Mental Disorders and Societal Expectations

Last week I was incredibly turbulent emotionally, and I am experiencing a little carry over of those emotions this week. I notice that I am continuing my thought patterns and that is not leading to positive thoughts. So to help express and release these thoughts from my mental cycle, I am going to share a particular inner argument that has been plaguing me…

I have been struggling with popularity of the stereotypes that accompany mental disorders. I have noticed that anytime someone is arrested, the news report always includes the fact the person is “mentally ill”. I hate this because slapping that label onto a negative situation automaticlly adds onto the already previlent stereotypes of mental disorders. What the news doesn’t often tell is is that there are millions of people who work hard everyday to overcome those stereotypes and move beyond their disorders.

Why is it that society has to slap on an “mentally ill” label on anyone who defiles the law? It almost seems that the society has already decided that people with mental disorders are corrupt. Bums. Thieves. Murderers. Scum. Do some people who suffer from mental illness do terrible things? Yes. Does that mean that everyone with a mental illness is going to eventually do something terrible? No!

So these have been my thoughts and I have really been struggling with with this the last few weeks. How can we expect to break the stereotypes of mental illness when we continue to connect it with negative connotations? We need to start spreading the word about the truth and showing the positive people that live a full life everyday in spite of their disorder.

Thank you for listening to my rant – I feel better already! 🙂

12 thoughts on “Mental Disorders and Societal Expectations

  1. It’s so true…mental illness is like a prop the media uses for “dramatic effect” It’s so wrong to glorify something most people don’t understand…it fuels fear and hate.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m a bit of a news junkie and, with my own history of psychosis and current diagnosis of bipolar, always prick up my ears when I hear the kind of stories you describe with the ‘mentally ill’ label attached. What I feel is sympathy for the perpetrator. The mentally ill label mitigates some of their guilt. Were they let down by mental health services? Can we learn from what happened?

    Just maybe some other people – without my history – also feel this way?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think extremes of any form are “bad”, and unfortunately it is these things that make the news. You are right that people who don’t understand that thing hear about it in the news associated with some sort of terrible behavior, and that forms their understanding of what that thing is.

    So a murderer with a mental illness is understood as “people with a mental illness are murderers”.

    Or a religious extremist committing an act of violence becomes “people of that religion are violent”.

    Unfortunately it’s human nature to generalize and then paint everyone with one brush.

    The only way around it is education, and showing people that our stereotypes aren’t actually valid, and they don’t apply to all members of a group. In that way, things like your blog are small steps towards better understanding.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Personally, I’ve always felt that society itself is a mental illness, and so perhaps that’s why it always seems to demonise the mental health of the individual, as if to divert the attention of the brainwashed masses away from the real insanity. – I don’t watch the news anymore, for this very reason.

    Glad your starting to feel better, E

    Liked by 2 people

  5. sometimes I think the label is slapped on because “people” need a reason to process crimes that can occur, it someone how makes the “public” feel better. Oh, they were mentally ill that is why they did it. I am okay. I feel it happens when people die, especially young. “That is awful, that she passed away” “How did she die?” “She was sick for a long time.” Person thinks, oh, she was sick, I am not sick, I will be okay, I wont die right now. I feel better. Does that make sense?

    Liked by 1 person

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