City of Possibility Location: Museum of Mental Maladies

From its origins in the 19th century as a zoo displaying asylum patients, the Museum of Mental Maladies has come a long way. Now it’s housed in a magnificent structure that resembles a brain separating out into different lobes. This is a visual symbol of the various psychological and neurological problems exhibited at the museum.

Some City of Possibility residents have protested the use of the expression “mental maladies,” as it’s slightly old-fashioned and because the museum has broadened its scope somewhat. In recent years, it has set aside some space for a Mental Wellness Wing devoted to exhibits on improving psychological health.

The museum also has a Community Atrium where support groups can meet and people can share (out loud or in writing), their thoughts on various problems.

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What’s Your Role in an Abusive Drama?

“All the world’s a stage,” is the opening line from a funny As You Like It monologue on the several roles a man typically plays throughout his life. As he goes from one role to another, little seems to depend on his own thoughts; he slips into each role because of his age and what’s expected of him at any given point in life.

What roles are we playing, and have we accepted them without question?

Let’s take this theatrical metaphor of life and use it for relationships that have an abusive dynamic. Whose stage are we on, what role are we playing, and is it hazardous to our sanity and health? Although they’re painful and degrading, we can slip into these roles relatively easily, and stay in them for years – maybe most of our lives.

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