Good point Kitty, thanks for posting.
Having been brought up by someone with a major depressive illness, my Mum, bless her soul, I was necessarily a long term observer and analyst of it from the earliest age I remember.
I read many books in my quest to try to understand it.
I, along with many others of our relatives, wondered if we ourselves might not also be prone to it, due to genetics. We watched each other and ourselves carefully, hypersensitive to any signs of it.
A little of that has even rubbed off on my daughter. She fondly remembers her grandmother, who died six years ago, but in the confusion of changing gradually into an adult, is analysing herself with that worry in mind, despite my assurances to the contrary.
My Mum would never knowingly have harmed a fly. But in episodes, she did regularly hallucinate, heard voices, and was extremely paranoid, speaking and writing with disjointed sentences which made no sense to anyone. She was regularly locked up in various institutions “For her own good”, as well as seemingly that of others.
She never agreed she was ill, until in her later years she became partially dependent on those institutions.
She never took any hallucinogenic or other recreational drugs to my knowledge, not even alcohol to any extent.
That is more than I can say for myself, at least in my younger years.
She had many friends that she’d met in institutions, so I had occasion to study them too.
I also studied up on all of the medications she and her friends were prescribed over the years, and the effects on them, as far as I could see. And I had a very bad experience myself after accidentally taking a single pill of one, mistaking it for an aspirin.
What all of that experience actually gives me is a reference.
For me, the idea of mental illness seems extremely subjective.
It is further complicated by medications designed for profit, and doctors who were trained on courses funded and influenced by drugs producers (Virtually all).
Who are we to be the judge of anyone other than ourselves?
For me, if a person has never harmed anyone else physically, they should never be locked up, physically abused, or forced to take medications, regardless of what anyone else thinks of their mental health.
Touch wood, I have always been able to control my own moods. I know that any time I am down, it will pass in a day or two, no matter how bad things get (and things have been pretty bad).
That confidence has enabled me to avoid taking medications I was prescribed in the past, by well-meaning “Experts”, in circumstances where they thought I surely needed them. Luckily I still had that choice to make.
Those drugs were designed to make profit, and maximum profits are made when users have them for life, just like my Mum did. One day I will try to put a figure on just how much her life did actually make for the drugs industry.
Good company, with good advice such as I believe yours is Kitty, is worth more than any amount of drugs.
If we can’t have company who do not cause, or evaluate us to be “ill”, contrary to our own opinion, then we are better off on our own.