It is seriously wrong and narrow minded to blame mental illness for all mass shootings like the one that occurred in Toronto, Canada Sunday. Mental illness is a huge issue that a lot of people have to contend with on a daily basis. It is not something that those who do not deal with mental health issues can ever truly know. They can sympathize, they can listen when someone needs to speak, but unless you are someone who is currently having to deal with the mental health issues then you will never really know what it is like for the people who do have to contend with it. Even if you are a family member or a friend. You will never truly know. When the situation gets too much for you, you can just step away from it for a little while. You may not be able to do what you wish to do, for example, your stepping away from the issue of a loved ones mental illness may be that you get to go to work. Other times you may find yourself happy that they just stay in the basement and keep to themselves. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care. It’s normal for people to care and want to understand. But mental illness is not something that can just easily be shared as far as how it feels. Between having to make sure to take their meds every day on schedule, the doctor appointments, symptoms like hearing voices in their head, on top of everything else that comes from every day life the world is a hard place for those who have a mental illness.
Since most people are unable to really understand mental illness, that lack of being able to understand will usually turn to fear. That fear turns to hate. According to the World Health Organization numbers that were released last year more than 300 million people world wide deal with depression issues and more than 260 million deal with anxiety disorders. A large percentage of those people have a dual diagnosis which means that they have to deal with both of these issues. Despite the large numbers of people who deal with mental illness every year, mental health care still receives a much smaller percentage of funding for treatment and research than other areas of health care. People who have a mental illness often times finds themselves pushed away from society, because society does not know how to deal with them and accept them. Our mentally ill end up in mental hospitals or sometimes even prison. If they don’t have friends or family who love them and care about them they sometimes end up homeless. Those who do have family who care about them will often times still find themselves ignored and emotionally neglected by their family who provides a roof over their head. No matter what happens the mentally ill get blamed for EVERYTHING!!!
The shooting that took place in Toronto Sunday night is a prime example of what I am talking about. How long did it take for mental illness to be brought in as a defense of the shooters actions? When there’s an increase in violent crimes it must be because people are crazy. If I seem passionate about mental illness there’s a reason for it. I personally deal with mental illness myself. I see a therapist three times a week. I deal with PTSD and other mental issues. It isn’t enough for you people to place the stigmas upon us that you do. You want to put the blame for every other issue on us as well. The truth of the matter is this. While there are some of us who are dangerous, we are not nearly as dangerous as the media and society would like to make the world believe we are. Those of us who are genuinely trying, who take our meds every day, who go to our sessions like we should, we are not like that Faisal Hussain. You would never want to admit this, because it is so much easier to blame the mentally ill than it is to acknowledge that the society you created is just f**ed up, but people like you are more of a danger to you than people like me are. Instead of trying to blame us for everything that one of your own people do, society should be trying to help the mentally ill.
It is time for society and the media to stop blaming people like me for everything that goes wrong. Every time they say that someone was mentally ill they never specify what mental illness the person supposedly dealt with. You can see this with the recent coverage of what happened in Toronto. The Toronto Police Chief, Mark Saunders, himself told people that he did not feel that this was a random incident. If it was not random for Faisal Hussain to do the shooting then that clearly means that he planned it out. But media isn’t focusing on that fact, nor are they focused with his past with the local authorities. The media sources who do focus upon this are being seen as the bad guys, because they aren’t just going along with the agenda that is being pushed.
Instead of blaming Faisal Hussain, mental illness has been blamed. This isn’t the only incident that this has occurred in. People blame mental illness, people blame the medications that we take so that we can function, it is just a common assumption that mass shooters like Fasail Hussain are MENTALLY ILL!!! It does not seem to matter how many other people are on the same medication that these mass shooters may have been taken, and yet some how the rest of us managed just fine without taking a gun and firing at fourteen people from outside a restaurant Sunday night.
Statistically when it comes to whether or not people like me who have a mental illness are a threat to people like you, the numbers are on our side. Evidence has clearly shown over and over again that those of us who have some sort of a mental illness are more likely to hurt ourselves than we are to hurt you. What this means is that your stories of how Fasail Hussain just absolutely could not stop himself from killing a 10 year old girl and an 18 year old woman are just finger pointing, because society is trying to push an agenda that allows for diversity while showing the rest of us how safe diversity really is. But while all of you are so worried about offending the ever so delicate feelings of the Muslims or hurting the feelings of someone who is from the Middle East or African American, who is looking out for people like me?
We have feelings just like the rest of you do, even if you don’t choose to acknowledge that fact. People like you are killing people like me every time you push us away and do not take the time to better understand us. Every time you aren’t more mindful about the fact that we need your help and need our families to just reach out and call us or spend more time with us YOU are the ones who are killing us. Not the other way around. In all of the mass shootings that have taken place there has been no direct scientific evidence of a link between the medication that the person was taking and the act of violence that they performed. There is some question about certain drugs and whether or not they will make people more violent, but the risk of such is very minimal, often times at less than a one percent risk.
This is just one thing on a very long list of things that can not be directly scientifically proven to be linked to mental illness that you try to blame us for. But some how a large number of you think that it is okay to blame things like guns, crime, homelessness, on mental health issues, because the people who are homeless have at least one mental health issue. It is easier to blame mental illness than it is to step back and look at the role that you as a society have in creating such circumstances that lead to these kind of situations. If you as a society were doing your job to keep everybody safe than situations like the one that happened in Toronto would not happen as often. It is you who are failing at keeping society safe, and it is you who are a threat, not people like me.
That is not to say that there isn’t a lot that could be done to prevent such situations from happening if people were had access to better and more effective mental health treatment. It probably would help lower the numbers and statistics of these kind of incidents from taking place. By increasing the number of beds in mental hospitals that are able to provide good care and treat their patients like people we probably would lower the number of inmates who find themselves behind bars. But the point is that issues like mass shootings and what happened in Toronto, Canada should not be blamed on mental illness. If someone is homeless because they can’t afford their rent and the mental health meds that they need to take so that they can function then that is a failure on your part, on the part of society as a whole.
You create the stigma that you place upon people like me, you set up the environment for people to fail, and then when those people do fail you put the blame on people like me. If you genuinely love someone who is mentally ill and care about them, and if you genuinely want to make the world a better place, you can. It starts with a hug, a phone call, going for a walk to the library with your son or daughter, or even taking the time to take a trip to see them if they live in another state. It’s called love.