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Taboo : A Conversation About Mental Illness

Updated on April 24, 2019
AnthonySOwens profile image

Self Proclaimed Realist With A Knack For Stating The Painfully Obvious. Creator of The Taboo Article Series.

Addressing An Issue

We as a country have a problem when it comes to the classification of mental illness. We lump some into undesirable categories like sex offenders,serial killers, and all the thing in between. In almost every case, there were some kind of identifying factors that someone either missed along the way or just didn't speak up when they saw the signs. In the case of the uni-bomber, his own brother saw the clues and turned him in. That was a different time and vastly different political era. People back then still had the gumption and to say what everyone was thinking. People now have a mentality that because you say something loud enough and enough times, then eventually the establishment or opposition will concede to their demands or views. The people that used to fight for what they found arguable, have now grown tired of relentless debates and debacles and have taken a back seat to let other louder and more aggressive voices dictate the way they now live.

Lets take for instance, the caving of the establishment that recognizes a transgender person as something other than male or female. BY NO MEANS am I bashing or saying that transgenderism is a bad thing. I subscribe to the idea that people should be able to do what ever it is that makes them feel good about themselves. However I like to stay as close to the realm of reality as humanly possible when dealing with taboo subjects such as this. The harsh reality is that there are only two genders. Some people argue that Sex and Gender are not the same things and use semantics in nearly every conversation between opposing opinions on this subject. They site a study conducted by the transgender association of their choosing to validate their arguments. But again, just because you say something really loud and really often doesn't make you right. However, If you introduce yourself to me as Heather, and look like an Andy, I would still address you as Heather. As a sign of respect it is imperative that this happens. Because no matter what issues a person has, they should still be treated with respect and dignity.

Trigger Alert

The fact that a man wakes up and wishes his penis was gone, should be considered a sign of something not being right. Whether it be the hardware or the software, some where there is a disconnect. In recent news you will find that the government has opted to cover transgender surgeries and medications with medicare. If you look at it from a mental health prospective, the doctors are just prescribing the sexual reassignments as a pseudo medication for a problem. They have decided not to try to fight the issue with medication or education. Instead they have opted to carry out these very expensive surgeries and medications as a way to deal with the issue at hand.

Which is a mental health issue!!!

Instead of giving you Prozac to combat the chemical imbalances causing you to feel like a woman even though you are a man, they are just going to reassign you to what makes you comfortable. Effectively curing your issue, or creating a whole slew of new ones. I support the fact that our government is covering this type of thing. It may be a cop out to the real issue, but a mental health issue, no matter what it is should be covered.

At one time homosexuality was considered a mental illness. That stance was one in which I whole heartedly didn't agree with. Anybody has the right to love anybody else to a limit. Everybody has the right to love themselves to a limit. Grown people whom decide to follow that path, should have all rights and freedoms afforded to them that are afforded to traditional couples, but anything without moderation can be a bad thing. A man and a man have the right to be happy together, unless one man is 50 and the other is 14.

People say that homosexuality isn't a choice, but everything in life is a choice. At some point you were able to make a decision about the path you would take. That is what separates homosexuality from the mental illness epidemic. These people make the decision to carry on this type of lifestyle. Whether it be from a very young age or from a chance encounter in college, they all have a choice at some point. I support peoples rights to choose when it comes to love and think that it is great that they are finally able to be married and have the same rights as a traditional couple. I think that it gives millions of children a chance to be loved. As many same sex couples adopt and make huge impacts in the lives of everyone around them. For these reasons and so many more, I couldn't possibly conceive homosexuality as a mental illness. By at one point in our history it was.

Now is the time to take back control

People tend to shy away from mental illness topics, and that is the problem we face today. People would rather cave or circumvent the issues by making concessions, than dealing with the problem. A man who feels like he is a woman is 100% a mental issue. A man who is sexually attracted to children has a mental illness. A female teacher who sleeps with her students has a mental illness. A female who can't sleep at night because of voices in her head has a illness. A child with autism has a mental issue. Everyone in America knows someone with a mental issue.

We as a society only recognize a few of these things as acceptable topics for conversation. No one is willing to address the obvious elephants in the room. If you really think about it, no matter where you are in the world you are always within arms reach of someone with a mental illness. Whether you like to admit it most of you reading this can think of something that effects your mental health, daily. But if we continue to accept every mental illness as the way it is or like it was predetermined from birth, at what point does it end.

We provide help and support for people who have mental illnesses we can accept. By no means am I advocating for pedophiles, and by no means am I saying that being transgender is a bad thing. But what I am saying is, as a country we have began to accept things just to silence angry, misguided, or mentally ill voices. We have set the stage for the pedophile to say he or she has a right to love who they want. We have also opened the door for serial killers to say , whey were born this way and it is not their fault. We as a country have become so afraid to say what we are thinking, that these last two scenarios could be real possibilities in the near future.

I myself suffer from several mental health issues. I come from a family with a long line of mental issues. One of my very good friends was killed when he was 18 years old by a police officer during a mental episode. I tell you these things because instead of letting those things define me, I let them guide me. I let them push me to a place that the mental cards I was dealt told me I couldn't reach. I let them guide me through the rough times in my life and the smooth ones too. I get up everyday determined to get further up the ladder than I did yesterday.

I have respect and admiration for the people who dare to be different. I don't hate or shy away from anyone doing their own thing. I do however recognize that I myself have a mental issue, but at the same time recognize the mental issues plaguing the world at large.

My mind races from the time I wake up at 10am until 5am when I finally slow down enough to close my eyes. I rise and do this everyday of the week. But during that time I choose to occupy it with writing or with planning my next big break. Some people wake up depressed and don't leave the bed all day. Some people wake up as a man and feel like a woman. Mental Illness is something that one day, every person walking the earth will experience. It has been here since humanity has occupied the planet. It is something that we as a country can not shy away from. We have to address these issues head on to insure that nobody is unfairly treated but at the same time nobody is allowed to take things to far. We have to stop being scared to address the issues because they aren't consider politically correct. Mental Illness is an epidemic but on so many more levels than taboo allows us to address.


These views and opinions are solely those of the author and are by no means representative of the values or views of the publishing organization.


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    • jagdishprajapat profile image

      Jagdish Prajapat 

      4 weeks ago from Udaipur, India

      Great Article. Enjoyed reading it.


    • AnthonySOwens profile imageAUTHOR

      Anthony S Owens 

      4 weeks ago from Raleigh,NC

      I'm quite positive this topic is going to cause some fuss. Just know that I wrote it from a place of reason and deep reflection. In no way was this article a jab at anyone with any kind of mental health issue. Thanks for reading, and I hope you were able to see what I was getting at.


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