I can think of several things that are much worse than having mental illness.
1. Having no personality
2. Being spiteful and/or hateful
3. Having an inoperable brain tumor
4. Losing your whole family in a plane crash
Mental illness is just another thing one has to deal with
like a hyperactive child
or a peeling house
or having no insurance.
One has to stay on the problem all the time. There is a lot to worry about--medicine, how you're being perceived, making the doctors appointments, getting through the day. It's just another problem.
Some people are even happy that they have mental illness. They may enjoy it. Mania can be absolutely fantastic. It's a great feeling to feel like Super Woman or the female version of Christ. Of course, it's a real letdown when one discovers that one is just oneself and no one else.
Life with mental illness is rarely boring. The feelings are too intense to be boring. It can be absolutely fascinating to experience a hallucination--be it audio or visual. (As long as it doesn’t happen too often.)
I've had two visual hallucinations in my life. During the first one, I clearly saw my dead father sitting on a picnic table at Crystal Lake.
During the second one, I saw a huge, green head of broccoli.
The second one was the funny one. Why would I visualize a head of broccoli? For many years, I thought I was God trying to tell me to eat more green veggies.
As for audio hallucinations, I once heard God speak to me in a hotel room at the Sheraton. God said clearly, "Pray for us." What was interesting about that hallucination was that he said "us," not "me," and that he wanted human prayer. The idea that God needed prayer was what was particularly fascinating.
So, you see it's not all bad. Mental illness stretches your brain. It provides constant hoops to jump though. I wouldn't go as far as to say "it's fun," but it's not devastating all the time.
Surprisingly, mental illness can have its up side.