People with mental illnesses often feel as if the disorder is something almost apart from themselves. Certainly these illnesses sometimes behave as if they “have their own best interests at heart,” not those of their human host.
One good example is when a mental illness betrays its host’s mind into thinking that treatment is a bad idea. This is how so many people with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia end up in dangerous situations. Their illnesses convince them that it is better to live without medication. But without medication or other appropriate treatments, it is their illnesses — not the persons — that tend to flourish. Continue reading