If Only Mental Illness Was Cool

yellow-ribbonOK loons, in light of the latest mass killing in America, I am going to just avoid the whole gun law debate on this one and focus on a totally different issue.  The rights of those with mental illness. The last three or four  mass shootings (and probably all of them) in the US involved men with serious mental illnesses, which the families were well aware of. The recent Elliot Rodger, was seeing several psychologists and therapists. The family and professionals knew of his troubled state but were unable to get him to take the anti psychotic drugs prescribed to him. They knew he heard voices and they knew he suffered from paranoia but all they could do was watched on as he continued to post troubling Youtube clips and send disturbing emails. My question is , if someone is suffering a mental illness, when should THEIR rights   be temporarily removed?  How can you expect someone who hears voices and suffers paranoia expect to make proper decisions concerning their health?

We watch the antics of Lindsay Lohan, Britany Spears, Amy Winehouse and Amanda Bynes like it is an amusing reality show act but when things go wrong you always hear the same words around the watercooler “sheez, why didn’t someone in their family intervene?”  Answer is they can’t. The law is not on their side. Many parents, like the Sandy Hook shooters’, make a conscious effort to hide them away from the world ( and further hurt) rather than place them in an institution. That only compounds the problem.

The real issue is “mental illness isn’t cool , it alienates the already alienated. Being gay is now cool. Twenty years ago it was lynch worthy. Mental illness needs to be brought out into the same light . All those movie stars and athletes hiding their secret med stash need to come out and say “Thank god for my meds, they have saved my life.” Remove the shame and stigma associated with the medication and you will have a lot less funerals. Oh and for goodness sakes spend more money on research.  Giving someone a pill that makes them feel like a ZOMBIE is not a solution , that is simply masking a problem. Give them a chance to function in the real world like everyone else.

8 Comments

Filed under All That Is Wrong With The World, They Live Among Us !

8 responses to “If Only Mental Illness Was Cool

  1. Not that simple Loon. After having sat with Jan in a psych ward for 6 months, meds aren’t always the answer either. Some of these issues can’t be sorted other by sedating or medicating or keeping them institutionalized. Mental illness is just such a sad way to go. Jan’s was from a car accident but the other 36 residents suffered from many forms of mental illness. Many had been there a most of their lives to protect them from the world and vice versa. Such a depressing time in my life and certainly makes you less self absorbed. I learned a lot from this period and can see it around me here in Hepburn Springs. Drug and alcohol induced psychosis is the norm here. People always going into rehab or detox. Also a spate of suicides last year. One was a young woman going out with Sam Johnston (Secret Lives of Us Actor) but her mother is also a nutter . Must have been in the genes. I think research is the way to go. Over there it’s on a much larger scale which is sadder still. Gun laws , well that’s something they just don’t get for whatever reason. Take the guns out of the equation and less killings!!!!

  2. Loon, the only thing I have heard about the most recent murderer was he was diagnosed as high functioning Asperger’ Syndrome, I hadn’t heard anything else regarding his mental health. I guess I will need to investigate further, but if you can point to where you saw this information, it would be helpful.

    Now to your point. I agree with you. We absolutely need to make mental health not a side show, not something to be embarrassed by. We need people to start talking about it in a calm and accepting manner instead of running away. These are human conditions. If we started treating each other with some humanity, compassion and empathy maybe we could start healing. We don’t want to go back to a time when we could strip people of their rights, but we do need to be able to protect individuals and society where there is real risk, it is fine line and at least here in the States we have never been known for our subtlety.

    I truly do not know what the answer is anymore. Better gun laws, yeah that is one of the answers, of course my answer is simply get them off the streets altogether but this is the USA and I don’t think that will happen in my lifetime.

  3. this is yet another tragedy for all those who have lost loved ones – including the family of the killer !

    Not only have they lost their son, they must bear the guilt of knowing so many other families are grieving because of what he did

    hard to know what more the parents could have done to prevent these killings. They knew their son had mental health issues and alerted the police when they suspected he might be planning to commit an atrocity (and that can’t have been an easy decision for them to make) and yet the police visited him and decided the parent’s fears were unjustified – a mistake that cost many people their lives !

    I wonder how well the cops who decided he was no danger to other people are sleeping these days ?

  4. We have situations where parents have legal control over the affairs of their underage children, ones where children of elderly adults also control them legally. Seems like a natural progression but needs to be tightly managed.

  5. It is obviously a complex issue that hasn’t been well addressed. A local Olympic athlete, Clara Hughes, is cycling across Canada to give speeches and raise awareness of mental illness since she suffers from it. It’s a brave thing to do..

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