It is very difficult to watch a friend or a loved one slowly lose their mind. For many years the idea that someone in a given family may have “mental issues” was something which that particular family would often try to keep hidden from their neighbors and co-workers. People who were not consider “normal”, according to societal standards, were often locked away in a sanitarium or an insane asylum for the rest of their natural lives.
As a culture we do not know what to do with people who are outside the “normal range”. A young child is enrolled in school and this child is subjected to standardized tests in order to determine their “ability to cope in a particular academic environment”. If this child has difficulties, such as attention problems, emotional development issues, or other things, which need to dealt with it is the parents’ responsibility to see that the school district is doing what it is supposed to be doing in order to provide this child with the help that he or she needs. Regardless of the fact that the school district may have a policy in place or a given state might mandate that such assistance be offered, in most cases the parents have to fight on behalf of the children to guarantee that their children’s rights are upheld.
This is also true with students who do not show any sign of emotional development issues, but are simply highly intelligent. The school districts are not designed to meet the needs of these children either. Quite often these children become extremely bored in school and therefore a source of distraction for other students. The average school district operates on what can best be described as a “bell curve” (a statistical analysis where the results are shown on a curve which is literally in the shape of a bell). If a given student’s performance is somewhere in the middle of this bell curve the school has no trouble dealing with this particular student. However, if a given student’s test results are on either end of this curve he or she could be in serious trouble unless someone intervenes on their behalf.
1) The theory of the four humours is quite ancient. It is based upon the belief that the body has four states (phlegmatic, sanguine, choleric, and melancholy) which need to be in balance in order to function properly. These states are related to the blood and one way that they were kept in balance was through the use of various herbs which we meant to impact each humour individually.
2) “The Truth about Mental Illness” http://heideggerm1.blogspot.com/2011/03/truth-about-mental-illness.html
3) “The Diary of a Madman” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diary_of_a_Madman_(story)