Saturday, July 16, 2011

One's Outward, Public Success Doesn't Preclude a Need to Return to Psychiatric Care

Stuart K. Hayashi

There are some people who achieve a form of professional or academic success, and yet their inner, private lives are full of emotional self-sabotage that could be prevented if only they sought -- or returned to -- psychiatric care and stuck with it. Sometimes such a person might rationalize, "My very success in public proves that I don't need help!"

But if that were the case, then their public successes would prove that John Belushi, Chris Farley, Michael Jackson, Charlie Sheen, Marilyn Monroe, and my own childhood idol, innovative entrepreneur Howard Hughes, were never in need of having -- or returning to -- professional help.

In other cases, one might focus on the public enterprises in order to distract oneself from facing or acknowledging the deeper insecurities that plague him or her. But that is not tenable. In the long run, one can hide the truth, but one cannot hide from the truth. The personal demons cannot be evaded, only confronted head-on with the assistance of an expert at psychiatric care.

It's not the case that success in public can ever substitute a truly fulfilling private inner state. Both one's private and public lives are important.

One might say, "John Belushi was already great the way he was." Should that be conceded, one can still consider how much more he could have gotten out of life had he stuck with treatment enough to reach full recovery.

Consider Nina (Natalie Portman's character) in Black Swan. She strove to excel in her line of work, but her mental health -- her ability to have a true inner happiness -- went woefully neglected.

It doesn't have to be that way. Private, inner peace and long-run contentment in life can be achieved, even in the absence of public success. The inner peace that come with returning to psychiatric care is really the most important success of all. It is worth it. :'-)

Lindsay Lohan (b. 1986)

Lindsay Lohan (b. 1986) yet again

Lindsay Lohan (b. 1986) yet again

Michael Jackson (1958 - 2009)

Howard Hughes (1905 - 1976)

John Belushi (1949 - 1982)

Chris Farley (1964 - 1997)

Charlie Sheen (b. 1965)

Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962)