I am so sick of everyone in this country calling White mass shooters “mentally ill”. Perhaps they are, perhaps not. But it shows a deep misunderstanding of what it is to be mentally ill and decreases the help in treatment of those of us who are truly mentally ill while further increasing stigma around mental illness.
Diagnosed Bipolar? Be careful, you might crack and go on a shooting spree! Which is complete bullshit.
We need to stop labeling the mass shooters as mentally ill. They are criminals, terrorists. Mental illness has nothing to do with the actions taken by a shooter. In fact, most mentally ill people are more likely to hurt themselves than anyone else.
We need to get rid of the stigma surrounding mental illness in order to start providing proper treatment for those that are mentally ill.
What do you think a person diagnosed with Depression or Anxiety or Bipolar or Schizophrenia starts to believe when an entire nation views mental illness as angry, white men with AR-15’s shooting people?
It makes us feel broken, that we are abnormal in this culture. We internalize these feelings and believe there is no hope for us. We are “evil” in some way. We may break and hurt someone. Which is complete bullshit.
Most mentally ill people are lashing in on themselves—they feel they are to blame for their depression, they are weak. It is some abnormality within myself that creates my sadness, my anxiety, my impulses, my self. I have a personality flaw.
When, in fact, I’m actually sick. I have a real disease called Depression or Anxiety or Bipolar. These things are real, not a part of me, not a character flaw, but an illness just like cancer.
We, as a culture, need to stop demonizing mental illness. We need to stop being afraid of it. You would never say “Try to fake you don’t have cancer. Smile. It’ll go away” to someone with cancer. Why say this to someone with Depression? Why invalidate a whole person’s struggle?
Mental illness needs to be better understood. It is not a character flaw. I’m not going to get better by “faking” it. I have an actual disease that affects my personality. It is dark. It is lethal. It is *real*. I’m not dangerous, I’m not someone to pity. I’m not insane or crazy or abnormal or any of that. I’m just like you, only I have an illness.
And once we accept this and stop thinking mass shooters are the face of mental illness, we truly can start progressing in proper methods of healing our minds.
We need better care. We need more understanding. And we need to dissolve the stigma around mental illness so people can feel comfortable asking for help. So we can improve the treatment of our mental health.
And so those of us with a mental illness don’t have to be so afraid in admitting we have an illness.