We’ve come a long way since the snake pit style “insane asylums.” A very long way. Many types of mental illness can be treated and patients are no longer shamed and automatically hidden away.
But are there some ways in which mental illness differs from other kinds of illness? We’ll call those other illnesses physical illness, for lack of a better word.
You’ve heard the question, “what price love?” and I am hoping to discover the answer in your responses to these hypothetical situations. If there are enough comments, I’ll base a future blog post on them.
So here are three short scenarios and I’d like your response to each:
You’ve fallen in love with someone–and are planning to marry them. Six months before the wedding, they are diagnosed with a disease that will limit the way they live their life. Lou Gehrig’s disease: ALS. It’s a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. ALS robs a person gradually of their mobility and speech over time until finally, the patient dies. While the average life span with the disease is three to five years, patients can live 10 or more with the disease. Those will be difficult years.
Would you marry him or her?
Suppose instead that six months before the wedding you discover they have serious heart disease. They will have to limit their activity in a big way. They could be in and out of hospitals the rest of their life. Would you marry him or her?
Finally, what if you discover they suffer from a serious mental illness> Treatment is sometimes effective. But sometimes it isn’t. The illness has limited your loved one’s life in significant ways and is likely to continue to do so. It will make your relationship tenuous in many ways, limiting it, too.
Would you marry them?
Even a short response would be great. Thank you!