Mental Illness Is Not A Super Power

Liberalism is like a venereal disease for our culture. It’s painful, irritating, and spreads its stupidity like wildfire. When the mentally ill start buying into liberal concepts like “If it feels good, do it,” “No one can judge you,” and “You’re really a victim,” the the results aren’t pretty:

Imagine if Vincent Van Gogh — an artist who was famously afflicted with mental health issues — had been forcibly injected with an antipsychotic drug like Thorazine. Or if Leonardo Da Vinci’s genius had been affected by antidepressants such as Wellbutrin.

That’s what San Francisco-based music artist Madigan Shive wondered.

“I think often that if DaVinci were alive during our time, would we just dope him up? What would we do?” she asked.

It’s a question being asked by a growing grass roots movement about 8,000 members strong — many of whom are rejecting pharmaceutical solutions for psychiatric conditions and fighting the stigmatization and shame of mental illness.

You’ve heard of Black Pride and Gay Pride. Now make room for Mad Pride.

…Some worry that refusing meds is a dangerous game for people with mental illness, especially after hearing about cases such as the University of North Carolina law student who, in January 1995, gunned down a popular lacrosse student and a McDonald’s manager because he suffered schizophrenic delusions; or the Virginia Tech shooter Seung-hui Cho, who killed 32 people and wounded 25; and, of course, the infamous John Hinckley Jr., who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981 and was eventually found not guilty by reason of insanity.

In each incident, people believed to suffer from mental illness were believed to be unmedicated and untreated at the time of their crimes.

But David Oaks, a prominent Mad Pride activist and a leader of the advocacy organization MindFreedom International, agreed with others in the Mad Pride movement who feel stereotyping the mentally ill is a serious mistake.

“The vast majority of people with psychiatric diagnoses,” Oaks said, “including serious psychiatric diagnoses like schizophrenia and psychosis and bipolar — we’re law-abiding, we’re peaceful.”

Oaks said MindFreedom International seeks to work for social change in the mental health system. He stresses that Mad Pride is not anti-medication, but rather it is anti-bullying, and he asserts that it should be a patient’s choice whether or not to accept medication.

…”Most of our members have experienced things like forced drugging,” Oaks said. “We are people who have experienced human rights abuses in the mental health system.”

Oaks’ personal experience propelled his involvement in mental health advocacy. Oaks is a Harvard graduate who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder in the 1970s, while still a student at the prestigious university.

“I thought the CIA was making my teeth grow, I thought the TV was personally talking just to me, that the radio had the voice of God,” Oaks recalled.

In my view, a mental illness is essentially a handicap. It’s not your fault if you do have a mental illness, whether it’s caused by nature or nurture. Moreover, it doesn’t make you a loser, dangerous, or mean your life is wasted.

However, it is a handicap, not a super power. People with mental illnesses need to learn how to properly manage their problem, not, in most cases, because they’re dangerous, but because mental problems decrease the quality of their life.

If you’re lying in your bed for a week, too depressed to get up, you basically just wasted seven days of your life. If you’re so agoraphobic that you can’t leave your house, you need to deal with that so that you’re not forced to become a shut-in. If you’re delusional or schizophrenic enough that you think the CIA is making your teeth grow, you’re out of touch with reality to such an extent that you need to be medicated, forcibly if necessary. That’s not because people want to push you around; it’s because you’re a potential danger to yourself and others if you’re that out of it.

Given the number of people in our society who’ve been afflicted with a mental illness of some sort at one time or another, there really should be much less stigma attached to it. But, the flip side of that is that 99.999% of people with mental issues are not the next Vincent Van Gogh. Heck, Vincent Van Gogh might not be the Vincent Van Gogh they think. Perhaps if he didn’t have mental health problems, he would done even more with his life.

Long story short, if you have a mental illness, you don’t need to be ashamed of it, but you do need to deal with it realistically and take the steps necessary to make sure it doesn’t ruin your life.

Permalinks


Share this!

Enjoy reading? Share it with your friends!

Send this to a friend