Psychiatrists are often criticized for a reductionist approach to mental illness. We are accused of "throwing pills" while ignoring the social, cognitive and spiritual aspects of our patients. However, the use of medications by psychologists with only rudimentary understanding of physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology is another form of reductionism that should be soundly criticized.
To turn Kurt Cobain into a symbol of something -- to hold up his tragic passing as something other than personal tragedy -- robs his loved ones of their personal truths. It means that the discussion isn't about the fact that Frances Bean Cobain will never know her father but about some other capital-letter themes that become about art or figurehead outside humanity.
The bar for having someone placed on a mental-health hold for more than a few days is very high. As a society we are predisposed to making it extremely difficult to remove a person's rights. I certainly don't want my rights removed, but where should that standard be? Lately I'm not sure that we've set the bar correctly.
Ultimately, it's about keeping despair at bay, and sometimes simple things like running, taking up a hobby, doing charity work, painting or, in my case, writing can be a galvanizing part of the recovery process. Keeping the brain and the body active can give life a semblance of pleasure and hope. This is what writing has done for me.