On Mentally Ill People Dealing with “Sane” People’s Violence

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Jack Bragen writes in the Berkeley Daily Planet about the impacts on people’s minds of the war and violence going on around them. “Someone I know was having a manic episode during ‘Operation Desert Storm.’ This war was being shown on all of the televisions including the ones in the inpatient psychiatric ward. When my friend was admitted, she had the delusion that she was a participant in the war. It seems like a no-brainer that whoever was in charge should have changed the channel.” Bragen goes on to discuss other instances of “insane violence wreaked by supposedly sane people, which affects us mentally ill people.”

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Mentally Ill People Dealing With “Sane” People’s Violence (Berkeley Daily Planet, June 27, 2014)

 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. “….When my friend was admitted, she had the delusion that she was a participant in the war. It seems like a no-brainer that whoever was in charge should have changed the channel.”

    Changed the channel to what? Disney?

    I’m reminded of the way mental health propagandists weasled their way into the debate about nuclear disarmament in November, 1983, when one of the major tv networks ran a show called “The Day After,” about what would happen the the US in a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Saying it might be “too upsetting for people with mental illnesses to watch,” NAMI-like groups milked it for all it was worth by setting up volunteer crisis hotlines to refer traumatized viewers to mental health professionals and browbeating newspapers and tv stations into giving them all sorts of free airtime to yammer on and on about watching out for the “signs of mental illnesses.” So far as I could see, that media blitz actually became the template for all present day mental health media campaigns. I mean anybody who followed events of the early 1980’s knew that we were perilously close to nuclear annihilation, perhaps even closer that we were during the infamous Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. (I’m old enough to remember that one, too.) All Life on Earth hung in the balance, people all over the world were in the streets protesting, and along comes this slick Public Relations campaign to exploit the public’s legitimate fears and sign gullible Americans up for their services. It was truly nauseating.

    So the point I’m trying to make is that if people Mad people want respect, we can’t expect to be protected from reality or to be treated like children. To do so not only betrays our own class interests, but also gives the enemy ammunition to assault and degrade Society at large.