I am often asked if I am writing about people who suffer from mental illness. Recently, a fellow blogger had indicated a similar sentiment, so I think it is time to share my insights and drive concerning the characters I bring to life.
As I am writing these characters, I don’t give them an innate conflict or condition. They become injured and damaged, repetitively, by life. Eventually, they may become broken. Their life stories are amplifications of what many in the real world must endure and suffer.
Yet, to the original question, “Do they suffer from mental illness?” For those who have read, or will read, my stories may find my answer difficult to believe, that answer is no.
My characters, as they are written, do not suffer from mental illness, however, they do suffer from mental injury. Two words, both beginning with an I, in the literary word they would even make up a row of alliteration, yet, two words, that not simply imply, but indicate, important distinctions.
I hate to insert this now, but unfortunately because in my other professional persona I am a healthcare provider, I must – I am NOT a medical doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist. What I am about to write, based upon experiences and observations, is my opinion and insight as the author of The Damaged and Broken Collection.
Mental illness, as it is perceived and implemented, takes the approach that people suffer a chronic disorder or disease akin to Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. When I write a character, I am exploring their complete and complex backstory and history. I am, at times, painfully taking the reader into the repetitive injurious actions that have resulted in a damaged individual. Their response(s) is/are spurred on by coping skills which are not fully, or properly, developed. The symptoms are recognized, yet, the actual injuries are not completely addressed. The root cause of their mental injury is often missed. Whether because of ignorance, incompetence, inaction or denial, the precipitating cause and in turn the resultant injury, is ignored or missed.
I am in no way claiming that the above is the only, or even correct, point of view. It is however, the point of view from which my characters’ lives have been impacted and how they have developed. It is through that prism which I explore The Damaged and Broken.
Thank you for taking the time to read.