Monday, 17 February 2014

Mental Health Monday- 'Acceptance is the Key to be Truly Free'


     While indie music usually comprises my listening material, I do listen to pop music even if I find that most of the lyrics are absolute garbage, like Ke$ha & Pitbull's Timber. But sometimes even pop culture and pop music produces a gem, such as Katy Perry's most recent hit Unconditionally.

       In the dictionary, unconditional is defined as being that which is not limited by conditions. The concept of the "unconditional" is something almost entirely foreign in today's society. Even marriage, something tradition has deigned means "till death do us part" has been influenced by conditions. Rather than trusting in a couple's love for each other, society encourages couples to sign pre-nuptial agreements and place conditions on their divorce before they are even wed.

      Considering that the unconditional is practically foreign in today's society it is no surprise that everyday people evaluate each other's normalcy on a variety of social conditions... clothing, makeup (woman or man because heaven forbid a man express himself by wearing makeup), dialect, education, and of course, mental health. In many way mental health vetoes many of the other conditions mentioned in relegating a person to the abnormal, even if they conform in every other way to society because if they have a bad day, week, month, year etc. due to a mental disorder then they are decidedly not normal and perhaps even crazy. In my opinion it is not those who experience mental health disorders that are abnormal but those who judge them.

     According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), 20% of all Canadians will experience a mental health disorder during their lifetime. To put that in perspective, that means approximately 7 MILLION CANADIANS WILL EXPERIENCE MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS, that is about 90% of the population of Quebec. Could you imagine if an entire province was deemed abnormal and incapable just because they didn't meet a certain set of standards of conditions imposed by society? Canada's economy would crash.

    Considering Canada's economy hasn't crashed, that means that the majority of those 7 million people living with mental health disorders are capable enough to hold steady jobs, and contribute positively to Canadian society, whatever society thinks of them.

    Its long past time to abolish the stereotypes surrounding mental illness and as Katy Perry sings in her recent hit, "walk through the storm" side by side with the surprisingly normal people suffering from mental illness.



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