Letter to the Editor:

The author requested that, due to the sensitive nature of this letter, they remain anonymous.
I was very grateful to see that Brook Stallings had addressed the issue of mental illness in his article this week. I was, until recently, prejudiced against a mentally ill person, namely myself. This may sound confusing but hear me out.
I was “normal” up until last year around this time when I fell in love with a person that did not exist. During the course of three months I dropped out of university (going from straight A’s to solid F’s). I lost all but two of my friends and began a series of self-destructive behaviors. I lost all of the money I had saved for my education and definitely all of my hope. In the middle of psychosis, I left even my family heirlooms in an alley next to a locked dumpster along with all of the rest of my belongings. And my father may never speak to me again because of a fight we had then. What I am saying is that mental illnesses are devastating enough without societal negativity that is so common.
Believing I was someone else, I became homeless for a month and was thereafter “hospitalized” for nearly that long. (My hospital is not as cozy as yours so it’s hard for me to call it that.) I had, during that time, someone else’s name, someone else’s body and parents–I had transformed completely into someone else.
Not only is mental illness a problem for many, but those effected deserve to be treated equally, at least when they agree to the treatments that exist. Even more importantly, it is great if you could realize that there is a human very much like you on the other side of the phrase “mentally ill.”
The structure of my brain is flawed, and yours probably is not, and yet we want the same things. If you dream, you think of things that make you happy