That Awkward Moment When: I Was Told I Didn’t Understand Mental Illness



Some woman on the news said she thinks that James Holmes is evil, not mentally ill. I’ve seen that kind of thing said over and over again about people accused of violent crimes. Science has shown that evil people just don’t exist. People who are accused of doing evil typically have something going wrong in their brains. If a person kills someone because they have no empathy or because they’re paranoid or because they believe they hear voices or because they have some other reason that “normal” people don’t explain, it doesn’t make that person evil. It makes them sick. And I hope that the people who call them evil don’t ever have to deal with any kind of illness that impacts their brains and causes them to act out in some antisocial way.

This is extremely ableist and creates ginormous amounts of stigma for people withe mental illnesses, and plus statistics don’t back you up.  

‘Evil’ people might not exist, but shit people exist.  They exist without mental illness, contrary to popular belief. Surprise, having a mental illness doesn’t make you do ‘evil’ things!  It doesn’t make you a bad person or a shit person. It simply makes you a person with mental illness.

You seem to have a very minimal understanding of mental illnesses since you describe them as ‘paranoid or hearing voices’ and also because you seem to truly believe that mental illness makes a person violent. You have a lot more to fear from the neurotypical people you walk bye every day.  It’s your belief that mental illness-=violent that caused the mentally ill to be treated inhumanely and locked away in asylums.  It’s that belief that sparked the fear that stripped the mentally ill of their rights.

Evil is a perfectly all right word to describe people who commit violent crimes.  You know what isn’t an okay word to describe people who commit violent crimes?  Mentally ill.

You have a link to back you up? Let’s see, I’ve actually got something to back up what I said. Ah, and something else backs me up, as well.

Maybe you should go back and read what I actually said.

I never said that mentally ill people should be treated inhumanely or locked away in asylums. I never said they were bad people. I never said that it made people more violent. I do believe that there are people in jail right now that have mental illnesses or that have neurological disorders (you seemed to miss my reference to that in my post) that shouldn’t be in jails right now. I also believe that there are people who get executed regularly who have something going on in their heads that they cannot control and that caused them to act in an antisocial manner. And, hey, look: there are more things that back up what I said – 1, 2, 3.

You think I don’t understand mental illness? LOL. I’ve been in and out of therapy for the last 21 years. (I’m 29.) I’ve been in a psychiatric hospital. The majority of my family has at least one mental illness. My father has PTSD and IED. My mother has attempted suicide more times than even she can count. Both of my parents and I are on SSDI because of *gasp* mental illnesses. And one of my (4) diagnoses is Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Type, which means that I suffer from an ACTUAL psychotic disorder which causes me to get paranoid and hear voices. I also suffer from a personality disorder (BPD) that sometimes gets me classified with people who lack empathy. And I have several family members who meet the characteristics of Antisocial Personality Disorder, a disorder commonly seen in serial killers, thieves, people who do bad shit to other people for fun, etc. So when I was saying this stuff, I actually knew what the fuck I was talking about.

But congratulations on trying to make me look like the bad guy. That makes you look really swell. You can kindly go fuck yourself now.

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About Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.