Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Let's Talk - a mental health break

I'd like to take a time-out here...just a moment. It's time. Indeed, it most certainly is...I believe that in many cases creative genius comes with a cost. Often an unspoken that we are afraid to admit. The cost is ones mental health.

Today is Let's Talk Day sponsored by Bell so that's what I am going to do. Talk to you.
  • Robert Munsch has obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar disorder (I love you)
  • Charles Schulz reportedly suffered from clinical depression (you were our idol as children)
  • Paul Simon reportedly has clinical depression (I wish I had diamonds on the soles of my shoes...)
  • Vincent Van Gogh, Isaac Newton, Winston Churchill*
  • My Brother.
I think there is a price to pay for an open, beautiful, creative mind and so many people who have given us so much have paid or are paying a price.

Shortly after I turned 18, my brother 20...our mother got a call. She and I were getting ready to head out for the day. It was the man who owned the house where my brother boarded. He had to call 911 as my brother had locked himself in the bathroom and was shouting violently. I will never forget that is etched in my mind forever. It was just before the July long weekend...

He has since been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

My brother is an artist. He grew up drawing Snoopy and Smurfs. He had created his own characters. Later he taught himself to paint (he has done some fantastic work and some very dark work too). He loves music, poetry and spoken word. He records music independently. This is not the place to share his work.

I thought it was important that we talk. When I was younger, I never admitted it but now I do. I went away to university, far away, to leave it all behind. So I could just be me. Not a sister, a daughter, a caregiver. Just me. I couldn't. I just couldn't. I still struggle with some of those roles. Ever see someone walking the wrong way when they should be helping? Please don't judge them. Maybe they want to help but maybe they need to help themselves first.

My brother pays a price for his beautiful mind...sometimes we all do.

  • Mental illness represents 15% of Canada's burden of disease.
  • Only 5.5% of our healthcare dollars in Canada are dedicated to mental illness.
Let's talk,


1 comment:

Beans said...

Oh my dear Creative Bug ... thank you for sharing and for reminding us all that every one of us needs to care about mental health. Let's talk indeed.