I'm sure most of you have heard the sad news of Jett Travolta death. He was only sixteen years old. It is suspected that he died from a head injury, due to a fall, which was triggered by a seizure. My heart goes out to Jett's family. Jett's parents, John Travolta and Kelly Preston, claim that their son suffered from Kawasaki Syndrome. However, most people who have met Jett say that he clearly suffered from Autism. John's brother, Joey, had been in many disagreements about Jett's treatment. Joey even produced a documentary that interviewed 65 kids with autism called, Normal People Scare Me. The point of the film was to educate others about autism.
Jett's parents are followers of Scientology, a religion that believes mental illness is psychosomatic. That means those affected by any type of mental disorder are defective human beings and can only be treated through spiritual healing. If John and Kelly refused medical treatment for their son and denied that he suffered from autism (and this is only hypothetical), then this is very sad. I personally know how denial and lack of insight can trigger medical non-compliance. In my own family, there are members who do not fully believe that my brother suffers from schizophrenia, even though he was diagnosed. What I have concluded, though, is that these individuals are in deep denial about what is really going on. They do not want to admit that my brother has a real mental illness and don't support him taking medicine. I don't understand it because it took me a matter of days to understand what was really going on. I spoke with many people who have gone through the same thing and they told me that without medicine, recovery may never happen. For months, I didn't want to believe that my brother would most likely deal with schizophrenia for the rest of his life. For a sister, that is a very hard reality to accept. However, all of the success stories I read about helped me look toward the future. I believe that each day is one step closer to my brother's recovery.
A lot of people are speculating that Jett's death could have been prevented and maybe it could have. However, we weren't there and we don't know what happened. I do , however, have a huge problem with Scientology, because followers of this religion believe that mental illness makes an individual defective or weak. Ironically, those who suffer from a mental disorder are actually courageous, inspiring and strong. I don't think people realize just what it takes to recover from a chronic illness. I will tell you that it is nothing short of miraculous. It is a personal journey that one makes in order to achieve recovery. Please visit my website to learn about this journey.
We need to embrace recovery and accept that mental illness will continue to affect our loved ones. When we talk about mental illness we are actually talking about physical illness. The brain is not separate from the rest of the body. It is an organ just like our stomach or our liver. What's more complicated is that our brains are controlled by chemical and electrical activity. When any of this activity is unbalanced, a disorder can occur. After observing the debilitating effects schizophrenia has had on my brother, I know one thing, I will never underestimate my mental health or take it for granted.