I am reading a thought provoking book by Barbara Taylor. She uses the word madness to apply to discussion of mental illness from which she suffered appallingly and has had considerable Psychoanalysis.
Madness is not a fashionable word but it has certainly mad me think about what we mean by mental illness and what may have been once classified as madness.
We use the word madness colloquially to describe behaviour that makes no rational sense to us; ‘this is madness’ we might say. Perhaps madness is where an individual behave in a way that appears irrational to the observer, or non-sensical. Equally it may well be where the person can no longer make sense of their world consciously or unconsciously. It may that the observer simply cannot understand the behaviour of another person from the perspective of the observer: the person who apparently has everything and yet is unable to function physically and mentally for fear.
Depression may not make sense to some observers; a complete break down may be something that few have observed and many may have an idea of what it means.
I can see that society generally is more acceptant of the illness of depression but it will only be when individuals understand the root causes of depression and the importance of relationship and the terrible legacy of having bad early relational experience will madness begin to be addressed.
See my web site for more information: www.cheltenhamcounsellor.co.uk/relationship-issues