Your comment sort of got me thinking, and then for the past 20 minutes i've been typing this out. Curious to know what others might think of this:
Mental illness. Im wondering really, if there is a such thing as mental illness. If you're able to conduct yourself throughout life and earn a living, make people smile and accomplish the things you set out to do and above all BE HAPPY, can mental illness really live along side al of that? At which point does the term "mental illness" and "eccentric" swap meanings? Is an eccentric person an outlier capable of maintaining an outwardly normal life where a "mentally ill" person just hasnt learned to channel the inner world outwardly in a productive way? In my experience, this is the case, i've been depressed, and easily defined as "mentally ill", drinking myself stupid, by myself on a regular basis to the point that it affected my health, relationships and work. I speculated at that time that the behavior was a prduct of an uncomfortable environment and that by changing the environment I could allow these inner feelings to exist outwardly, in a positive way. I left the city, left the isolation and came back home, where i've proven that to be true.
Dealing with that pain contrasted nicely with dealing with living back at home, in that it made life seem like easy mode. Now, the thing I face most in terms of mental illness is that since I do have the freedom to expres my internal feelings and thoughts outwardly AND in combination wih my obsession of philosophy and spiritual talks, brought on by the realization of "oneness", I find myself comfortable to test the bounds of reality with other people. Now that iv'e been able to maintain a level of comfort, openly, with others, I want to go deeper and occasionally pull something from deeper within me, as to test these feelings against the world for feedback. The problem, i'm realizing that the majoity of complascent people, who have never left home don't know how to react to these things since complascency breeds dullness, which in my books means being further away from the self than what is possible and in most cases, since these deeper feelings are often never nourished, and therefore never refined in regular society, they've been given names depending on their severity of under development, "insanity", "weird", "mentally ill", etc...but really, if you try to refine your insanity into something usefull and productive, does it not have the same effect as the "eccentricity" and "mental illness" swap? One message consistent with many philosophies and spiritual teachings is to push to be true to yourself, without settling for less, make your own path kind of thing. But as Alan Watts said, you've got to be careful if you practice philisophical thought, and it's important to know and play by societies rules. Also, shamans who have come to the west noticed the types of people being diognosed with mental illness usually exibit the same traits as healers, or gifted people from their tribes. In tribalism there isn't as much room for lies and deceit, and people have more freedom to be in touch with their deeper selves, in fact it's encouraged through drug ceremonies. In my opinion, its possible to make mental illness your bitch, and serve you as well as others without life long reliance heartless, government issued drugs.