From horror movies like Halloween to haunted houses roamed by stray mental health patients, when it comes to scare tactics, mental illness has long shared the spotlight with goblins, ghouls, and other Things That Go Bump In The Night – and not just during Halloween.
Some advocates turn the other cheek when it comes to using mental illness as a scare tactic; they’ve learned to pick their battles, if you will. Others actively fight against the stigma they believe such representations promote.
Others still snub knee-jerk reactions in either direction and instead use the depictions as teaching tools.
Fortunately, I’m not writing yet another post about why you should or should not be okay with movies called Psycho or parents allowing their children to trick-or-treat donning the iconic Jason Voorhees hockey mask.
(Pause for applause.)
I am, however, going to tell you that contrary to what many mental health advocates preach, there are scary things – truly scary things – about mental illness.