Mental Illness: The STIGMAS

As humans of different ethnicity, races, social backgrounds, and customs, no one likes to be stereotyped. However, within the last decade, more and more violence/criminal behavior is being blamed on "mental illness." There is a misconception linking mental Illness to violence. Mental Illness is a term so loosely used. It has become a scapegoat for all of America's destruction, yet the facts are those who suffer from severe mental disorders are more likely to be victimized and not the perpetrators of violent crimes. Due to a lack of in-depth education and knowledge of what Mental Illness is, how it affects individuals and the various symptoms associated with the disorders.

Now that we've established that, let's reflect on a few human personality traits such as acts of jealousy, greed, desperation, addictions, impulsive, and deceptive. Those traits are related to one's "nature or flawed behavior," many crimes committed are out of rage, jealousy, abuse, domestic violence, control, racism, and hatred. Many in this world are driven by the greed of money, materialism, and power. They will kill, cheat, deceive, manipulate, and betray others to get what it is they want. Drug addictions is also the root of a lot of crimes committed in America. However, none of those traits are considered "mental illness," these are simply people who are evil, corrupted, hateful and may suffer from personality issues.

Examples: Narcissism, Sociopaths, and Psychopaths. (we will go more in-depth in the upcoming weeks)

Check out a few facts cited below –

1) "The majority of violent crimes and homicides are committed by people who do not have mental health problems."

2) "Current research shows that people with major mental illness are 2.5 times more likely to be the victims of violence than other members of society."

3) "People with mental health problems are more dangerous to themselves than they are to others."

4) "Substance abuse appears to play a role: the prevalence of violence is higher among people who have symptoms of substance abuse."

5) "Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and those who are experienced studying in this field will tell you that the majority of violence isn't because of mental illness."

Cited: Time to Change is led by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

1) "Most persons with serious mental illness are never violent. However, small subgroups of persons with serious mental illness are at increased risk of violence during certain high-risk periods, such as during a first episode of psychosis and the period surrounding inpatient psychiatric hospitalization."

2) "People with serious mental Illness are rarely violent. Only 3 to 5 percent of all violence, including but not limited to firearm violence, is attributable to serious mental Illness. The large majority of gun violence toward others is not caused by mental Illness."

3) "People with serious mental illness are far more likely to be victims of violence, including but not limited to firearm violence, than the perpetrators of violent acts."

4) "Rates of violent crime victimization are 12 times higher among the population of persons with serious mental illness than among the overall U.S. population."

Cited: American Mental Health Counselors Associations.

Next week's blog, we are going to discuss the definition of Mental Illness and began education in-depth for each disorder over the next two months.

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