and legal TV programs are the worst lecture about Human Communications, very funny though, luuuve it…
Furthermore, in some cases the boss or manager become quasi-therapists sticking their nose in private lives/business.
ADVISE/RECOMMENDATION/SUGGESTION: You choose what it applies to you, your reality, or…makes you feel more comfortable or less stressed out for that matter?
OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS ARE THE BEST TO OPEN UP, E.g.:
- Tell me about it darling?
- In your own time, I’d love to hear how was school, office, footbal today?
- Have you thought about what we may be able to do tomorrow and Sunday?
IT-IS-NOT-THE-MOTOR-MOUTH WHO PROVIDES THE BEST EMPATHY AND COMPANY TO A MENTALLY ILL PERSON…BUT OUR EARS AND OUR ARMS (big bear hugs containing the poor suffering soul are probably one of the best treats for any patient of anything.
‘Open ended questions’ are a must, but do not flood the person with questions, let them talk in their own time as much or as little as they can or wish.
It is utterly appalling when family members start the ‘blame game’ or try to become ‘the therapist’, thus ‘feeling superior’ than the sufferer, also imposing different regimes or policing every moment or movement of the sufferer’s life. On the other hand in most of the cases (but not all, the brain functions beautifully well, Schizophrenia is one of the exceptions). This is akin to being trapped (incarcerated) inside a 5 star international hotel with the ilusion of freedom of movement between its 5 star bars, its 5 start restaurants and its luxurious fitness centre.
Nevertheless, the MOOD is the one altered (akin to feeling unplugged or conversely with excessive electric power). That invisible chain that increases thwe effect of the gravity law by 1000%.
Ignorance and Discrimination are the chief culprits who generate the horrible, intolerable and at times unshakable STIGMA. Thus, to combat it, go and read, go and study well and DO NOT ACCUSE or judge! Berating, insulting or hurrying the ill one, or blaming DO-NOT-HELP…! OK?
Now, I leave you with my son Iggy Rodriguez (written below) , copywriter at LEO BURNRETT SYDNEY, who is currently partaking in a Creative Leadership MBA course at Berlin university, a great success story after 3 years as Argentinian and 32 as a Dinky Die Aussie. Of course am very proud of him and of my daughter Victoria who also works at the same office but as a Senior Graphic Designer. Four all together with my ex-wife Ines we arrived in Sydney in 1984 with 10 sporting bags (a few tours done between 1977 and 1983) and 1 big suitcase to set up camp and forge a future for them.
By the way, on tour in 1984 a pocket Spanish-English dictionary = my best companion. Later at home in Cromer (Sydney Northern Beaches) bought another two dictionaries. A thesaurus to followed and these days between Google and Wikipedia, I get to satisfy my hunger for ‘faults finding’ in the English language (just kidding!).
They have been through the years the damage that Bipolar has caused to me. They were the direct witnesses of the development of my Bipolar disorder type II since 1988. Bipolar is one of the hardest illnesses for everyone involved (patient, family, friends, GP’s, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and occupational therapists, etc. etc. A wonderful quote says: “Bipolar is a wild monster that parties with your life and at the end stitches you up with the bill”
Almost on arrival in June 1984 I was fortunate to be selected to play rugby for NSW and late the Wallabies, I was part of the 1984 Grand slam and 1986 Bledisloe Cup win over NZ. The rest , with the 26 test caps is history…
Iggy (or Nacho as we call him) had a several chances to learn about it including when working for Saatchi& Saatchi some 6 years ago ‘created and conducted’ a launch and promotional campaign for the now defunct BIPOLAR Education Foundation (closed up for lack of funds in 2013). The campaign directed to attack the stigma and to invite people to learn about mental illness, was called WHAT DO YOU KNOW?
My reality is that I function extremely well for 10 months a year and the other 2 go under depression episodes. Nonetheless, am alive and fighting for survival. “You only fail when you stop trying”
As I’m doing it..you must do it too…!
Enrique TOPO Rodriguez
FROM: Iggy Rodriguez, [Multi Award Winning Copywriter, Leo Burnett Sydney]
Many people think that a suicide attempt is a selfish move because the person just does not care about the people left behind. I can tell you that when a person gets to that point, they truly believe that their loved ones will be much better off with them gone.
This is mental illness not selfishness. TRUTH: Depression is a terrible disease and seems relentless. A lot of us have been close to that edge, or dealt with family members in a crisis, and some have lost friends and loved ones. Let’s look out for each other and stop sweeping mental illness under the rug. If I don’t see your name, I’ll understand.
May I ask my family and friends wherever you might be, to kindly copy and paste this status for one hour to give a moment of support to all those who have family problems, health struggles, job issues, worries of any kind and just need to know that someone cares.
Do it for all of us, for nobody is immune. Hope to see this on the walls of all my family and friends just for moral support. I know some will!!! I did it for a friend and you can too. You have to copy and paste this one, no sharing.
To copy simply hold your finger on the text and the copy option will appear. Click on it. Then click on your status and paste will appear.