Wednesday, April 18, 2007

"Mental Care"


So, breaking news from the BBC says that the Virginia gunman "had mental care." Well, I've had mental care, too, and I'm not about to go around shooting people.

George W. Bush has never had "mental care." Timothy McVeigh never had "mental care." As far as I know, Pol Pot never had "mental care." Yet, the fact that someone has seen a psychologist or psychiatrist is "proof" that, had we been more attentive, we just might have seen this coming and prevented that guy from shooting kids and teachers in Virginia.

We like to make the murderer into someone not like us. He was a "loner," he was Korean, he was a resident alien, he denigrates religion in his note (Oh, no! He didn't believe in God!), he had "mental care." Push him away; push him away. He's not like us; we aren't like him. Only monsters do such things.

Here, surrounded by people who have never had "mental care" but who are nonetheless fucking up the world, we have a gunman who was referred to a psychologist and all of a sudden we can say, "Ah-ha! THAT explains it all!"



I have no trenchant conclusion for this rant. I just feel sad, and, once again, marginalized. I'll be okay; it happens all the time. Even my father seems to think that if I have a fit of anger it is because my meds are out of balance. My mom can have a fit, my sister can have a fit, HE can have a fit, and they do it because they are ANGRY and UNHAPPY. But I do it because I'm CRAZY. Fun, isn't it?

14 comments:

Tess Lee said...

Well said St.Blaize. This is such a touchy issue for me as well. Many people in my family (me included) suffer from depression, and do every day. This whole this is inexplicable, and people keep trying to explain it away.

Blaize said...

Thank you, tess lee. As long as we can blame a person, we don't have to think about the blame that might fall on society as a whole, or think about things such as alienation, gun culture, etc.

I'm working on an autoethnography of mental illness. I'll keep you posted....

Anonymous said...

When the media talking heads said "you must feel like......" to a witness, We turned the news off and haven't turned it back on since. The government will not tell me how I feel.
It's Sienfeld instead of the news for us. Hug from graygoosie

Blaize said...

Very good point, graygoosie. "You MUST feel like." Thanks for the hug. Hugs back at you.

Tess Lee said...

hugs, too, from madebytess :)

Blaize said...

Thank you, too, tess.

Anonymous said...

1/3 of the western population has had mental care at some point in there life, so that's just a matter of chance. It's like saying he had a higschool diploma.

Anonymous said...

beuh "in their life"

futuregirl said...

Dearest Blaize - Your photos are a total crack up and all look crazy in their own special way. ;) It is ridiculous for anyone to say that mental illness is a reason for what happened.

I'm sick to death of the whole thing and I've only seen 4 minutes of news about it. It seems unethical to air someone's "manifesto" etc just so people will buy the toothpaste your advertisers are selling - ESPECIALLY when by doing so you are giving other people who want notoriety an incentive to commit mass murder.

And furthermore ... shit happens.

futuregirl said...

Andrew saw an article on the NY Times that said something to the effect that it's sad that everyone knows Ted Bundy, but you'd be hard pressed to find someone who can name even one of his victims.

Mass murderers are elevated to the level of rock stars in our society. That is going to produce more and more of them. Along with the deteriorating economic conditions for most Americans.

Also, Andrew found another article that said while killer-dude had been under mental care, he wasn't actually crazy, by definition.

Bitterbetty said...

So very glad to be tv-less. And also glad that alienation has been a huge topic of conversation in our house...That and gun culture. Wierd but when you are raising a son it seems like all this needs to be spoken of early and often.
Labels make the masses more comfortable. The American collective needs to feel there is something we can do about 'Them' instead of accepting responsibility for ourselves.
I mean what if we had to give up our right to bear arms to be safer? That is just "crazy".

chez shoes said...

I've tried to avoid the media coverage of this, but from what I've gathered, the issue wasn't that he had had mental care - the issue was that thanks to Virginia's laws, his care had not been adequate.

As someone who has also had "mental care," I thank you for posting this!

Blaize said...

Exactly. The issue was that he didn't have ENOUGH mental care. So, when the "breaking news" came and it was that the shooter had "had mental care," it was not only weird and prejudiced, it wasn't very practically-minded. The breaking news should have been, as you say, "shooter had inadequate mental care."

Angelina said...

I would have come here a long time ago if I had previously noticed your link at Green Kitchen. I feel pretty stupid for not having looked closer because I have actually thought on a couple of occasions that if you had a blog I would like it.

You know, I love this rant. I concur. I am crazy myself but I try to explain to people that all my feelings are just as genuine as non-medicated people's, just a little bit amplified when not on meds.

One of the reasons I like to talk openly about being under "mental care" (nice term!) is to try and help end the marginalization and misunderstandings that surround mental illnesses.

I would like to speak more intelligently right now but I've just come out of the hot sun from pruning roses and I'm a little foggy.