Remember that time you couldn’t get your laptop to work? Perhaps it overheated. Or the screen went black. Whatever the problem, it persisted, and there was nothing you could do about it. Or so it seemed.
We bet you found a solution. Eventually.
Maybe you installed a security update, and things went back to normal. Or you took the laptop to the computer guy, and he restored it. See, there was a fix? You solved the problem!
Our brains are like laptops, full of internal, intertwining components that support our most complex cognitive processes. Sure, our brains don’t rely on software, but we have inputs and outputs, circuits and currents, and these elements can malfunction.
That’s what makes us human.
Mental illness is to our brains what an overheated overdrive is to a laptop. It’s normal. It’s frustrating, sure, but it’s normal. It happens to all of us. And we can fix it.
Almost Everyone Experiences Mental Illness
Typically, mental illness happens in three stages:
- There’s a trigger.
- We experience system overload.
- Our brains shut down.
It’s like a laptop.
The difference is, humans are complex beings, full of emotions, memories, and experiences. So, mental illness is normal but it hurts.
We love this description of mental illness from The School of Life:
To be mentally ill is to be swamped by secretions of fear, self-hatred, and despair that — like surging seawater through a pumping station control desk — knock out all our higher faculties.
Most people experience these feelings. We encounter fear, self-hatred, and despair. We experience system overload. Our brains shut down.
Over one in five U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2019 alone. It’s safe to say that nearly all of us will suffer from mental health issues at some point. Say it with us: It’s normal.
So why don’t we talk about it more?
Talking About Mental Health
If mental illness is part of life, why don’t we talk about it? We keep our private lives to ourselves, but this becomes overwhelming when dealing with these strange feelings. Seeing other people on social media live (seemingly) perfect lives makes it worse. We feel isolated. We struggle. So we don’t talk about it. We feel like a burden.
Reaching out to a friend, doctor, or therapist or enrolling in supportive counseling with Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation might sound scary, but it could be the solution. Like how that computer guy fixed your laptop.
Because when we talk, we realize we’re all in this together. We learn we all go through the same struggles and challenges, perhaps just in a different order or at a different stage in life.
Before You Go
It’s been a tough year for us who work in theatrical exhibition, especially those who experienced unemployment and financial hardship. But, even when we feel alone, we should realize that almost everyone experiences mental health issues at some point. It’s part of life. Only by talking about it can we fix the problem for good.