Friday, September 12, 2014


THIS ENTRY FIRST ENTERED IN MAY 2007 But Still Relevant Today


On NAMI New Hampshire Web Site we find the following:
"People with Mental Illness Enrich Our Lives"
Information about famous people throughout history who have been diagnosed with, or thought to have a serious mental illness or mood disorder.
Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States
The revered sixteenth President of the United States suffered from severe and incapacitating depressions that occasionally led to thoughts of suicide, as documented in numerous biographies by Carl Sandburg.
Winston Churchill
"Had he been a stable and equable man, he could never have inspired the nation. In 1940, when all the odds were against Britain, a leader of sober judgment might well have concluded that we were finished," wrote Anthony Storr about Churchill's bipolar disorder in Churchill's Black Dog, Kafka's Mice, and Other Phenomena of the Human Mind.
Does that mean that maybe the Civil War was caused by President Lincoln’s mental illness rather than slavery or states rights and secession? Is Storr correct that Churchill was helped by his mental illness or was it the cause of more evil?
In New York a state senator is holding hearings about how to make colleges safer. Newsday wrote it up this way, “College officials from across a broad spectrum said yesterday that campus security measures were intertwined with the mental health needs of students. It was clear at a legislative hearing, convened by state Sen. Kenneth P. LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) in the wake of a mentally ill student's deadly rampage at Virginia Tech, that students' mental health needs was an even bigger challenge for colleges than campus security. "This issue is broader than the security issues," LaValle said. John R. Ryan, outgoing chancellor of the 64-campus State University of New York, testified that the "numbers of students entering our colleges and universities with professionally treated mental health issues is increasing."
The public must be becoming very concerned. The truth is having a hard time getting through all the fear producing rhetoric and the politicians who want to seem to be doing something. Truth is a very hard thing to determine. Can you still remember why we went to war in Iraq? Were we told the truth? Was the war over when our President declared it so four years ago? If you were in a psychiatric hospital and your reality was being determined, you had better hope you would be closer to reality than our President was when he took us to war in Iraq or when he declared it over. My point is simple. Truth is illusive and we need calm and considered dialogue not fear producing journalism and politicians trying to score points.
The rights of all of us with a serious mental illness are on the line here. The outcome will change our lives and those of our families and loved ones either for the better or for the worse. It all depends how close we come to the truth.
© Ed Cooper, May 2007

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