By: Chelsey Baker-Hauck
What do you think of when you think of mental illness? Do you run away from it?
DU student Andrew Steward had to confront it head on.
Several years ago, he started to believe that Jesus was coming back imminently; he headed for the mountains to escape God’s wrath. He began to live in his own inner world. He heard voices; he saw visions of a snake that would repeatedly strike at this chest and bite his heart. He thought Satan was attacking him. ”It was torture.”
A stint in a mental hospital didn’t help. Anti-psychotic medications didn’t help. Steward found the most relief by learning to love himself again.
“When someone breaks their arm, you sign their cast. When someone has a mental problem, you run the other way. Why is that?” he asked the TEDxDU 2011 audience.
Steward says his message is to bring the issue of mental issue into the light. “If you’re out there and you’re going through what I went through,” he said, “you are not alone.”