People are human. They make mistakes. This is especially true of people who have mental illnesses, who get off kilter, and, depending on the person, do things they wouldn’t do if they weren’t in that current state of mind. It’s embarrassing for the person with the mental illness later on, and sometimes gives an incorrect first impression. It’s an incredibly frustrating feeling, to know at the back of your mind that you’re not behaving in a completely rational manner, yet it doesn’t stop you from doing things that seem extraordinarily bizarre to others. Trying to explain seems to make it worse, so, so much for ending the stigma of mental illness and the knowledge that you’re not always like that.
The thing is, like recognizes like, especially if it’s something familiar. The wheel turns, and the positions are reversed. You’re finally stable (ish)–enough to realize when someone else is having trouble and needs help. But now you’re one of the “crazies” (terrible term, don’t use it), so genuine advice isn’t heeded. You’ve been forever pigeon holed.
I’ll say it again. If someone feels like they’re having a nervous breakdown, that they’re overwhelmed, most likely they are. There’s no shame in getting help, because it’s only going to get worse, and the fact that the person has recognized it is a good sign. No person, anyone, can fulfill everyone’s expectations. It’s impossible. Because people are only human, and there’s a limit to what they can do. The first thing is that it’s a sign, a huge sign, that they need to stop what they’re doing right now and step away from it, because it will only make it worse. Get help from a professional. There are people who offer sliding scales for individuals without insurance, or sometimes other arrangements can be made–it all depends on where you live.
But there is help, and this is something important to get help for. It’s hard for some people to ask for help, and it’s non uncommon for men to express emotions through anger or hostility because men aren’t really taught very well how to deal with emotions. Probably also one of the reasons men are less likely to seek out treatment, unfortunately. But there’s no shame in it. We live in an incredibly stressful world, and for people who may be more sensitive or pre-disposed to stress, anxiety, or depression–all common among creative types–it can be horrific.
In the event of an emergency, the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) is the best place to go online, and you can find resources for your area specifically: http://www.nami.org/
The STAR Center has some interesting links and more information that could be of use in other situations, since I was already there.