Monday, April 03, 2017
A while back I saw a meme that showed two pictures, one above the other. The top picture was of a forest, while the lower picture was of medicinal pills. Over the picture of the forest was written, 'This is therapy', while over the pills was written 'This is rubbish' (Actually it swore, but I won't repeat that). It was posted in connection with depression.
I sighed and moved on, but that picture has stuck with me. Why? I believe it shows a profound misunderstanding of mental illness.
A walk in the forest can be therapuetic, unless it's raining, cold and you have no warm clothing. In Spring, Summer and Autumn it can help alleviate depression or other mental illnesses, but it will not cure them. Why? Because mental illness is not simple. There is rarely one root cause.
Most mental illnesses have a number of causes that knit together to form each individual's unique condition. What causes depression and/or anxiety in one person will have no effect on another.
Part of it is due to genetic factors, while other parts will be environmental.
'So change the environment'. You try doing that when you're two years old, or ten....unless you run away from your family or are taken into care. And while I'm at it, why not retreat from the world and move to Mars, far away from the society that others have built and I currently live in.
Not so easy that part.
A walk in the woods, assuming you don't live in a city, large town, open plains area, desert or it's been cordoned off for some reason, can help...if no one's around. But, it is not a cure. Cures come when the root causes are understood and treated.
Simple enough for measles, not for mental illnesses which are far from being understood.
So I ignore memes and advice like the one mentioned above. I have retreated from a great part of this world, which helps, but I cannot escape the environment completely. Some people do escape when take their lives, but a lot don't.
A few fail in the attempt, others have some hope that things can change, while yet more have a combination of the two. I've been all three at various times and am currently on medication to help with the illness.
The correct medication isn't rubbish, the wrong attitude from others is.