Mental Illness In Virgo, By Jess Walter

1187 Words 5 Pages
In the genre of fiction, the writer wants to create a world that is different than what the reader is used to. Also, it has familiar aspects so that we can relate to the story. This is shown in the short story “Virgo” by Jess Walter. He does this by having the story in the modern day times, which is what we are familiar with. For the unfamiliar he creates the main character to have a psychological problem. When looking deeper into this short story, it appears to be about mental health, or the further decline of the main character. The author uses mental illness as an important part in his story, and its severity has the effect of wonder to the reader of his mind being so troubled. This is because his disorder was not addressed when he …show more content…
The answer to that is a lack of education about mental illnesses in the school system. With no real class to teach about mental illnesses children and adults are at a loss because of how prevalent mental troubles are. Furthermore, if we do not catch a mental illness in a child early on it can cause problems for the youth later on in their life, which leaves them wondering why people can’t understand how they think or act. It also comes with more drastic circumstances. Such as, “The possible consequences of untreated psychiatric problems include longer duration of the illness, increased severity of symptoms, higher relapse rates, greater risk of suicidal behaviour, academic difficulties and increased family conflict” (Waterman, Hales, and Glackin 296). With this information it is clear that Trent had gotten worse from when he was a child and that is because he was not treated for his mental problems, and by the time he started to get therapy it was too …show more content…
However, with all of the information that is at our fingertips we still do not educate the parents of the future generation about how children can be mentally troubled. Having the schools educate children on mental illnesses would only be one part of a solution of the problem. The other is for the parents to be educated about the topic, so that they can notice the signs early on in their child’s life. It doesn’t even have to be a regular class or a long winded lecture about the inner workings of mental illnesses. It only has to give enough information for the family’s to be aware that something is wrong. This allows parents to address it early on in a child’s life and get the proper help and care for the adolescent. Again, in “Virgo” we see that Trent’s father didn’t think that his son was mentally troubled, but he knew something wasn’t quite right. He even says that “you make people uncomfortable” (Walter 62). However, since Trent’s dad was never educated about mental illnesses he did not think to have his son tested. Not having parents know about these changes in their children can have dire consequences. For example, “without better education for adults, thousands of young people are at risk of alcohol and drug misuse, self-harm and suicide” (Sprinks 7). The signs of Trent’s mental health were around his parents, sadly, they didn’t know what they were. Because of this, later in their

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