Saturday, February 19, 2005

And the stigma continues

How are we supposed to feel unashamed of our illnesses, when most all of the references to mental illness that people are bombarded with in the media are so damn negative? I watched Oprah last night (she's on at 9 am here & then they rebroadcast her show again at 11 pm). The show was about men that murder their wives. In each of the cases they talked about, the men seemed to blame their mental illness as the reason behind why they committed murder. One guy even said that if he had gotten help for his depression, he doesn't think he would have killed. Yeah fucking right, I don't buy that for a second.

No one ever mentions the millions of law abiding citizens that suffer from mental illness that don't harm anyone. They never paint mental illness in a positive light. There's never any mention of the people that are holding down jobs or raising their children without abusing them. Never a mention of those that suffer in silence but are trying to get better. I know this shouldn't bother me because I know that the media is all about sensationalism. People get killed all the time, but they only report the ones with a twist. But they just don't realize the incredible contribution they make towards keeping the stigma against mental illness alive and kicking.

I'm appalled by the number of people that blame their mental illness for why they killed or attacked somebody. In 95% of the cases I just don't fucking believe that is an honest excuse. I'm mentally ill...and ill with one of the disorders that can put people into uncontrollable, angry rages. I have never once acted on my desire to kill someone. I know the difference between right & wrong, and don't loose the ability to distinguish the difference between the two simply because my illness has taken hold and I'm in a blinding rage.

People just no longer want to take responsibility for their own actions. Any excuse they can come up with to lay blame on someone or something else seems to be the norm, at least in the U.S. It's beyond pathetic and it's sickening.


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