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Wed Jun 2, 2021, 02:42 AM

On the State of Mental Illness Recognition and Mass Shootings (very long post)

As I reflect on all these mass shooting, I turned inward. Eventually, as always, pundits and people will start looking for excuses and the most common excuse used will be mental health. It's a obtuse, nebulous phrase that is used as catch-all. Mental illness.

Please don't blame mental health for this. We will hear it all the time. Most Americans scream mental health and all they understand is "that guy is crazy."

Mental illness is not an explain all. And there are literally hundreds of mental "illnesses." I have been diagnosed with two: Bipolar Disorder #2 (mental illness) that has manifested Borderline Personality Disorder (personality disorder).

Mental illness BD#2 means I will get into severe depressions, but never truly hit a maniac episode. Personality disorder BPD manifests itself in a a distorted body image (I always think I am fat and ugly), easily frustrated, self-destructive behavior, paranoia, disassociation, abandonment issues, and "black and white" logical thinking. It's taken me years to deal with these, and everyday, just like a recovering addict, it's a struggle to not let the "monster inside" take you over for a day. It's pull is strong and it's power is great.

Mental illness is not a catch-all for school shooting, yet we all lump it together as a "that's the reason. He was crazy and needed help." MENTAL ILLNESS ISN'T A CRY FOR HELP!!! Acceptance and getting help doesn't cure it either. It's an illness one will struggle with for their entire lives.

You wouldn't say to a cancer patient "buck up. get over it and get help." You wouldn't pill shame a heart disease patient. And you wouldn't dismiss the manifestations of an asthma or sickle-cell anemia attack. Mental illnesses have attacks too, just like all illness. Mentally ill people are much more likely to end their lives than take others. Mental illness needs a medical doctor, not a "it's okay. You can get over it" brass ring pep talk.

What most of these mass shooters have are personality disorders, not mental illnesses. Psychopathy is a personality disorder. Psychosis is a mental illness. Narcissistic personality disorder is a personality disorder. Schizophrenia is a mental illness.
Please understand that acknowledging mental illness isn't a "first step." This isn't a chemical dependency or an addiction. No one will say "acknowledging Tay-Sach's disease is the first step to recovery." Mental illness isn't a 12 step recovery. It is a lifetime of dealing with a disease that occurs in a person's brain and not the body. No, they are not fatal, unless something severe happens (like suicide). Yes, they do control your lives, like tumors and addiction. Yes, it takes years to remedy because they reoccur, like cancer. No, you cannot just get over it. Like an addict, people with mental illnesses live one day at a time, sometimes minute by minute because the monster can rear it's ugly and take over in an instant.

Mental illness is NOT causing mass shootings. That is pseudo-science. What causes them?
1: The idea that a gun solves all problems.
2: Unable to deal with emotions without using violence
3: Sometimes, even an itch for fame because everyone remembers the names of serial killers and mass shooters.
4: The lack of caring of Americans for anything that doesn't involve them and our selfishness that has taken over since the Me-Generation of the 1980s.
5: The glorification of violence and anti-social behavior in our media (yes, I am putting the blame on them because of things like reality shows and modern music that show that psychopathic and psychotic behavior is rewarded, and that guns are the answer to everything).
6: The politicians and NRA that have made purchasing a gun as easy as buying bubble gum.

Mental illness is NOT the cause. It's the scapegoat. The real causes would are things Americans avoid, because it will damage our okey-doke story of how great we are and there is nothing about us that needs to change. We have allowed the very nihilistic, sociopathic, narcissistic, selfish, greedy, and megalomaniacal members of our society to be rewarded and given advance (with one of the worst being elected president in 2016). These are normally people with limited empathy (most of the time, empathy is a laughed at trait) and little integrity, traits that are reinforced constantly and given praise because they are actors playing a rule and realize that bullying is seen as strength.

Start with solving those problems. Then work on ending bullying at home, at school, and at work. Finally, start funding an education system that teaches the entire student (academics, psychological, physical, emotional) to be a laudable human being and not just a soul dead, brain dead worker bees that believe that stepping on people and using them is the only means for success.

As I said, I am a mental illness sufferer. When I was 24, I went in for testing. I knew something was wrong with me, but I needed to find out what. Psychological testing, developmental testing, physical testing. . .it took a day or two.

I kept the results to myself most of the time, but I figured why should I keep them quiet. I may be running for office, and I am usually honest to a fault. I am not perfect and never claimed to be. But the fact that mental illness and health is so misunderstood, I wanted to touch on mine.

Psychological.
Bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder. This means I get super low (Bipolar) to the point of self destruction, and I lash out when things get overwhelming (BPD). These are in the APA handbook as mental illnesses.

Developmental.
I am Asperger's, a condition that didn't exist and wasn't understood when I was in school in the 1980s and 1990s. It can be summed up as High IQ/Low EQ. Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory.

Physical:
I am severely anemic. You can see this from the color of my fingernails (pink to the point of white) and the fact I have next to no blood under my eyelids.

How does the rest of the world deal with this when I mention it? Well, like good understanding people, they either ignore it, tell me I am faking everything, tell me I just "like drama," or tell me to grow up and deal with it because "I am a man" and I "need to act like one." How does one do that? How does one "deal with" mental illnesses? How does one deal with developmental issues that start in utero?

The lack of knowledge and understanding is overwhelming. If I were a child, there are mechanisms to diagnose, adjust, and support. Where is this for adults? It doesn't exist. It it probably never will. It's dismissed, misunderstood, or the sufferer is gaslit or bullied into submission.

One of the reasons is adults think bullying only happens in school and hazing only happens in Greek Life and sports teams. It doesn't. Bosses routinely bully, browbeat, and gaslight their employees. Older coworkers normally haze the newer ones. No one lifts a finger to stop it because it's part of the work culture, corporate America, education (yes, teachers and principals haze and bully other teachers all the time), and American culture.

All of this comes down to psychopathy. We are losing the ability to feel empathy. Empathy is for the weak. Empathy is for the naive. Look at people who have made it big showing no empathy at all. The former Orange idiot in charge. Gordon Ramsay is a sociopathic narcissist through and through. NFL star Antonio Brown and every pampered athlete and celebrity you can think of. Even in TV shows, the most narcissistic and sociopathic character tends to be the most liked (Dan Fielding from Night Court, Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory, Niles Crane from Frasier, Louie from Taxi if we want to go that far back. . .Cedric the Entertainer's character from The Neighborhood. . .Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother, etc).

These are a reflection of us as a people and a nation. Psychopathy has become our national shame, but it isn't shameful. We reward it, we honor it, we lionize it. How does this come back to my original point of being an adult with developmental issues and mental illnesses? Who do you think are the bosses and the principals? Who do you think oversees us? The psychopath. The bully without empathy.

To be honest, we still haven't left the elementary school playground, except we're older, have hair in funny places, deeper voices, bigger tits, and can make love. We still treat those that are different with the psychopathy and bullying we did when we were in school. "Boys being boys" and "stick and stones." Only, as adults, we have less recourse.

As a result, the cycle never ends. I am bipolar. I am BPD. I am Asperger's. I am also someone who has attempted to take his own life on more than several occasions where the monster took over my life. I am also someone who has nightmares due to the PTSD of bullying I received as a child, and the bullying I have received as an adult.

Yet, there is no where adults in this position can turn. No employer will adjust themselves for that. Schools only to it reluctantly because of the ADA and IDEA. So, adults with mental illnesses. . .with developmental issues. . .are not understood. And no adult will even attempt to understand what people (and there are millions) go through every day.

In my life, my mental illnesses have burned many bridges. Most will probably never be rebuilt. Whether intentionally because I felt they were idiots, or unintentionally because, being Asperger's, I have little filter from brain to mouth and tend to be cruel when I speak until someone brings it to my attention, then with the bipolar, I internalize and put myself into a depression, and with the BPD, I beat myself up until I look in the mirror and hate what I see.

But don't worry, as soon as most with mental illnesses come back to reality from their "meltdown", their boss, manager, supervisor, principal, agent, or whomever, will reinforce the mental illness emotional grip and the feelings of worthlessness one has as they bully and gaslight the mental illness sufferer into submission. And no one will do what even children on a playground sometimes do. . .tell the person to stop or turn them in for what they do.

Sufferers of mental illness and developmental issues, as children, get all the help one can get once it's determined. As adult, sufferers get browbeaten, told they're faking it and to get over it. Bullies never change. . .they just get older and more powerful.

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Reply On the State of Mental Illness Recognition and Mass Shootings (very long post) (Original post)
AZLD4Candidate Jun 2 OP
jmbar2 Jun 2 #1
jpak Jun 2 #2
littlemissmartypants Jun 2 #3
AZLD4Candidate Jun 2 #4

Response to AZLD4Candidate (Original post)

Wed Jun 2, 2021, 02:56 AM

1. Thanks for posting

You have some very good insights here. I admire your strength in struggling with so many challenges.

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Response to AZLD4Candidate (Original post)

Wed Jun 2, 2021, 03:07 AM

2. Hugs

Yup

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 2, 2021, 11:13 AM

4. Because I wrote this at 2AM and the list is not all inclusive.

Including, but not limited to.

And my gist was on mental illness and how it's used by people to explain extreme human behavior. "If only that mass shooter got help, people would still be alive." "The mass shooter must be crazy." Mental illness doesn't work that way and most domestic abusers are not mentally ill.

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