Crazy? Think Again | Teen Ink

Crazy? Think Again

March 17, 2014
By -Steph- BRONZE, Wrightstown, New Jersey
-Steph- BRONZE, Wrightstown, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 2 comments

Elyn Saks is a law professor at the University of Southern California. She is a part of the faculty of New Center for Psychoanalysis and is also a part of the Department of Psychiatry at the medical school of the University of California. Dr. Alice W. Flaherty has a Ph. D. in neuroscience from MIT and medical degrees from Harvard. She is the director of the movement disorders fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital and is the assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. She wrote a book in 2004 called “The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer’s Block and the Creative Brain”. Joanne K. Rowling is the author of the famous series of Harry Potter and is one of the richest women alive. What do these successful people have in common? They all were diagnosed with serious mental illnesses and have broken the stereotypes while continuing to do so everyday.
Unfortunately many people have fallen under the spell of believing the stereotype that people with mental illnesses will never accomplish their hopes and dreams. I went four years without knowing that a person whom I am close with has bipolar disorder. This person lived independently, has a family, and holds a steady job. I never would have known because everything she did around me were things that someone without a mental illness would also do. Elyn Saks is schizophrenic, Dr. Alice W. Flaherty has bipolar disorder, and Joanne K. Rowling was diagnosed with major depression. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), one in every four adults in the United States has a mental illness. This means that in a person’s lifetime he or she has probably met someone with a mental illness and was unaware. People are so quick to judge someone just because of something they have been diagnosed with when they don’t even understand what mental illnesses can do. In a New York Times article about Dr. Flaherty, it described of how the depression in her bipolar disorder helps her connect with and help her own patients better. To cope with her depression, Joanne Rowling wrote “Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone” and became very successful from it.
Living with a mental illness is not easy nor living with someone with a mental illness is easy. Everyday people struggle with mental illnesses and work their whole lives to cope with it. Is everyone with a mental illness “crazy”? Let’s see what society chooses to believe.


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