3 posts tagged stigma
People are talking about how the rate of violent crimes in this country means we need to pay more attention to mental health. Studies show that in almost all cases of random shootings, the shooter was mentally ill.
These are not statements implying that most mentally ill people are violent, homicidal monsters. These are statements implying that most violent, homicidal “monsters” are mentally ill. There is a huge, inherent difference between those statements, a difference consisting of millions of people. It is the same as the difference between saying “most horses have four legs” and “most things with four legs are horses”. The articles on this subject, such as “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother”, have not noted that difference because it is OBVIOUS.
I am a person who has experienced non-violent mental illness in the form of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I am also a person who has experienced homicidal urges and fantasies, and I am allowed to categorize those thoughts as symptoms of mental illness. In fact, categorizing them as mental illness was essential to preventing and then recovering from them.
I do not appreciate that a community of people who claim to represent the rights of the mentally ill are “offended” that mental illness is being brought up in connection with violence, or think that publicly discussing my mental illness “dehumanizes” the rest of the community. I’m glad you think of me as less than human. Thank you.
Instead of whining about how my visible status as a mentally ill person increases the “stigma” surrounding mental illness, why don’t you confront that stigma itself and its inherent fallacy, as it relates to all of us?
As a chronic depressive, this is 100% how I feel.