The Mentally Ill Person’s Dream

*disclaimer: this may not apply to all mentally ill people

You’ve heard about the American dream (a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility achieved through hard work, according to Wikipedia) and the Kiwi dream (a quarter acre, a place to watch rugby, and plenty of beer). There are even people that live those dreams (probably a greater percentage of Kiwis than Americans, hard work doesn’t necessarily get you far). What might a mentally ill person’s dream look like? This is my take on it.

A medication regime that controls symptoms well, and doesn’t have a horrendous side effect profile. With any luck, that regime is also only a few drugs, because taking handfuls of medication isn’t much fun.

A sleep pattern that doesn’t interfere with everyday tasks and appointments. One that’s easy to manage without always needing medications to induce sleep, and the corresponding half litre of coffee the next morning to rejoin the land of the wakeful.

The ability to go about everyday tasks easily. No panic attacks, no brain wandering off to pick daisies, no uncontrollable emotions or actions.

Being well enough to realistically seek work or training, without the fear of mental illness taking the ability to work or study away.

Acceptance from other people. Friends that are supportive rather than judgemental. Colleagues that judge based on skill not stereotype.

The ability to interact with others without them instantly knowing something’s wrong, so there is a choice about whether to tell them.

The ability to feel and seem normal.

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