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"The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don't."

10 Oct 11:00 by Scott Beattie

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"The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don't."

 

Last night I went and watched the new film ‘Joker’ to see what all the fuss is about and how it all began. Coincidentally it is World Mental Health Day in which the film itself seems to gravitate hugely around; resulting in the erratic and bizarre behaviours of the so called ‘villain’.

Growing up watching a number of fictional superhero movies, the Joker was the character I enjoyed the most but until last nights viewing I never really stood back to look at the situation at hand of a man struggling with his mental health. Observing the performance and his demeanour I started to diagnose myself and friends around me who seemed to have similar characteristics as the struggling ‘bad guy’.

The film has some powerful quotes that gives you an idea of what it is like inside the mind of somebody unable to cope.

 

“Is it me or is it getting crazy out there?”

“You don’t listen do you?”

“Someone who hides behind a mask”

“People are starting to notice”

“I hope my death makes more cents than my life”

“I use to think my life was a tragedy”

“All I have are negative thoughts”

“You wouldn’t get it”

“You get what you ******* deserve!”

“My life is a comedy”

 

Even looking back at these has opened my eyes a little as it shows the thought process of someone with a mental illness; showing signs of various mood swings due to frustration and having no answers.

It seems that mental health has escalated massively worldwide but so has the support and guidance. I have noticed a lot of adverts on TV with celebrities holding signs asking us to stop and talk to people around you, to reconnect with one another and influence the nation to talk to others rather than to yourself in your head.

 

During the ‘Joker’ movie, he seems to be a crowd favourite (I wont spoil it for those who haven’t yet seen) which made me question…..are these villains really the bad guys?

 

Working in healthcare I have come across many individuals that are not only suffering from neurological conditions but also mental health problems and the staff I employ deserve many rewards for the work that they do.

To all Support Workers, Mental Health Nurses and other Clinical Professionals……Keep up the great work!! Hopefully we can solve the crisis by listening to the unheard.

 

Here’s something to think about….

The anarchy and riots in the film may have a hidden meaning of what is actually going on in the world today (maybe a bit extreme but events such as Brexit, climate change protests, knife crime) in which the actions of someone with mental health problems has a knock-on effect to the people around us. Therefore, are people suffering with mental health due to life’s difficulties and stresses or are these the influenced by mental health?

 

Are children now growing up idolising the ‘baddies’ due to a society that is so accepting (not in a bad way?)

 

We emphasise on the fact that people need to talk but forget the fact that we may need to listen instead.

Lets be honest, its why we were given two ears!!