Over the past decade or so, we have seen a surge in the awareness of so-called “mental illness”.
While the concept of telling people you are struggling has served a good purpose, the concept of “illness” has actually disempowered people who have these particular neurodivergences and the people around them.
Human suffering, as it stands, is a heavily medicalised field of study. It has become the realm of doctors and nurses, and this is where we become disempowered. When we experience suffering, we believe that only doctors have the responsibility to remedy that. The average person is made to feel as though they are “out of their depth”.
In fact, the responsibility for reducing human suffering is on all of us. Medication can take the edge off, but to see a true reduction in trauma that litters our society, we all have to do work. Doctors are not responsible for the environments and people we grow up with, and yet we assume they are the answer when we experience suffering as a result of those things.
Society is structured in such a way that we are likely to encounter trauma throughout our lives. It is important to move beyond normative standards of trauma and recognise the subjective nature of this abstraction. What is traumatic for me may not be traumatic for you. It does not make it any less valid.
This is why we need to listen to minorities about minority experiences, ot allows us to root out the traumatic experiences occurring in society, and not just those which we recognise. When we invalidate another person’s experience, we are contributing to the immense suffering that is currently happening in our world.
Perhaps then, it is pertinent for us to take responsibility for the role we each take in the suffering of others and ensure that we are doing good with the limited time we have on earth.
Our psychological well-being is far from being solely the realm of medics. We each play a significant role in other people’s worlds.