Facing the War Inside

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The problem is not that we battle emotional and psychological problems.  The problem is that we are taught we should not have any kind of inner turmoil.  The subliminal message of “that isn’t real” or “it’s all in your head” contributes significantly to the deterioration of symptoms of people with mental illness.  This form of gaslighting in which a person’s reality is taken as a fabrication of his or her mind is the all pervading message of the mainstream mental health treatment field.  Suggesting a patient change their symptoms is equivalent to them changing a limb- it is their reality.  Instead, the aim should be to provide validation of an individual’s reality, understand the meaning of particular symptoms, and provide ways for patient’s to properly handle and overcome the battle.  

The greatest illness is denial.  Pretending as if emotional and mental health problems are foreign and exclusive to certain unfortunate individuals greatly contributes to the isolation and further stigmatization of an underrepresented group.  It’s time to be honest and acknowledge the battle!  

The Elephant and Scapegoat

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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!  

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