I woke up this morning and there it was again, I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother. This essay is all over the internet, written by a woman who is using her personal story about experiences with her “mentally ill” son, whom she is “terrified of,” to appeal for more dialogue on the issue of mental health. As I write this, her son’s picture has been viewed by over a million people. They have read her accounts of what may be some of these young man’s most painful childhood memories.
The reactions to school shooting tragedies resemble one another. There is helplessness and shock. And once everybody starts breathing again the search for "reasons" starts. The chorus of voices seems to focus on few major debates.Not surprisingly, the recent horrible events start the same discussions.
...Thousands of young people in my generation were quietly ushered into the mental health system because they were energetic and disinterested in classroom lessons, or because they tried hard and alone to metabolize the effects of difficult life experience. We were met with doctors, pills and psychiatric labels. Thousands of young people stumbled upon psychiatry and this best-selling book in the absence of someone we could talk to. Its plug for Prozac, alongside shaky yet hubris scientific theory, helped to create our teenaged view that the drugs we had been told we needed, were harmless and effective.
"...mental health, and in fact most kinds of health care, are seen as personal issues that are either best dealt with by professionals or through personal choices such as alternative healthcare, healing or therapeutic communities or alternative self-help groups. What we are asking is why isn’t health, and especially mental health an issue that we more regularly see as part of our anti-capitalist politics?"
from Shift magazine in the UK
I see it everywhere: People with mental illness need medication. It sounds reasonable.
Today, there are even political organizations that seek to make it easy to force a person to take it.
It's easy to look at another and assume things like that. It's human. After all, it's compassionate to help someone who isn't able to ask for help, right? They'll thank you in the long run, won't they?