An Outpouring

Mental IllnessI’m busy writing a story. It’s about a boy, Tom, and the strange events that unfurl when he and his mate Eden encounter a spirit entity that resides at the bottom of a long disused well, in the grounds of a derelict asylum.

It’s all fiction, all that is apart from the asylum itself, High Royds in West Yorkshire, which allegedly still echoes to the sounds of the long departed patients. Victorian mental hospitals were, and still are, very daunting places. They were built in an age where there was little, if any, understanding of the illnesses the poor souls who were incarcerated within their walls.

Today, there is still much we can learn about mental illness, although treatments are now far more humane than they were in our fore-fathers day. But there is still a stigma attached to diseases of the mind and many people are still locked away to protect them, and us, from the damaging effects the diseases can cause.

The story is the outpouring of my thoughts about possible supernatural events that are the result of the history of the hospital, but writing down these thoughts has made me aware of my own feelings towards these poor people.

Mental illness is a terrible thing, for those affected and those around them. With the cases of depression and stress related illness rising as a result of economic pressures, we must be even more aware of our own feelings. We must show compassion towards the victims, they do not chose to be affected and fully deserve our sympathy and help. Who knows, one day it may be us who need that compassion.

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