Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Another setback for Stigma

I haven't watched much TV news in recent weeks. Now I know why. In reporting the stabbing of a pregnant woman, the perpetrator was called one of the "Mentally Ill". How dare they group a "psycho" in with the thousands of us who struggle with a mental illness. He may be in the same system, supported by the same doctors, but he is clearly a psycho. If someone is in clear danger of killing people if they skip medication, they should be locked away permanently or until they cease to be a danger.

Grouping me and the thousands of non-violent mentally ill people together with this kind of person will set back the anti-stigma cause every time. My bipolar illness makes me no more likely to be violent than anyone else. In my experience of meeting other bipolars, there is less chance than in the general population. In fact, there is more chance of the bipolar person commiting suicide.

Is it not possible that the psycho type person is diagnosed because of their aberrant behaviour? They are only defined as mentally ill because of their tendancy to attack and kill people. We all know that diagnosis of mental illness is not an exact science. It is very much based on matching an illness to the way the patient presents. If someone has a tendency to attack people, they must be schitzophrenic. The system relies on the patient to take their medication in order to avoid being a homicidal maniac. How stupid is that?

Maybe the Mental Health trust has been dragged through the coals and they have apologised to the families of the murdered lady. The media outlets should apologise to the majority of the "Mentally Ill" who are peace loving citizens who are trying to malke it through life. So many people are working hard to defeat stigma. One news report can set back the cause so much.

I hope you find this blog thought provoking and challenging. Many of us willl see through the new story but what about Joe Public? He might see the "Mentally Ill" as a threat. Before you know it, we will all be locked up.


1 comment:

  1. Standing Ovation!!! Excellent writings!! You would make a great speaker campaigning to correct society's vision of the mentally ill. Clive, you have an amazing mind. If you do any appearances regarding your book, I really think you should include some material from your blog. Very intelligent and truthful facts that people should be made aware of. Still clapping with a standing ovation!! Great work!!


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