While I realise everyone’s fed up to the back teeth with the ‘B’ word, I was surprised to learn about the first ever recorded case of a mental breakdown brought on by Brexit!
A Nottinghamshire man in his 40s was so stressed-out by the 2016 referendum result, he eventually began suffering hallucinations, including one in which a relative threatened to fire a heat-seeking missile at him.
Unable to mentally cope with the painfully drawn-out complexities of Brexit, he was diagnosed with acute and transient psychotic disorder. Thankfully, after being prescribed suitable medication, he recovered within a fortnight.
While that’s an extreme example of stress-related illness, the fact that he was cured in such a short time is a testament to the massive strides made in mental health treatment.
There was a time long ago when, if a relative was mentally ill they’d probably be committed to an asylum – an upsetting situation you’d never discuss with anyone outside your family.
To a great extent, those dark days are behind us due to the spotlight being shone on mental health issues via TV and radio programmes; campaigns like Mental Health Day; and an increasing number of celebrities from the worlds of sport and entertainment who’ve willingly gone public and declared that they’ve either had mental troubles or are currently being treated for them.
We’re seeing a gradual acceptance that someone with a mental illness should be treated just like they had any other medical problem we humans are prone to.
Ironically, many comedians, whose job it is to lift people’s spirits and forget their troubles, suffer from severe depression – Spike Milligan and Robin Williams, for example. Many others are wracked by crippling fears and insecurities.
A well-known comedian prone to depression once confided to a writer friend of mine, “I have a beautiful wife, children and home and a million in the bank. But I can’t remember the last time I was happy”.
If you have mental health issues, there’s absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about. Seek professional help and that black cloud hovering above you can be lifted…permanently.