Mental Rootedness


Diriye Osman

Dear reader,

Psychosis is double-consciousness in extremis. On the one hand you know that the world and all its contents have become alarmingly anamorphic, but on the other, even though you can't change this perception, you also know that your reality isn't Reality with a capital R. This has been my experience of psychosis, which is what makes the condition toilsome.


From a young age I've been diagnosed with numerous mental health conditions, and this is what I've learnt: mental illness is a plangent echo, a turbocharged mirroring of what able-bodied —able-minded — folks experience on a day-to-day basis.


An example; If you're able-minded and have had a stressful day at work, your nerves may be shot by the time you traipse home to find your partner lolling about on the couch, dirty dishes in the sink, the whole house resembling a garbage dump, and the dinner not yet in the oven.

What do you do? Whether you scream and engage in an altercation or approach things placatingly is entirely your prerogative, but neither course of action disintegrates the ground on which you stand.


But if you have bipolar disorder, for example, the general unpleasantness of the circumstances might trigger a depressive episode.


I know this because it has happened to me and many people I know. It's the accretion of stressors, which are almost imperceptible at first, that gradually coalesce into a Molotov cocktail of cold sweats and catatonia.


This sounds grim, doesn't it, beloved reader? It doesn't have to be.


Anyone in the world can succumb to poor mental health at any time, but the trick is to try to be your own best self-advocate by explaining to your loved ones and doctors exactly what you're experiencing. Contrary to what the symptoms of schizophrenia and anxiety and bipolarity try to tell us, no-one is a mind reader.


If you or your loved ones are going through it at the moment, and you need someone to talk to, I suggest you visit the following website: https://unitedgmh.org/mental-health-support


It's an incomplete list, but Google is your friend in this instance, and reaching out to empathetic mental health services is an absolutely vital component of a life well-lived.


May you live a healthy, rewarding life, beloved reader.


With love,


Diriye


Image by DIRIYE OSMAN and JAROSLAV SCHOLTZ


Song to calm the mind: 'There Where He Lives In Me' by MELODY GARDOT.