Claire Murray Fooshee First Prize (2013)


Brittany Kraus

There is a distinct difference between fiction and reality. Certain individuals, however, – usually those diagnosed with a form of mental illness, or undiagnosed, but suffering all the same – cannot distinguish between what is real and what is not; their grasp on the tangible world is slippery and unstable,

sliding, sliding

and should be met with equal parts skepticism and sympathy. Individuals afflicted by a psychological disorder of any nature, whether chronic depression, schizophrenia, bi-polar, paranoia, addiction

down again, what a lovely way

or loneliness, should seek professional help. Through rigorous and regular therapy, mental health consumers can learn effective coping strategies that will enable them to lead rich,

to see the world

from top

to bottom

productive lives. Medication, if properly administered and carefully monitored by a trained professional, can also be of crucial assistance. It is critical that the individual is prescribed the correct pharmaceutical, or combinations thereof, and is thoroughly instructed on appropriate usage.

I know no middle ground.