Personal blog of Dr Alex Mendelsohn

Month: May 2022


Hope is found in a corridor of darkness, feet and hands chained to the ground, only the faintest speck of light far off in the distance.

It is not found at the start of a race or in the bleachers of a stadium.
It is not found in political offices, on posters or a ballot paper.
It is not found in forward-thinking companies, in school halls or lecture theatres.

It is not the search to find a friend or lover.
It is not in a lottery ticket or job position.
It is not following a pop star, motivational speaker or politician.

It is not a yearning or an ambition or a heroic figure.

Hope, is keeping your head turned towards the light, even after it seems to fade from view.

Misconceptions about mental illness

Alex discusses some misconceptions about mental illness that exist in society. He notes that mental illnesses are complex and individual experiences of mental illness vary greatly. Environmental and genetic factors can play varying roles in the development of mental illnesses in different people. Alex also emphasizes that mental illnesses cause both emotional and physical pain, and depression is not just a loss of emotion, but rather the twisting of emotions. He also points out that anxiety is not just worry, but it can be a debilitating condition that takes away an individual’s control.

During the editing and proofing process of the Physics World article I wrote, a few misconceptions slipped in. Which is understandable. Before I became mentally ill, I believed many of the misconceptions I have listed below. As I slowly got sicker and sicker, I realised just how wrong most of the common perceptions of mental health conditions are.

A poor understanding of the brain in society leads to films, T.V. shows, articles and other forms of media misrepresenting what mental illness actually is like. Ironically, this misrepresentation can come from the mentally ill themselves. It can be immensely difficult to describe what it is like to have a mental illness because the very nature of the illness affects the organ that we use to describe what it’s like.

Our society is therefore filled with misconceptions galore. Which makes having a mental health condition or illness all that much harder to deal with. Something I hope to rectify very slightly here.

I want to emphasise that the article is based on my experience. The following will likely differ from person to person. Which brings me on to my first misconception.

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