February 5, 2018
The last few years have seen incredible progress to the “End The Stigma” movement. More and more people from top athletes, Hollywood stars, and most importantly every day people started to open up more about their fights with depression, PTSD, anxiety and other mental illness. Employers and insurance companies were also making leeway.
It really felt like everything around the mental health aspect was moving in the right direction.
To me though, it’s facing a major roadblock.
So many of the mass shootings across the world and mostly in the United States have been blamed on mental illness .
Tweets from politicians and the media have suggested the perpetrator’s mental state to be the culprit. It almost just seems to be the easy way to explain why these events have happened. Leaders simply put blame on mental illness and move on to other news.
All I can think about is how someone battling with mental illness must feel when they are so easily put into the same category as someone that has caused massacre.
Even worse, how would the person that has been battling mental illness and thinking about seeking professional help, or opening up to family or friends going to feel about that?
I don’t know what the solution is. Maybe we need our world leaders to stop blaming mental illness for these disasters (especially before they have even been professionally diagnosed)? It sure doesn’t seem fair to me to place a mass murder in the same category as my friend that suffers from anxiety, but it seems to be what is happening, and it is a major hindrance to the “end the stigma” movement.