Guest Post: The Violence of People with Mental Illness

I was handcuffed a couple of years ago. Policemen threw me to the ground violently and handcuffed me as if I were a criminal. But I was not committing a crime; I was experiencing a manic episode of Bipolar I Disorder – I was mentally ill.

This photo, “The Granite Cross,” is copyright (c) 2014 Tobias Lindman and made available under an Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.

This photo, “handcuffs,” is copyright (c) 2014 Keith Allison and made available under an Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.

There is a lot of misinformation surrounding mental health. Much of society believes that people with mental illness have violent tendencies, but the reality is that people with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence than they are to be violent themselves, as is evident in the situation described above. The percentage of violence among the mentally ill is very small, and most violent people do not actually suffer from mental illness. Continue reading

Breaking Taboo Part I — Mental Illness

I wanted to get this posted earlier today, but didn’t like the angle. I’ve written this post no less than half a dozen times, since the shooting at The Mall in Columbia. I decided to go with a short story. After reading it let’s open up the dialogue on mental illness. I know it’s a hard topic to talk about, but must be done.

January 2

I’m so glad the holidays are over. I hate them. They make feel even worse. Everyone is always looking to see what crazy looks like. Inside I laugh because they look crazy looking for crazy. Uncle Fred’s eyes bug out as soon as he sees me. Cousin Miranda looks at me like I’m about to explode. Cousin Aiden walks on egg shells, like I’m about to crack at any moment. Then there’s mom and dad. Mom hushes anyone who mentions the word crazy no matter the context and dad just gives people the stink eye. Well, the holidays are over and I’m still crazy.

January 9

I took my journal to the therapist. The therapist that no one knows I see. Dr. Continue reading