Stories About Mental Illness: John

My name is John F. Simms. From the age of four when my Mom died ‘till the psychiatrists in Yale finally said “You need to take control of what it is you want to do,” nobody told me that as I was growing up. I had questions about why people are
treated the way they’re treated. I can remember asking questions that I don’t think most kids would ask as far as what’s happening to them, what’s gonna happen to them because of what was happening to me. Most of us do not understand what one goes through with a mental health disorder. They’re disliked and talked about. They’re discriminated against. They’re told they can’t do this, they can’t do that. But people all over the country are finally realizing that working together as a holistic group, showing people that you can do the same thing that somebody said you can’t do before, and they find out they can do it, makes that person more fully developed and has a good handle on their lives. These are human beings. You can call them every kind of other name you want, but they’re human beings and they have a right to be treated as a human being. So you can think anything you want about me as a person. You got to know me first.

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