Tuesday, September 2, 2008

America still shows little tolerance for the Mentally Ill





America still shows little tolerance for the Mentally Ill


Not that this news should come as all that surprising since we are blasted with images of the mentally ill being dangerous each and everyday through the news and other sources. ( fact: those with mental illness are no more or less dangerous than any other segment of the population)
Of course we as a society have created the Special Olympics for the developmentally disabled and spend incredible resources to assure they receive adequate care. The building of a wheel chair ramps and handicapped parking spaces are not just common place, but wound into the very fabric of our society. We have special buzzing crossing sounds at cross walks for the blind, along with braille on just about everything you can imagine. The list goes on and on, accept when it comes to mental illness or disorders.
We even have become much more tolerate and inclusive of alternative life style populations and like others. Government in their always infinite wisdom, created special laws through our Federal Governmental bodies called the ADA ( Americans with Disabilities Act ).
But somehow those with mental illness are still to this day seen as the demons of our society by a staggering percentage of our population. And in all truth when it come to the ADA, it's just a piece of paper! In real life it has no teeth or enforcement behind it when it comes to the mentally ill ( in fact those with mental health issues have by far the lowest percentage of success in discrimination legal action concerning their disability ). Mental Health and the so called care they receive, continues to be the evil step child of bad science and a unjust stigma that never goes away.
There is still as a society this over riding opinion in our general population that want and even demand mentally ill people be drugged into submission and a drooling stupor; and be kept as far out of sight as possible. Even if this means placing them in inhumane institutions and hospitals where they will receive little or no real treatment.
Living with bipolar and working in the mental health field has opened my eyes to this cold hard reality. With the Medical Model now in place, and the Billions of dollars Big Pharma makes off the misery of those suffering; I can see little change in the near future either in care or public opinion.
I hate having to write these words here; since it gives me such a heavy heart and sense of hopelessness, but the truth is just what it is! No matter how hard you try, you can't escape from it's grasp.
When will it all change? I have no answers at this point in life's journey to throw out much hope or a life line for anyone out there reading this.
It just is, what it is! Ignorance can change in a generation or in a thousand years, there is just no predicting how this horrific stain on humanity will play out this time around.
Stan

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