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Thank you for visiting. Content MAY BE TRIGGERING ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED ABUSE, STRUGGLE WITH SELF-INJURY, SUICIDE, DEPRESSION OR AN EATING DISORDER. Contains graphic descriptions of suicidal thoughts, self-injury and emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Do not read further if you are not in a safe place. If you are triggered, please reach out to your support system, a mental health professional or call 911.

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Disclaimer: Although I have worked with persons with mental illness for twenty years, I do not have a Master's Degree or a license. This is not meant to be a substitute for mental health care or treatment. Please obtain professional assistance from the resources listed on the right of the page, if needed. And call 911 if you or someone is in immediate danger.

A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Stigma of Mental Illness ~ Pentagon Shooting

By now, I would think that most people have heard about the Pentagon shooting. Well, in surfing the Internet about this event, I found so many things that show how much stigma there is and how the media reinforces it. I became really angry and wanted to scream at some of the stuff that I found.

Words that I found referring to Bedell's mental illness: unhinged, whack job, disturbed, crazy, mental problems, idiot, fucking psycho, lunatic, bizarre, insane, half-wit, faggot, moron, mental illness is an excuse etc.  Some other phrases, "mental illness and defect of character. Aren't they the same thing?" And from the media broadcast:  "Bipolar, subject to violent psychotic behavior."

Another comment:  "The main stream media is lying ABOUT HIS MOTIVES.  They keep saying he's was a lunatic and suffered MENTAL DISORDERS. What they dont say is he thought OUR GOVERNMENT WAS BEHIND 911!"

I'd rather be described as a person diagnosed with a mental illness that was being treated.  How about you?

Regarding psychiatric care:  psychiatrist responsible;  Beldell "snapped" after being in the hands of a Psychiatric facility they, nor their drugs, fixed or cured or prevented him from doing this and; "bipolar disorder" is just a collection of symptoms that Psych's have thrown a label on, it has no scientific basis. This guy was in Psychiatry's hands, they got him on the amphetamine based little pills and he did this. The true cause of this problem is not "bipolar", it's the fact that he got further messed up by those who were supposed to be helping him.

I really am try not to scream at the comments.  First off, Bipolar Disorder is most often addressed with the drugs of Lithium, anti-convulsants, and anti-psychotics.  Some people fail to remember that he had taken himself off of the medication and was using marijuana instead.  Marijuana just makes the problems much worse and may lead to a psychotic break.  Amphetamines are not a part of treatment.  Psychiatry did not cause his actions.  It is also one of the few mental illness that generally require life long medication management.

The following video is about some myths and facts regarding Bipolar Disorder:

Bedell did not get "futher messed up by...those...helping him." It seems that during his court mandated hearings that he did not meet the criteria for being a danger to himself or others. This often happens and psychosis does not occur all the time.

In the 1960s and 1970s, due to abuse of the "mental institutions" of being dumping grounds and often people really did not have to be incarcerated, they began the process of deinstutionalization. The plan was to have community support services to help maintain and provide necessary treatment. Well, due to constant funding cuts the services are not there. In fact, in California, there is an over 250 millons cut in funding in these services including other social services, adult day health care, and education and much more.

Along with the deinstitutionalization came rights that really had been violated. No longer was there automatic sterilization. No forced medications and total reform of how people were supposed to be treated. This means that even if they are in the hospital adults cannot be "forced" to take their medications, so it isn't their fault. Without the stabilizing medication, the symptoms of his disinhibition, agitation and fearfullness complicated the lack of treatment which included psychosis and paranoid ideas which were further fueled his conspiracy theories regarding the government and the Internet.

People who have Bipolar Disorder can life fully productive and meaningful lives with medication to help stabilize their mood.  John Patrick Bedell was unable to accept the help that he needed. The following video shows just a small handful of individuals who have led meaningful and full lives:


Unknown said...

Wow..I can't believe how much of what you write hits home for me. My husband of 16 years was diagnosed bipolar and Lithium saved his life. It is one day at a time with us and each day precious. My own clinical depression is now managed by meds that took me a long time to find, with the right doctor and honesty. I look forward to reading you more.


Clueless said...

Hi Kim,

I'm glad that you have a good psychiatrist. They are so difficult to find and then the medication stuff is difficult to find what works.

I'm glad that my post touched you. I kept hearing how the media and how little understanding the blog world had that I just got angry and decided to post this.

I hope that you enjoy my blog. I usually write about my personal process in therapy, educational & informational posts, inspirational/thought provoking and fun stuff. Sunday is usually dedicated to something Christian.


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