invincible summers

in the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. (albert camus)

may i suggest: crazy? April 20, 2007

Filed under: depression,mental illness,stigma — clementine @ 1:43 pm
Tags: , , , ,

i don’t like the word crazy. it’s the word a lot of people associate with the mentally ill.

crazy |ˈkrāzē|: mentally deranged, esp. as manifested in a wild or aggressive way

derange |diˈrānj| : ( deranged) cause (someone) to become insane

insane |inˈsān| : in a state of mind that prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction; seriously mentally ill

mental |ˈmentl|: 2 of, relating to, or suffering from disorders or illnesses of the mind : a mental hospital. • [ predic. ] informal: insane; crazy : every time I’m five minutes late, they go mental.

i’ve read a few articles and blogs in the wake of the virginia tech tragedy. one person had this to say:

But we’re all told over and over again that “mental illness is just like any other illness” and it’s subject to all the excessive privacy laws and to all the excessive protections of the ADA. And any school official who tried to force him to see a counselor or psychiatrist, or who tried to expel him from the school, would get sued and end up paying this kid a bundle.

cho was way beyond mentally ill. i would say he was psychotic. people use the term mentally ill and crazy loosely. and usually together. if they’re not saying it aloud, they are certainly thinking it. mentally ill does not equal crazy. or insane. or deranged. and that’s what people need to understand.

suprisingly, i’m about to suggest a book called, well, CRAZY. written by a former reporter at the washington post, pete early. his son was diagnosed bipolar. pete was on cnn the other night talking about virginia tech and the state of our mental health care system. in his case, in order to get his son help, he was told he had to say he son tried to kill him in order to get him into the hospital. otherwise, there was a 6 month waiting list. every state is different but the laws are disgusting in all of them.

this is a note from pete posted on his website:

I had no idea. I’d been a journalist for thirty years and written extensively about crime and punishment and society. But I’d always been on the outside looking in. I had no idea what it was like to be on the inside looking out – until my son, Mike, was declared mentally ill. Suddenly the two of us were thrown headlong into the maze of contradictions, disparities and Catch-22s that make up America’s mental health system. Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness is a nonfiction book that tells two stories. The first is my son’s. The second describes what I observed during a year-long investigation inside the Miami- Dade County jail, where I was given unrestricted access. I feel more passionately about this book than any I have every written. Our nation’s jails and prisons have become our new mental asylums. I wrote this book as a wake-up call to expose how persons with mental illness are ending up behind bars when what they need is help, not punishment.

• Important note: The word “CRAZY” in the book title refers to the mental health care system.

pete is correct. it’s our mental health care system that is crazy. deranged. insane. they opt for the quick solution. throw him in jail. give her a pill. make them go away. when someone is deemed psychotic or mentally ill, they still deserve the same care one would get if they were suffering from cancer or any other illness. and if we did we receive that equal care, i can guarantee we’d see fewer of these tragedies. could we have prevented those horrible murders this week? it’s too late now. but we can change. we can do things differently. we can open our eyes and we can speak up. things must change.

twenty years ago i sat in a doctor’s office at the age of thirteen and i was told i had a mental illness. two years later i was raped. five years later from that date i quit college. and five years from that date i was working on a film that grossed over 140 million dollars. that was eight years ago. i’m still working. i recently married. and i’m happy. and it’s because i never gave up. and people never gave up on me.

and i fought the system every single day.


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