Palace not in Wonderland

Palace not in Wonderland
April 20, 2017 Project Equall

There would seem little in life, materially at least, that would be unattainable. The vast riches that is a fixture of regal routine means that life is affluence and affluence is life. To that end, we can safely rule out that poverty as we broadly understand it lies at the heart of the mind when we consider the mental ailments that impact upon the very rich and globally famous.

Harry Windsor, Prince Harry to many, recently decided that divulging his own experiences may offer some therapeutic value as well as encouraging countless others to remove the mask that often hides deep and long lasting emotional angst.

It is of huge importance when the famed and ‘fortunate’ develop the desire to let the wider world know that, despite the aristocratic adornments and a lifetime blank cheque in this case, there is no escaping the human condition and our fragilities within. It becomes wearying when we continuously bear witness to ignorance, this often brought to the fore when laypersons counter such news by inquiring ‘What have they got to be depressed about’ – this positioning a theory that implies that mental illness locates a bank balance prior to removing you from its crosshairs.

This attitude has been particularly true of footballers who have opted to place their medical records, or part of them, into the public domain. This, in turn, leads to a number decrying such revelations by asserting that it is bordering on impossible to be susceptible to depression or its dastardly siblings because of your annual salary, the twin turbo engines of a Ferrari and Porsche or the model partner of stunning beauty.

It is based on ignorance and has been underpinned by a broad culture which equates money with success and success with happiness. The implications of such greenness are that it can lead so many to conform to the idea that they are undeserving of sympathy and solidarity when darkness descends internally and that any form of acknowledgement is a sign of weakness, this part sourced to the foolhardy bravado which impacts on all but has a particular resonance for males.

Mental health problems are an inevitable part of the era we occupy, the incessant pressure that dictates we surpass the Jones’ never mind keep up with them. We are fed subliminal messages that impress upon us that materialism represents the pathway to prosperity and that the basics are no longer sufficient to keep pace with an increasingly demanding society.

When the empowered bare their soul, therefore exposing their vulnerabilities we should recognise the importance of the educational component.

Mental health does not discriminate. Some, sadly, are predisposed to it whilst others may only come into collision in the wake of a life changing event or a series of irritants and imbalances.

This is applicable to all of us. Of course, the treatment that comes a result may allow for the distinction to be made between the debonair and the deprived but the cold reality of an emotional nadir is such that you would gladly exchange all material possessions for a moment of solace.

For me it seems a surreal prison of privilege, a life that is seldom your own and a daily existence of protocol, structure and schedule.

It is, however, also a story of a 12-year-old boy who tragically lost his mother, she at 36 years old, and who struggled to resist the emotional turbulence that can circumnavigate any security detail and cares little for a family surname or granted title.

If such public declarations from the instantly recognisable can encourage others to take that first step then we should all be thankful, those who are nervously anticipating a return of the demon and those who must watch a loved one or friend retreating into themselves at an alarming rate.

“I need help”.

There, you have said it in your mind. If need be then please go and let it out verbally.

Kieron Brady

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