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 …. Mental Illness

When we hear the word taboo, most of us know this relates to a scandalous topic that the general population does not want to talk about.  Taboo is just that; a topic or practice that has long been forbidden or is uncomfortable for people to think and/or talk about.

Of all the taboo topics in the world I think mental illness wins first place for the longest running taboo subject of all time.  We have evolved and come around in matters of sex, gender identity and homosexuality but mental illness……that’s still something most people would rather keep locked up in the dark taboo closet because it is just too uncomfortable to get in to.

Mental illness is not just the crazy killer type depicted in Hollywood movies or the crazy guy on the corner yelling at the air.  Many times it something more miniscule like anxiety or depression.  Just like back in the 80’s when people thought AIDS was spread by air or touch, mental illness suffers this same ignorance, this same mis-education of sorts. Continue reading