In an email group with mental health professionals someone said that they thought that it was difficult to communicate optimism if one is themselves pessimistic… (this is in reference to folks who are labeled mentally ill)…
My response was this:
It’s impossible to communicate hope if one is pessimistic. And this is the foundational problem with the mental health system and most mental health providers within that structure. Most do not know what is possible in terms of transformative healing and cannot help but perpetuate their pessimistic ignorance…it’s not even their fault. It simply is what is. (and I might add we are all guilty of this at one time or another because it’s part of being human…none of us know the full extent of what is possible in any given situation especially for another human being)
It lies among those of us who have experience with seeing people find profound healing to help others understand what might be possible so that chronicity among those labeled mentally ill doesn’t have to remain the norm.
I’d also like to suggest that we all have our limits in understanding what is possible. I like to practice remembering that, myself. I think when we can hold that as a pregnant truth then we don’t actually have to know anything…we can allow possibility to flower simply by acknowledging we don’t know. No amount of study or research is necessary for this life-affirming stance one can take with everyone they meet.
For ideas on changing the system: