Saturday, October 09, 2010

Nothing Ruins Your Life Forever

I really don't have anything to add to this post by Vicki Bell. I'll be sharing it with my daughter and with my Algebra students, please consider sharing it with those you care about as well.


  1. I read her blog post and quite a few of the comments. Only a few people dissented. I watched the Dan Savage's video "It Gets Better." But it doesn't always get better. Not everyone ends up in positive relationships. For the mentally ill, it may never get better. My life, while it's been interesting, has never really become better. Yes, you can wait out some emotional situations. Do I wish that Tyler and the others had waited to see if they felt better? Yes. I mourn because they were abused. Perhaps they would have gone on to have great lives. But for the mentally ill, while the acute phase of a mental illness may abate, the core illness may never change. Social support is not always there.

  2. antigold - Well, I think there are two different issues here.

    The first, and the one this post and the one it references are speaking to, is the issue of assuming that a short-term problem is never going to get better, and then making a decision that is very much long-term and irreversible. It was not about the chronically mentally ill, but about a young person who felt that there was no future based on one short-term incident that would've faded.

    Particularly for young people, there is a tendency to think it will always feel that way, and that's simply not true. The research clearly shows that the highs and lows of any emotionally charged situation will inevitably abate. And, as Vicki's post points out, even the two students who instigated this still have the opportunity to lead meaningful, worthwhile, and contributing lives in the future.

    Your comment seems to pretty much ignore this aspect.

    The second issue, about the chronically mentally ill, is complicated. I would agree that we don't have as much social support in place for these folks as we should have, and that's something that we - as individuals and as a society - need to work to improve.

    Mental illness is complicated, but I do believe there is always hope that things will improve. To suggest - in the comments of a high school teacher's blog that wasn't attempting to address the chronically mentally ill - that perhaps it doesn't get better, is a choice I think you should reexamine.

  3. Certainly a post everyone with teens in their lives should read, and share. Thanks for posting it Karl.

    Also, well said response, Karl, to the above comment regarding mental illness.