Mental illness is what it says it is, an illness. It doesn’t care if you are strong or weak, rich or poor, male or female or any other demographic.
I became a Stevenage FC supporter on January 4th 1997 for no other reason than I went to see Stevenage play Birmingham in the FA Cup and met some people who accepted me. At the time life was a little shaky and I was encountering a lot of opposition from people I had trusted and respected who in turn betrayed me. I found acceptance in this rowdy bunch of Boro fans. They had no idea who I was, what my history was, where I was from, or anything else. They accepted me unconditionally. I was hooked, and 20 years and a move half way around the world, I am still Boro for life.
I started this blog with the intent of talking about performance and social identity, especially as it relates to Tourette’s Syndrome. Instead I have found myself bouncing around from mental illness to youth sport and from suicide to hope. Last week I questioned my intent and asked myself some questions about what it is I want to achieve here, as recently I have found that a lot has been about hope. I started to think about this as typically I start out each article thinking about the direction my writing will go and often find myself veering off as my thoughts take a new direction. Now, after some reflection, finally I think I have the answer. No matter what happens in life, hopelessness will destroy it. While this is true across humanity, the most instantly observable environment is sport.
Not one of us is able to truthfully, and with good self-awareness claim to have total mental health.
Tourette Disorder, despite the common view of causing people to swear is primarily a tic disorder. Therapy is typically based on cognitive behaviours and is focused on helping a child to manage or prevent their tics. But what if tics aren’t the biggest problem?