On the Grotesquery of Mental Illness

Credit: Sarah Stonehocker

There is nothing glamorous about mental illness. It hasn’t much to do with the brilliant, tortured mind of an intellectual or an artist. It’s banality at its utmost point; it’s wallowing into your own mediocrity and losing the ability to love. You can only need, something or someone, you do not love anymore, you no longer love what you’ve done beforehand or people from your life; you can only latch onto what makes the suffering decrease, anything that numbs out the pain. And it feels like things won’t change. You are stuck in a vicious cycle of misery and desperation, you’re not living anymore, you are basically surviving off of anything that makes you feel the tiniest of sparks, much like a predator hovering over a rotting carcass.


Illness is losing so much weight that you feel your bones protruding your own comfort, it’s waking up 5 times a night desperate for the sleeping pills your doctors took off you, it’s crying, sobbing, losing and harming yourself. There isn’t beauty in what I have to discuss. The hardest part of mental illness is finding hope in the ugly, and it’s possible, through effort and much strain.

Sometimes even the people that love you the most, the ones that loved your demons, will let go of you, because of how truly unsightly you become.

Not everyone will experience mental illness, but a good majority of us have or will. And nothing hurts more, evidently, than chronic pain. According to the World Health Organization, “27% of the adult population [in European Union (EU) countries, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland] (here defined as aged 18–65) had experienced at least one of a series of mental disorders in the past year.” Mental illness, though we like to consider ourselves an open-minded sphere of intellectuals (which I am not denying), is still very much a taboo and people lack compassion.

The non-ill, occasionally-sad, will gladly throw their meditation and self-help bullshit at your face, but only a few will truly understand the harsh process it is to go through and overcome mental illness. Only a handful will honestly offer their support.

I am not one to call for love and compassion towards the ill, or deliver you an inspirational discourse on how I overcame my illness. I am here to simply shed light, as objectively as possible, on a matter that only a few seem to truly care about or even acknowledge. Do as you want and do as you wish- no one will judge you whatsoever, least of them, me. But what I would advise you to do is seek help when you are in need of it, even when you want it the least, because this could potentially save you from harmful consequences.

Do not be ashamed of yourself, nor of how you feel.

Let go of your ego and learn to forgive and care for yourself and keep trying, because giving up is not an option. For the love of god, do not let your issues develop into an illness, even it takes years to happen. Give yourself time to heal before you are broken.

1 Comment

  • Avatar Anonymous says:

    I am currently in Menton and tomorrow I have my interview with the admissions panel for the English track I want to pursue next year.

    I was surfing around the internet when I discovered this website and I was astonished with the journalism that thrives here.Then I stumbled upon this article.

    I could relate to some articles and understand the different perspectives the writers have. But this? This article? This article is beyond underrated. The way you describe different situations with profoundly thought analogies is just beyond me. As a person who can relate to almost all of this, I understand you thoroughly and envy your writing.

    What really captured my attention is the the inter connection I see between this article and another one that I read which was about finding your resolve. Before I ramble more, I would like to close off by my ‘probably will go unnoticed’ comment by just further emphasizing the points that you have made with heartfelt understanding, my friend. It is truly awakening.

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