The mentally ill man or woman who just killed or beat up a person or a group of people while at a school or while driving a car, or perhaps even the horrific scenes of drowning children and having the “voices” tell them to do this is all over the media. This is all the result of the “shock factor” of the media. It’s amazing that many years ago due to the fact that there were only a few channels on the television, and actually at night there was static fuzz all over those channels these incomprehensible scenes of horror were not seen across the masses of the United States. And now it has become second nature to expect and even have a horrific bolt of shock when these stories are told over and over and over again on the television and radio stations. Any news that can horrify the masses are better and more engrossing to the media. It’s like a frenzy of goblins trying to engulf and squeeze out any and all of the violent scenes of gruesome pictures or videos that can be obtained. And the problem (besides the fact that these vultures put it out there) is that we as a society feed on it.
Yes the world is a scary place and there are a lot of things that we have to be worried and cautious about, but also we have to be aware that there is a lot of good in this world, and there are many victorious and resilient stories out there. Perhaps we should stop feeding on the horror and look for the connections and the support and focusing on what we can do to make this planet a better place. So the mind is a scary thing when it can twist and turn, but perhaps focusing on helping and keeping the people who suffer from mental illness in a state of health with support and encouragement, instead of looking at what the media brings into focus. How about that Veteran that has come back from fighting the real demons in another country and has now a battle to ensue because of the stigma related to what his mind is going through at this time when he returns – the battle of perhaps depression and PTSD. A healthier and more appropriate response instead of fear would be to encourage and lift up and give our priority to the battles that are mental illness.
Sure mental illness has been given a bad wrap. It is a terrible disease for anyone to live with and manage. That’s why we need to have more education and teaching and knowledge on therapeutic treatments. There needs to be less focus on those who are rebellious and going against the laws and plain old “snapping”. And the focus as a society has to be on what we can do to help our isolated neighbor, or the people that need a ride to their doctor’s appointments. There needs to be less judgement. There are many (much more than the media would care to tell) people out there in a lot of our families across this nation that suffer from some form of mental illness. These mothers, fathers, sisters, uncles, brothers, etc… have all been able to raise families, be in a (hopefully) loving environment with family members who try to see and help those individuals in the difficult times. If we were to learn more and do more and encourage, teach, train more, there would be so many less of these isolated (yet highly broadcasted) incidents.
I’m in no way trying to down play how serious mental illness can be. Instead I’m saying that instead of focusing on how “bad” incidences can be, there needs to be more focus on helping individuals before they become out of hand. There has to be less suffering for the individual and the families, and more support and encouragement. Perhaps the place to start is in each family unit with helping the individual know that they are not alone. Mental illness should not need to be a hushed disease, and frankly an honest and open relationship has to be developed in the family unit. I find this especially to be true since the medical and political groups need to get a better handle on the fact that mental illness is not a taboo topic, and it is and needs to be treated with the respect and dignity of any other serious illness (not as if it is on a different realm of the human being). The MIND is a MAJOR COMPONENT OF THE BODY and it should (and needs to be) treated as such.