- Central Gal
- May 08, 2011 - 13:29
Unfortunately 2011 is no different than 1911. Nobody understands Mental Illness & it seems that nobody really cares they just brush it under the rug and hope it goes away on its own. It is sad today that people still do not treat mental illness as a illness. It is no different than someone having Cancer, Diabetes, MS. Heart Condition. It is an illness and it needs medications to help control it. You cannot live with an illness and expect to live your daily life as if it was normal because it isn't there's a chemical imbalance of the brain and this has to be treated to improve with daily living. Jennifer you must be so proud of his paintings they are so pure & so beautiful. Hopefully Tony someday people will understand what was happening inside your brain . R.I.P. Tony
- May 08, 2011 - 07:23
Very touching story, and a nice tribute to Tony from his sister who obviously loved him dearly. To Jennifer: we are all busy with our lives, please don't feel guilty because you lived yours and now are second guessing whether you called your brother enough. I'm sure where ever Tony is, he knows you loved him and will always love him. Good luck in the future.
- May 07, 2011 - 21:48
Jennifer, my condolences to you and your family, and my admiration and respect for you making your grief public, to possibly help others. I have been where you are, I lost my brother a few years ago to suicide. I blamed myself, figured there was something more I could have done. And, I like you, was in a different province than he was. The problem is that, there is so much ignorance surrounding mental illness. It really makes me mad. A chemical imbalance in the brain should be treated no differently than diabetes, MS, etc. People need to educate themselves about Mental illnesses, and that includes the Medical Professionals. And government needs to have more resources available to help those in need. Your brother sounds like he was an amazing, talented person. Treasure the good memories. And, give yourself a break, your brother does not sound like the type of person who would want you to harbour any regrets. Thank you for sharing.
- Dorothy Kelly
- May 07, 2011 - 20:54
RIP Tony, I only remember him as a child walking back and forth to school during our days at NDA when I was a classmate of Robert's. thank you Jennifer for bringing the angst out into the light of the mental health system in Newfoundland. So much is needed to improve the standards of living for our family members trying to live a useful and productive life while coping with a mental illness.
- Lynne Sharman
- May 07, 2011 - 12:57
I just watched the video slide show of Tony Power's paintings and I can hardly breathe from the impact of his gentle, unique and beautiful visual renderings of the world in which he resided. He didn't record the room he would isolate in or the agonies he must have been suffering -- these paintings truly are visions of his spirit. There are many things I could say about systemic disregard for the need for support and mediation with the 'outside' world, will end with gratitude for those who brought Tony's inner world to us. (from Thunder Bay)
- Herb Morrison
- May 07, 2011 - 12:20
I wrote this article and had it published in the Telegram when I was a member of the Community Editorial Board. I submit it for publication again, with thehope that it might lead to a better understanding of the nature of mental illness in general. Some time ago, a book was published which documented the battle that a number of persons had waged and, in some cases, were still waging against mental illness. When the call went out for submissions to this book, I was heavily engaged in my studies at grad school consequently, I missed the opportunity to make a submission. Apparently someone, or some group of people hoped that by having people tell their stories of their struggle with mental illness, this would serve as a step toward the eventual removal of the stigma, which even in our supposedly affluent society remains attached to mental illness in any form. From an historical perspective, the stigmatization of the mentally ill goes all the way back to Biblical times. In antiquity, any form of illness, be it of a mental or physical nature, was believed to have been caused by demons. While it isn’t likely that people living in our so-called affluent society attribute mental illness to some form of demonic possession; the myth that mental illness only happens to certain people is still perpetuated resulting in the stigmatization of anyone who suffers from mental illness in any form. In the interest of truth and in an effort to aid in bringing an end to the stigmatization of the mentally ill, this is my story. Recently I heard someone say: “ God is great and life is good.” This stuck in my mind because it so aptly describes my life today. It was not always so. Off and on, for at least twenty years of my life, I waged an ongoing battle with what is commonly known as clinical depression. , I will summarize my experience with this particular form of mental illness. First off, clinical depression is not caused by demons of any scription. In my case, there were a number of negative experiences which occurred relatively early in my life, which left emotional scars, that didn’t heal. The combined effect of these scars were the root cause of my depression. What is it like to live with clinical depression? I remember a character in the Peanuts comic strip. He lived his life walking under a rain cloud. Consequently, even when I was involved in situations, which should have made me happy, there was a feeling of gloom, which hung over me like a rain cloud and prevented me from enjoying life to the fullest. The emotional pain eventually became too great. I found myself at the proverbial “bottom of the barrel.” Obviously, I survived the suicide attempt. Initially the professional help I received was ineffective in dealing effectively with my illness. It was not until 1996 that I finally received professional help that freed me from the grip of the mental illness that had held me in its’ grasp for most of my life. I have not had a recurrence of the depression, which was so much of my life for so many years. I am a flesh and blood human being. What happened to me could happen to anyone. While this doesn’t hold true for all forms of mental illness, clinical depression seems to be one on the more common forms of mental illness. Firstly, I hope, that by relating my own experience, persons suffering from clinical depression will be encouraged to seek out effective professional help. Secondly, I hope that by openly relating my experience with mental illness, this will aid in eradicating the stigma attached to mental illness of any description. God is great. Life is good.
- May 07, 2011 - 09:30
The issue of any kind of mental illness HAS TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY by the professionals, as well as the general public. It is a disease; not self-inflected. It is pure hell, and most times like living daily in a hopeless bottomless spinning black hole, struggling just to get through the day, and especially long lonely evenings, and made even worse by the attitudes and actions of others. Please help us, or at least try to understand. Stop critiizing and making fun of us. I am one of those that, sadly, no medication has helped. To Tony's family, Heartfelt condolences. He is painting for God and the angels now.
- May 07, 2011 - 08:35
What a sad story..I remember the day the authorities took a body from the harbour and said to my husband " whoever it is he or she is somebodies child, brother or sister, mom or dad" and said a prayer as always for the love one and their family. It has to be the most devastating news. I pray Jennifer that you and your family will heal in time and know that he will always be with you in your heart. I know that from experience with a friend's family member you will feel guilt, it's part of the process, who we are, but you are not responsible for what happened to your brother. God Bless you Tony, RIP.