This is a response to an article by Dr. John Grohol on World of Psychology regarding a 60 Minutes segment correlating mental illness and violence.
I’m not a mental health professional, but I am someone who has lived with the stigma of mental illness.
Mental illness only comes to light when you have a James Holmes or someone of that nature do something awful. The majority of people with mental illness are not violent and are more likely to be victims than victimizers. We tend to suffer in silence.
A fair number of us hold jobs, but much of the time these are not high paying jobs. Many of us cannot afford counseling. The county mental health systems are overwhelmed, and their first line of treatment tends to be putting a person on medications. I personally do not tolerate most medications, and I find that most of the counselors are not used to dealing with higher functioning individuals such as myself. They are used to dealing with people who are severely compromised.
I have long thought that I could benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, but I could never afford it.
Yes, the mental health system in the United States fails overall. But it doesn’t simply fail to weed out and incarcerate the violent mentally ill minority. It fails the non-violent mentally ill majority by not having affordable, accessible treatment available to us. This treatment would include counseling, not just putting us on drugs and sweeping us under the rug.
The Real Cie