Marissa Mullins

Marissa Mullins
South Carolina,
October 22
“Only that in you which is me can hear what I'm saying.” ~Ram Dass


JANUARY 22, 2012 12:49PM

You know you’re sick, right? (How lethal is mental illness?)

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“No man, however loving, could bear to see plainly into all the recess of another mind.”

~Dr. Thomas Arnold Bennett

One Thousand Sins by David Bollt ©David Bollt

One Thousand Sins by David Bollt ©David Bollt

I started this blog several months ago with the intention of exploring psychological, spiritual, and philosophical issues in relation to the general human condition known as sanity (or insanity, in some cases).

Lucid View came about for two main reasons:

First, my primary blog for the past three years, Paucis Verbis, has gradually evolved into a curriculum vitae of sorts, and a more professional-style blog for my artistic expression as a writer and poet. It is more about the art than the artist.

Second, I noticed that whenever I cross posted or commented on mental health or depression issues on Paucis Verbis that site traffic and readership increased exponentially. I was surprised by the increase and felt a more open, casual blog along those lines might prove interesting.

Obviously, mental health issues are a dominant concern for many people. Most people know someone who has experienced depression or other forms of mental illness or they have experienced these problems themselves. Statistics from the late 1990’s show one in four people suffer from some form of mental illness – and many people believe that number has continued to rise in recent years (especially in light of the economic hardships and political unrest in the world). [See Source Article Here]

Mental Illness Defined

The definitions of “mental illness” have changed, transfigured, and morphed through the years as the disease has become more prevalent and better understood. Wikipedia provides the following definition:

A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern that is generally associated with distress or disability, and which is not considered part of normaldevelopment or a person’s culture. Mental disorders are generally defined by a combination of how a person feels, acts, thinks or perceives. This may be associated with particular regions or functions of the brain or rest of the nervous system, often in a social context. The recognition and understanding of mental health conditions have changed over time and across cultures, and there are still variations in definition, assessment and classification, although standard guideline criteria are widely used. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over a third of people in most countries report problems at some time in their life which meet criteria for diagnosis of one or more of the common types of mental disorder. (Italics mine -Source: Wikipedia)

An illness affecting one-third of the world’s population is a serious issue.

How Many People are Sick? And, How Lethal is Mental Illness?

America alone had a population of over 300 million people during 2008. Using the one-third assumption above as guideline we can estimate that roughly 100 million people in this country suffer from a diagnosable mental illness.  

The cost of care, loss of social functioning, cases of suicide, and the escalation rate of mental illness over the past ten years in America is stunning. Total expenditures for mental health services increased 63.4% in America over the past ten years according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ’s) from 1996 to 2006:

The rise in mental illness and suicide rates among our young people is also alarming. Current data shows that younger people, from the ages of 18 to 25 are more likely to become mentally ill and to commit suicide. This is a serious issue – no wonder site traffic and readership increases when this topic is posted. 

Okay, so a lot of people in our country are sick; a great many of those people, especially our youth, are dying due to this illness. What can we do about it? How do we reverse this trend? How do we save lives or provide better quality of life options for those with serious mental illness in our society?

Sadly, I don’t have a concrete answer. I’m not sure why this trend is rising, nor do I know how to fix the problem, cure the people, or reduce suicide rates.

No Solution – So What the Hell is This Post About?

This post – this blog – can’t provide a comprehensive answer to these problems. What it can do is openly broach the subject of mental illness and other personal-societal issues.

I would like this blog to provide witness and to become a forum for growth and understanding. It can be a safe harbor from stigma, ridicule, and fear. It can be a place where voices join in discussion and consideration of the mind and soul of a person without fear of taboos or criticism.

My Relationship and Experience with Mental Illness

I grew up in a family with varying degrees of mental health issues. I experienced severe depression and attempted suicide as a young adult, and I listened to stories of family members that were committed or otherwise destroyed by such problems in previous generations.

I have shared in the tragic experiences of friends and family and the devastating disability of Schizophrenia, Manic Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Dementia. I am “writing from the trenches” of those experiences. I am writing from the other side of that great enveloping darkness – there is light.

There are many different forms of suffering and death within the mind and spirit.

~We die to hope and become cynical,

~We die to our true potential and allow darkness to dim our eyes and lives,

~We die in isolation as we come to believe no one cares and escape isn’t possible,

~We die to who we were as Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease eats away at our wiring, the brain gradually dying a physical death.

Some of this disintegration can be repaired. Some days we can believe in tomorrow and the joy-laughter-hope it might bring. Some days are spent in a vast web-like darkness that stifles our breath and impairs our movement.

At other times, the artistic soul in us tries to reach out, to heal itself through the amazing gift of artistry. We grab hold to this elemental salvation and we become the artists of the world: painters, poets, musicians, philosophers, gurus, writers, tattoo artists, comic book artists, photographers – we find a way past the deep black darkness into the light of beauty, we paint the world in our own bright colors with our camera, guitar, paintbrush, keyboard, pen.

This blog is about that journey, transformation, expression. Thank you for reading – please add your voice as well. ~Blessings


 Artwork: One Thousand Sins by David Bollt. I adore the art of David Bollt – his work always carries a strong sense of vision coupled with amazing insight into the human psyche and condition. Please take a look at more of his work – visit his website at At Deviant Art:  At : / At Fine Art America: 
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