There Is No Colour Palette for Mental Illness

by Lauren Heaver

Mental illness, stretches across all colours, creeds, cultures and beliefs.

There is no ‘colour palette’ for mental illness, the mixer that adds colour to the paintings of humanity.

I look at people as I looked at chromatography as a kid. As a dot- their essential being, who they are, their genetic make-up and so on. And then, society adds a drop of water to that highly concentrated coloured dot in the middle of a piece of paper. Then the persons colours spread out, and we can make parallels with how a person develops over time in the same way.

Mostly, what I remember about the chemistry lessons when I did this, was just how beautiful the colours that came from a simple dot could be.  Therein, how beautiful a person can become over the length and time of experience and other factors, such as the genesis of that small drop of water – perhaps the first breakdown, or first time something did not necessarily go according to plan.

WITHOUT that intervention, then perhaps a person would just remain a dot on a piece of paper.  Would never know their colours, or spread further than their genesis.  So in this way, I don’t regret what happened when I got diagnosed.  Because, in some ways, I was just living like a dot made-up of different variations of colour (as in printing for example), but I never would have seen them, or stretched out into a radius of much more beautiful potential than had I not.

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