It has been a while since I’ve written anything for Geeks and Ghouls. I could say that I was on vacation, or that I had other priorities arise (which isn’t entirely untrue). But if I’m being perfectly honest, the real reason is much less pleasant in nature. One of my major goals with Geeks and Ghouls was to create fundraisers and advocate for those struggling to maintain their mental health. It’s a cause near and dear to my heart because I have been in a lifelong battle with anxiety and depression. What might be seen as laziness and lack of motivation by others is actually a sickness eating me from the inside out. Too often I’ve watched my passions fall victim to anxiety or a forced complacency. Geeks and Ghouls was teetering dangerously close to abandonment….. And so begins the self-hate that only adds fuel to the fire of mental illness.
For a long time I couldn’t create art. It had been my psychological crutch all my life, but depression managed to kill any desire to create that I had. Finally, after literally crying over blank pages, I made a painting about my inability to create art with the same passion of my youth.
Now I’m doing something similar with GnG. I know GnG is a fandom site, but I believe we all have a responsibility to open up a dialogue about mental health and the system we live in that exasperates it.
So, would all my readers share their experiences surrounding mental health with me? How do you cope? What do you feel is lacking in our community when it comes to how we address mental health issues? If you could change one thing about the state of mental healthcare in our state/nation, what would it be?
Furthermore, bringing the subject matter closer to the purpose of this site, what movies, TV shows, or books have helped you cope with your mental health? Likewise, which ones do you believe give a good depiction of what it’s like to live with mental illness?
Sometimes, when you’re struggling, it helps to have a go-to show, movie, book, or song that you know (even if it makes you cry) will help you release that growing tension that many of us fight with. In my particular case, Doctor Who has always made me feel less alone and naturally, “Vincent and the Doctor” comes to mind. Not only does this episode delve into what it’s like to live with depression, but it also touches on the mark left on loved ones who have to watch their friend, lover, or family member suffering.
Here, Amy hopes with all her heart that taking Vincent to the future and showing him the amazing value he added to the whole world would change his fate and save him from his mental illness. When she realized the outcome hadn’t changed, her heart sank and the Doctor had to pull her close and explain:
“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and… bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant. And we definitely added to his pile of good things.”
~ the Doctor
You see, the Doctor understood that mental illness isn’t something you can cure with just love and acts of kindness. You can tell a person over and over again what their worth is to you and the world, but it doesn’t change the way their sickness affects them. So please understand, when you are trying to help your loved one, the result and fault of mental illness lies strictly with the disease. Do not fret. Simply ask how you can add to their pile of good things.
And I’m asking you now, as someone who suffers and loves, how can I add to your pile of good things?
With Hope and Love,