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mental health mondays :: beware of "crazy people"

this is the fourth or fifth time i've started this, but i'm never happy with where it goes, so i'll just keep things brief.

i wanted to write something today on the notion of the "crazy person" who takes a gun and kills a lot of innocent people. i had been meaning to write that because there is obviously an argument about to happen as to the mental state of the man accused of mass murder in aurora, colorado a little more than two weeks ago.

and i wanted to say that it's sad that we generally hear debates about mental capacity only when it's literally a question of life and death, when something has already gone horrifically wrong, especially since people with mental disorders are statistically far more dangerous to themselves than to others, no matter what such instances may lead you to believe.

and i thought it would be good to make the point that the notion of the "lone nut" is perversely comforting, but that a mass murderer is not necessarily suffering from a mental disorder, at least not in the medical sense, and that while you might think that their actions are insane, that does not mean that they aren't perfectly aware of what they are doing, the social laws that they are transgressing and the pain that they are inflicting.

but it seems sort of pointless, because yesterday in wisconsin, someone already made those points for me. someone who doesn't appear to be suffering from any conventional mental disorder and would probably forbid his legal counsel to file an insanity defence if he had not himself been killed.

there are a lot of people with a specific political agenda who will try to convince you that these sorts of acts are always carried out by "crazy people", people who are inescapably other and against whom there is very little defence.

but that's not true. and every time you hear someone describe these killers as crazy, it's important to demand more of an answer. crazy because there was legitimately something wrong with them, in which case it warrants looking at how an earlier intervention could have stopped them? or crazy because you don't agree with what they did, possibly because it makes you or your cause look bad?

the former is a legitimate debate. the latter is sleight of hand at the expense of people who need help. and it's pretty unhealthy. almost crazy.



Comments

I totally agree. As a mentally ill person, I'm offended when people refer to those murderous folks as 'psychotic.' Psychosis is nothing more than impaired perception, seeing/hearing things that are not there or deep-rooted beliefs that are not the case (but must be possible to count). Most who have psychosis have only mild or intermittent symptoms, and they can be as simple as seeing shadows in your vision or hearing white noise but can get very specific and complex. People get this image of what it means but it is completely different.

as long as you're here, why not read more?

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

mental health mondays :: pop quiz

those of you who are friends of mine on facebook [that might look a little weird to those of you seeing this post on facebook] may have seen my weekly "sunday quiz time", where i just ask random questions in the name of stimulating conversation. after doing that this week, i ended up taking a very wide variety of quizzes on mental floss, which made me a little smug about my knowledge of geography and a little rattled about my knowledge of the finer points of grammar. [i want to say, in my defense, that the one grammar quiz i found was really f**king hard. is that last sentence grammatically correct? i don't know. i have no confidence in my grammar anymore.]

i got so into answering questions about just about anything that i thought it might be fun to apply that format to mental health mondays. i've already done links to quizzes about various mental disorders and how to tell if you have them [i think it turned out i had all of them], but i wanted to do a special set of…

"friday" favourites 26.11.11

this week's friday favourites was inspired by a post by the lovely elven eyes [and, yes, i did almost type that as "eleven eyes", which wouldn't be nearly so lovely... although it would be memorable]. she did a post earlier this week inviting other beauty bloggers among her followers to talk about some of their other favourite things.

since i'm a follower [and, if you're interested in things beauty-related, you should be too], i wanted to give it a go, but i realised as i started that this was really something that was meant for other bloggers, who are able to write blogs on a single subject, because they have a sense of focus, which i obviously do not. after all, i blog about anything that happens to creep into my brainspace- makeup, politics, writing, stuff that annoys me, my cats... heck, i'll blog about blogging if nothing else occurs to me. and once a week, i dedicate one post solely to talking about things that have made me happy, so it's not li…