The Elephant and Scapegoat


The mentally ill constitute a people like any other group in society.  This group is characterized by a disability, a disability of the mind.  So how is it that there has been little protest on how the media portrays mental illness? If someone commits a heinous act most often it gets categorized as “mental illness.”  Imagine if we did this publicly towards a group of people and we all ignored it, or even agreed with it.  The facts are the majority of those with mental illness have never committed violent crimes.  In fact, most people with violent histories have no history of or any current mental illness.  Mental illness has become the modern day scapegoat by which society demoralizes a vulnerable and resilient population to label or explain away deviant and even irresponsible behavior.  

I believe an apology is long overdue for the pervasive stereotyping of people with mental illness.  Get the facts and stand up for what’s right!  

2 thoughts on “The Elephant and Scapegoat

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! YES!! Most people have become complacent with the inflammatory rhetoric surrounding the mentally ill. It is rampant. When I was still working, I would sit among other healthcare professionals and social workers and be subject to derogatory statements about certain clients they served who suffered from Bipolar Illness. Often they would share a joke or explain away a client’s difficult behavior as being “Bipolar”. As a person who is Bipolar, I sat silent, knowing I could never feel comfortable sharing in a culture that lacked such sensitivity. And often this was coming from people who served clients who are mentally ill. It was dehumanizing. I felt always on guard and suffered greatly from being so tense during times when my mood was fluctuating. I had extreme anxiety while working as a result. I’m not working currently due to my illness. Every time I requested accommodations, I was treated differently. It was one of my greatest struggles, to work with this illness and try to be accommodated. I knew the ADA better than them and I stood up for my rights, but then was seen in a very negative light. It was so difficult. Now, I spend my time writing and speaking out while I rebuild my life and explore career avenues where I will be accepted! Thank you so much for saying this. I feel validated and visible. You made my day!! 🙂


    1. Thank you for sharing… Mental illness is very real and can be a difficult battle for most. My respect to you for the challenges you’ve faced and continue to deal with. I’m hopeful we will one day evolve to understand mental health conditions for what they are.

      Keep fighting the good fight, my friend… we’re with you!


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