I’ll be honest, I don’t watch much news. Maybe that is ignorant of me, maybe that says something about me that only you can judge, but I am far too sensitive to listen to reports of people shooting other people or animal abuse or the water shortage. I have bipolar and anxiety disorder and am easily upset – but that doesn’t stop me from hearing, or reading, the headlines. There are such things as social media and a well-informed boyfriend.
So I heard about Miriam and the Capitol and the shooting. It was all over my mental health bloggers’ Facebook page. And I felt terrible. But not as terrible as I felt when I heard Mr. Bill O’Reilly talk about Miriam and then the mentally ill as a whole. So here is my response to Mr. O’Reilly.
1. When you said that a “WHOPPING” 26% of Americans suffer from some kind of mental disorder you weren’t wrong. Statistics show that 1 in 4 Americans suffer from a mental disorder. But few have a severe course of illness and fewer still could be considered dangerous to anyone other than themselves.
2. You stated that “Now with the Internet, there is horrendous stuff everywhere, readily available to anyone,” in your comments regarding schizophrenic and bipolar patients. I disagree. Now there are online support groups and information about mental illness at the tap of a key. You can self-diagnose signs of mental illness which can lead you to professional help. You can reach out virtually to people who understand you and who can guide you into the steps to be taken to be well again. I believe the Internet has become an invaluable tool for the mentally ill. It allows them to reach out, to go beyond their four walls, to find ways to be well again.
3. You said, “The truth is there is often little we can do with troubled people. We can only protect ourselves from them. Be Alert!” I am sorry, but could I be more offended? I am more a danger to myself than I could ever be to anyone else. The mentally ill are more likely to be the victim of a crime than to commit one. So maybe I should watch out for you. Statistically speaking, you pose more of a threat.
I hate it when people make sweeping statements about the mentally ill. I thrive with bipolar disorder – a severe mental disorder and a severe course of the illness – and OCD and anxiety disorder. I am imperfect, but I thrive.
I would appreciate a little more tact and information the next time you talk of the mentally ill. If you want to “Be Alert!” then be alert of everyone, because 3/4 of the population are more dangerous than me.
Thanks for your report. It woke me up to how ignorant people can be of mental illness.
This post currently has
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.
Last reviewed: 9 Oct 2013