I just watched the film “Split” on DVD fully expecting it to be another insensitive Hollywood swipe at depicting mental illness. I emerged with mixed feelings. The film abides by a familiar abduction plot, cute teenage girls locked away in some basement dungeon with a deranged warden and complicated motives. M. Night Shyamalan (wrote and directed the film) is known for injecting a sense of unease and a bit of twisted suspense in his films. He does put his personal stamp on this one but the plotting is fairly standard. What distinguishes “Split” is our villain—a man with a serious mental illness. The trained eye easily diagnoses Dissociative Identity Disorder, however an explicit classification doesn’t come until near the end of the film.
The question I get asked most often regarding Nolongerlonely (other than why haven’t I
found a wife on the site yet) is whether it is a good idea to pair together two people with a mental
illness. The arguments/hesitations usually fall along two separate lines of thinking: one that
envisions an emotional Armageddon and another that foments eugenic reasoning. Whether the
perceived problem is in the neuropathways of the brain or in the genetic code, both objections
reflect a cynical outlook that doesn’t take into account the benefits of a relationship with the
common underpinning of a psychiatric diagnosis.
So my last (first) blog post gave the barebones of my personal journey of recovery and
my evolving assessments of what principal ingredients provided the spark. I’m still learning the
“art” of blogging but feedback from others have stressed the need to understand and “reach” my
audience. The identity of my audience will evolve (comments are always welcome) as will my
ability to be open and vulnerable in my writing. What I think sets me apart is my personal story.