Let's say I had a highly communicable disease. Let’s we call it mondocrazyitis. This disease is so contagious that if you stood in a room with me, you might catch it. Even talking to me on the phone left you vulnerable to my cooties.
You see me out in the world every day, sick as a dog, spreading my mondocrazyitis to everyone I meet. You might get mad, right? You'd think I was careless, selfish and just plain dangerous.
What’s my point, you ask?
There are too many veritable nutcases out there who possess zero compulsion to treat their obvious mental illness. And every day, people like you and me are unwilling recipients to their free-floating derangement.
But you argue, there are tons of people on meds. Too many perhaps. But guess whose taking them? People with a modicum of awareness that they have a problem! The rest of the crackpots continue to run amok, footloose and fucking fancy-free!
Tell-tale symptom? Haughty arrogance:
"Who me? Nah, I don't see shrinks because I don't have a problem. It's [fill in the blank] who has the problem. Sure my childhood was deeply troubled but I don't see what that has to do with the fact that I have a knife in your back right now."
Other symptoms that you’re an untreated kook:
You’re a hoarder. It’s not healthy to bury yourself alive in shit. If you can’t open doors in your home because of junk overload or your cat is sleeping on top of a pile of newspapers from the 1972, you’ve got a problem. Get help!
You do weird things with food. You binge, purge, starve and obsess about your looks (which are ironically deteriorating because you binge, purge and starve). It’s been going on for years and you think no one knows but every does. Get help!
You’re a love addict. You’ve been in a string of soul-sapping, poisonous relationships for years yet you pursue these jerks as if you’re life depended on it. Then you tell others how great the guy is and how only you can see it. Get help!
You’re another kind of addict. Booze and drugs can be our friends sometimes but if you’re getting red-faced angry or maudlin every time you drink or barfing your guts out each weekend and you’re 42, you have a problem! Get help!
You’re a sociopath and you know it. Oh sociopaths, you sneaky little mindfucks you. You’re missing a soul and your only goal in life is to win and control. You manipulate others and mess up their lives and you’re never wrong for doing it. You are also the least likely to get help. Get help anyway, you cold-hearted lunatic!
You’re unhappily married. Egad, there are gaggles of you. “Doing it for the children” right? So you can role model a crappy relationship and they can mimic it in the future? Great. Not to worry. Keep squabbling in public places. We all love your endless bickering and icy silences. Get help or a divorce!
Yes, but does therapy really work? Hell if I know! But it sure beats zero self-examination. Can’t stand the thought of therapy because you’re just too good for it? Try reading a self-help book. Or meditating. Or writing in a journal. Or juggling. Whatever. Just do something so you’re not spreading your nasty disease all over the joint.
Is it fun working on your mental health issues? No! It sucks. It also sucks finding a decent therapist because they’re all nuts too. But you know what’s worse? Having a lifelong disease that affects everyone around you, you fruitcake!
Listen, I’m crazy as a loon. I’m forced to juggle my mental problems like a clown on crack. But it all comes down to awareness. I realize I have work to do, for myself and as a fellow human on this planet.
Don’t let your dumb mental illness affect your own happiness or that of others. Do something—anything—to make it better. It’s your job as a human. But if you choose to stay sick, get the mental equivalent of a massive-sized Kleenex and cover your proverbial mouth please.