Ian Anderson 6 p.m., March 7
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The "Icarus Movement"...Flying A Bit Too High?
"His Eyes Are Ablaze...See The Madman In HIs Gaze!" --Iron Maiden, from "Flight Of Icarus" fom PIECE OF MIND,
More and more, I am reading about a movement called "Mad Pride" or "The Icarus Movement." These folks often tell us (through their press-release screeds) that being "mentally ill" is not an illness (as if!). Rather, our "madness" is merely a manifestation of our untapped "creativity." If we are allowed to express such "creativity," there would be no need for "talk therapy," "medication therapy," or anything else that "Would inhibit" that "creative madness" that drives us on.
"Yeah, right...have another Pepsi, it makes you moonwalk!" --Frank Zappa, from "The Real Frank Zappa Book."
The only pride I feel in having a illness like Schizo-Affective Disorder is that I know that there are others out there like myself. Other than that, anybody who tells me that being "mad" is from "untapped creativity" reminds me yet again that there are plenty of quacks, zanies, and charlatains out there. Folks like that are the ones that not only have very little "knowledge" of the infernal pantheon that is mental illness. They also remind me that the biggest untreated mental illness out there is indifference.
The treatment of most mental health conditions, as I have said before, is long-lasting, pain-filled...and not always a sure thing! The current model involves talk therapy, "as-needed" psychiatric medication, monitoring of said meds by a licensed psychiatrist, plus "as-needed" milleu therapy and short-term hospitalization when all else fails. "Why not try something new?" you might ask. "Maybe you can give that all up and come join those whom embrace "how we truly are"? Not today, Poindexter!
The sad truth is that things like "Mad Pride" and The Icarus Movement have nothing to do with you dealing with your illness properly. When this happens, your illness will deal with you...and your life will never be the same afterwards, because you will be devoid of life! Any mental illness can only be dealt with for what it is...a serious, potentially terminal, brain disorder. No, being mentally ill is not a manifesttation of untapped creativity. Is having a serious disease that affects my mood, psyche, and emotions...one that if left untreated, is assuredly terminal!
My illness is most certainly never my friend...for it never wishes me well, but ill. Care of Illness is a Care of Life!