What I’ve been learning over the course of my life is that diagnoses exist to help get people services they need— but there’s no such thing as mental illness. We’re all mentally ill and we’re all haunted by something, and some people manage to find a way to ride it out so that they don’t wind up needing extra help. So I think that ‘mental illness,’ as a term, is garbage. Everybody is in various states of needing to transcend something. I believe in mental health care, but when we call people ‘crazy,’ we exclude them from our circle. That’s bogus— you’re in the same boat as they are! Maybe some people are better at pretending they don’t harbor all kinds of issues, but, really, everyone has them.
The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle talks to Larry Fitzmaurice about his new album, Transcendental Youth, which details the lives of people diagnosed with mental illness.
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