Whenever there’s a mass shooting that’s blamed on mental illness I usually go quiet. I go quiet because i believe i suffer from one of the most stigmatized illness when it comes to mental illness and crime coming together. I have schizophrenia. Now i’m not saying the anyone in the latest of mass shootings had schizophrenia but i have seen both republican and democratic parties in the USA blaming mental illness for these atrocities. Having schizophrenia then seeing it posted all over papers and all over the internet when someone has committed a crime where its claimed mental illness had something to do with it, or any illness for that matter, is horrifying for me. I sort of wear my illness as a badge of honour, not in a way that glorifies it but in a way that says “I have schizophrenia and look at how well i’m doing!”, and I think this is a good thing. But when mental illness gets blamed for a disturbing act I want to take my badge of honour off, not because I don’t believe that badge, but because i’m worried people might see my badge and steer clear of me. I feel like I’ve become the worlds enemy, when in fact i’m pretty darn harmless, and if my temper flares towards someone its never to do with my schizophrenia. I’ll tell you what my schizophrenia does when its comes to things like paranoia and delusions…………. It makes me shut myself away, I become closed off, and I do nothing about the thing i’m deluded or paranoid about and NEVER become dangerous. I shouldn’t even have to say this but the way that my illness is portrayed out in the big wide world is the opposite to this, and this is what scares me. I wish I could wear my badge of honour but I believe its actually dangerous to me.
I’ve decided, this time, to be a little louder about the issue of mental illness and shootings because I believe this stigma is getting out of hand. I feel like i’m experienced in mental illness, having suffered with Schizophrenia for many years, and I’ve got some experience in working around mental illness. I feel like it’s an easy brush to paint shooters with. its an excuse to keep guns in America while stigmatising mental illness, and the statistic is false. I was told a stat by a therapist a few years ago that over 90% of people in relationships said they felt like killing their partners at some point. not 90% of people have mental illness yet this huge percentage had this hate running through them, and this is with people they have chose to spend their lives with. Yes, people with mental illnesses commit crimes, but at no greater percentage then people without mental illnesses. Blaming mental illness for terrorism is unfair, its not realistic, and its just used as a scapegoat. Give any person a gun and they might use it.
There’s a reason mass shootings are so much more common in America than anywhere else in the developed world, and that is a lack of gun control. Guns DO kill, that’s what they were designed to do. To control guns in America would be much more productive than to just blame mental illness, and then offer thoughts and prayers when another gun is used. Guns are dangerous and not even a small percentage should have guns, and guns don’t solve gun problems. Why is this so obvious but nothing is being done? Why am I being made to look guilty because a gun was used to shoot a load of people? Why is extremism being confused with mental illness? Come on America, get some sense.