Using comedy to generate awareness about mental illness

Using comedy to generate awareness about mental illness

Usually, mental illness is the least favorite topic of discussion among friends while hanging out over a cup of coffee or sitting in an office canteen. If anyone happens to mention the subject, the following few minutes would be followed by an awkward silence until someone else brings in a much cooler, less tabooed subject. The fear of discrimination and judgment dissuades many mentally ill people from talking about their problems.

There is a need to create awareness about such disorders, especially among the younger generations, as mental illnesses often start during the early years and nearly one in five young adults live with a mental illness. It is imperative to find ways other than traditional forms of treatment and therapies to open minds to fruitful discussions. Among many attempts, researches and studies in broadening perceptions towards mental illnesses, the works of some of the comedians and artists are breaking barriers in creating awareness and acceptance among the masses.

What’s so comical about mental illnesses

“I quit therapy because my analyst was trying to help me behind my back”, a hilarious quote by famous comedian Richard Lewis, who battled alcoholism and cocaine use and successfully recovered, brings forth a different way of dealing with mental illness. Laughter can sometimes be therapeutic and can help to alleviate stress. His book titled “The Other Great Depression” aptly sums up his experiences of dealing with his addictions in the most humorous, honest and inspiring way.

On the other hand, Loren Connor, a U.K. based artist has portrayed the effects of mental illnesses in thought-compelling comics through colorful illustrations. Her most famous work of art is done on behalf of a website Staysure that asked many people with mental illnesses to describe their experience while traveling. By using a more relaxed background depicting holiday mood, she has highlighted the plight of people who carry the burden of various mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and who are perpetually afraid of sharing their problems. She has turned peoples’ statements into stunning visuals and has attempted to provide a clearer picture from the sufferer’s point of view. The graphics also depict that although holidaying can change the physical scenario, behind the sun, sea and surf, the mental illness continues to plague people and can turn a relaxing moment into a stressful experience.

Mental illness should not be undermined

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), roughly 44 million people in the U.S. are afflicted with a mental illness every year and one out of 25 adults experience serious mental condition. Most of the times, symptoms of mental disorders go unnoticed, which can delay treatment. Therefore it is important to be observant of any changes in a person’s behavioral health and encourage them to take their condition seriously. Sometimes a mental illness can co-occur with substance use problem that further deteriorates the quality of life.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from a mental disorder or addiction to any dangerous substance, seek professional assistance from the Colorado Mental Health Help representatives who can provide adequate information on the treatment programs that are available through state-of-the-art facilities. You can call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-899-5063 and seek the assistance of experts to help you choose from the best mental health treatment centers in Colorado. You can chat online if you want to know more about inpatient mental health treatment Centers in Colorado.