Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bound by Freedom

I have been sitting around watching the news this weekend about the shooting in Connecticut. I can't imagine, as a mom, the pain those families are going through.
One troubling thing being talked about is that the shooter was said to be mentally ill. It seems like most of the mass shooting have had a perpetrator who was suffering from some sort of mental troubles.
As someone who is "mentally ill" I am offended by the demonizing of mental illness. I do not think it is fair to group mentally ill people all together. The people who commit these type of acts are a tiny percentage of the mentally ill.
It is wrong and unfair to start grouping people together by their race/color, their religion or medical conditions. When the terrorists attacked us on 9/11 it was not an attack by all muslims. When a black man kills someone in a drug related crime, it does not make all black men drug dealers and killers. When a white man discriminates, victimizes or belittles someone of another race it does not make all white people bigots. In the same way, when someone with a mental illness commits a horrible act like this, it is wrong to group all people with mental illnesses as dangerous. Preventing people with mental illness from buying guns is not going to fix this problem. When someone wants to commit an act like that they will find another way. I'm not saying we should hand guns out to all of the mentally ill, but changing laws to tighten the ability to buy guns is not the big problem here.
I feel another problem here is the discriminating, judging or singling out of the mentally ill causes people to not seek treatment so as to avoid that label. I know that was true for me.
Another major problem in our country is how the mentally ill receive treatment. It is difficult to even find a bed in a hospital during a crisis let alone to pay for it. The government ties the hands of loving families trying to seek help for their loved one, to protect sick ones rights. I agree that people who are suffering mentally should have rights, however when you are mentally ill it is your mind which is ill. When your brain is misfunctioning it is your reality. For me it was all I knew, so I went undiagnosed for at least 15 years. I thought I was awesome and could do anything, but I couldn't see the destruction I was causing to myself and everone around me. Who would get help when they feel like Wonderwoman? If I had not had the mental breakdown when pregnant with Jocelyn, I probably wouldn't have seen it for years more. 
It should not be so difficult to get people help. I wonder how many of the families of those murderers tried to seek help for their sick child. So often we hear the family knew there was an illness, if they had tried to get help, they had no ability to do so unless that person agreed.(that person who was blinded by their own mind and couldn't see that their mind was ill) If that person had been in an accident and couldn't make a rational decision, the next of kin would be called in to make decisions for their family member.
I know I am on my soapbox here, but I am expressing my opinion of the flaws in our laws meant to protect us from harm and protect our rights. Something needs to be done to revisit those laws.

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