One group of people that for has gone through years of stigmatization is a group that contains people of any sex, ethnicity, and culture: The mentally ill.
When first hearing these two words or synonyms of it many people will think of a violent murderer, a hobo who talks to him/herself, perhaps even a “retarded” person, or someone whose “just plain crazy.”
Mental illnesses in general are diverse and complex, and also controversial. Part of the controversy deals with misconceptions and myths surrounding these illnesses which are often fueled by the media, be it the News or Hollywood. The latest tragedy, the Tucson shooting that left six dead, sparked attention towards Mental Health and Treatment due to the shooter having “erratic behavior” in the past. Even though the shooter Jared Loughner wasn’t diagnosed, experts agree this is a “teachable moment” and educate people on intervention for mental illness crisis.
In spite of how often many news reports emphasize a mental illness in the murderer and how dangerous they are/were, the mentally ill are just as likely to commit acts of violence as a person without a mental illness. According to Kyla King’s article that besides the mentally ill being no more violent than others; they are in fact eleven times more likely to be victims of a violent crime (http://www.mlive.com/health/index.ssf/2011/01/experts_say_public_stigma_igno.html)
Needless to say, Hollywood and other businesses haven’t help in a realistic portrayal of the mentally ill; the most common and damaging would be a psychotic killer, whose disorder could be anything bipolar disorder to Schizophrenia. The importance of this blog will be discussing common issues and generalizations the Mentally ill face and how the non-mentally ill perceive them.