I remember applying for an insurance policy about 20 years ago.
The policy was rejected and I got my money back. The insurers did not want to risk their money on my survival. I had disclosed to them that I was suffering from schizophrenia. And this was for the piddling sum of Rs 1 lac. The term of the policy was 10 years if I remember correctly.
I am not blaming the insurers for this decision. I just want to point out the implications of this incident. The insurance company must have had their reasons for declining me a policy. They have the necessary statistics relating to the longevity of people suffering from my ailment. They did not want to risk even a small sum of money that I would survive for a period of 10 years.
Thankfully for me the insurers were wrong. I am still hale and hearty and alive (obviously).
But the central point is that if you are suffering from a mental ailment the chances of your living to a ripe old age goes down.
So what can you do to improve your chances of survival, given that you are suffering from a mental ailment?
What I suggest will take you by surprise and may even shock you. I got this insight from the classic book, Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham.
The main character in the book, Phillip Carey, is suffering from a club foot (a deformed foot) and is highly embarrassed and sensitive about his misfortune. When Phillip was in school, the headmaster, Mr Perkins tried to discuss this condition with Phillip and said:
“I wonder if you are not over-sensitive about your misfortune. Has it ever struck you to thank God for it?
“As long as you accept it rebelliously it can only cause you shame. But if you look upon it as a cross that was given you to bear only because your shoulders were strong enough to bear it, a sign of God’s favour, then it would be a source of happiness for you instead of misery.”
I think that this is an inspired passage and can give you all the guidance you need to deal with your ailment. If you grasp only this passage and learn nothing more from reading this website you will have got your money’s worth.
Now you may or may not believe in God and I have no wish to intrude upon these matters. But there are recent discoveries made in the field of Quantum Physics that make the attitude suggested above reasonable even from the point of view of modern science.
According to Quantum Physics the Universe is an organic whole, similar to a human body. Our position as sentient beings is similar to that of cells within the body of the Universe. Just as it does not matter if cells within the human body live or die as long as the body survives and is in a state of well-being, so also it does not matter what happens to us in our lives as long as the Universe survives and continues its existence.
We are here to serve the Universe. The Universe does not exist to serve us.
I suggest you look upon your ailment as the will of the Universe. It is a cross that has been given to you to bear. However difficult it may be to accept that you have an ailment, it becomes easier when you tell yourself that this is what the Universe requires you to suffer for the larger good. After all, if the Universe ceases to exist then you will not have any kind of life in any case.
So let this be the meaning that you derive from your ailment. Let this be your purpose of existence. As we learnt in the previous chapter having a meaning and purpose for living is essential if you are to survive in difficult times.
You may also find consolation and insights by reading The Book of Job from the Old Testament. I also recommend the book When Bad Things happen to Good People by Harold Kushner. Mr Kushner is a Jewish Rabbi and he explains the insights and life lessons that we can draw from the Book of Job in a simple and inspiring way.
Hope this helps someone. Please explore this blog for more articles on Politics, Spirituality and Self Help. If you liked this article then please share it on Facebook and Twitter and feel free to post your comments or contact me. Link to contact is below.