I'm mentally ill, though you'd never have guessed
'coz I'm suave and I'm eloquent, tidily dressed.
I sometimes get manic or rather depressed
but other than that I'm the same as the rest.

My friend's anorexic, it's easy to see
she's shyer and quieter, thinner than me,
but she's punished whenever she doesn't eat tea
and treated the same as they've been treating me.

Some schizophrenics are people you meet
who never look odd when they walk down the street
and, bussing, might offer to give you their set
but are lumped in with those who would chop off your feet.

I'm mentally ill, and it has to be said
that sometimes I feel I'd be better off dead.
I might be beside you, so watch where you tread
and help me to make it worth living instead.

- by Prajna Pranab, 1998