A little thing I like to call the stigmatization of mental illness

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I came across this tweet today and in case the title of this post didn’t already give it away, I feel like there is something seriously wrong with it.

For starters, not every single mass shooting is a result of mental illness. I mean, really? I know that mental illness was still stigmatized but I thought we were past the whole overgeneralizing crime to be equated to mental illness. Seriously. You’re kidding right?

To be fair, I agree that mass shootings cannot entirely be blamed on white male entitlement, but you have to admit that being born as a white male does come with its advantages. I mean, your automatically exempt from oppression. You don’t have to face the gender inequalities that women struggle with. You don’t have to face the racism that non-white people face regularly. You really don’t have to face any oppression at all. If you don’t want to just face the fact that you’re privileged then fine whatever, but don’t turn this into an issue of mental illness.

While it may be true that many mass shootings have involved individuals with mental illness, this does not mean that this is the case for every single one. Some people are driven by anger, a desire for revenge, etc. To say that all mass shootings are a result of mental illness is like saying that the sun is purple; it just isn’t true.

While I am disgusted by this individual’s Tweet, I am not trying to single out this one particular individual, I am simply trying to draw attention to the horrible stigmatization of mental illness. By stigmatizing people who are ill, you are only perpetuating the fear that many people associate with getting help for their illness.
I think I speak for all people with mental illness when I say that we are not all mass murderers.
Can we please move on from these ridiculous stereotypes now?
Thanks.

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3 thoughts on “A little thing I like to call the stigmatization of mental illness

  1. Thewz says:

    Hey. Since this was inspired by my tweet, I just wanted to explain. First, I am not a white male, albeit I am a male, I know very well the unfair advantages that white males have. I am not at all dumping the blame of mass shootings on mental illness as a whole. When I say mental illness, I mean mental disorders such as Antisocial Personality Disorder, Conduct Disorder & Callous Unemotional traits; which are in direct correlation with acts of violence. My tweet was unspecific, but I’m not stigmatizing mental illness; I’m only referring to those specifically correlated with acts of violence. My point isn’t to make people with mental illnesses feel as though they are defective (I suffer from depression & social anxiety), I want to raise the discussion that these things should be a focus rather than an issue that gets avoided because of stereotypes. We need to provide help for those with mental illnesses and that is why I want people to acknowledge the relationship between specific mental illnesses and acts of violence. I hope that makes sense to you because I don’t want to make people feel defensive, I just want mental health to be an acceptable topic of conversation on a national level.

    • Ayla_xo says:

      If your point was to make mental illness an acceptable topic then why would you say “I then vomited”? The insinuation here is disgust with the fact that people do not blame mental illness.
      Furthermore, as an individual who is studying psychology in university I can tell you that disorders such as antisocial personality disorder, etc do not necessarily cause a person to be violent. Antisocial, yes. Violent? No.
      I would also like to point out that correlation proves nothing. If university has drilled one thing into my head over the years it is that correlation does not prove causation. It is possible to prove a correlation between things that are by no means causational. Therefore, you are mistaken in your belief that certain specific mental illnesses are directly related to violence. Even illnesses such as psychopathy are not directly related to violent behavior. In fact, many people in the world of business are successful because of their psychopathy. So these people have one of the mental illnesses that is most ” correlated ” with violence and yet they are living successful non-violent lives.

      I appreciate your feedback as it is clear that you were not necessarily trying to stigmatize people with mental illness, however, if you wish to make it more acceptable to discuss mental illness it would probably be best to first consider how a tweet such as the one you posted might actually perpetuate stigma rather than resolve it.

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