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Why do people hate the mentally ill more than criminals? 1, 2  Next  
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nirrti_rachelle
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:33 pm    Post subject: Why do people hate the mentally ill more than criminals? Reply with quote

I was watching this new reality show called "Unanimous", the premise being several people living deep underground until they unanimously vote for who gets a million dollars. On the first episode, they had to choose one of three people to vote off based on which one had the worst secret.

Person 1. Filed for bankrupcy, even though she had $200,000 in assets...

Person 2. Was detained by police for carrying live ammo....

Person 3. Spent time in a mental hospital.

Guess which one was voted off? The person who was hospitalized, of course.

Well, a couple of weeks later, because one of the contestants walked off the show, the guy was put back in the game. His reaction was to shout, "D***!" or something like that, nothing peculiar. But everyone took it as being "strange" and ever since then, every single thing he's done, the other contestants keep saying it's more proof he's crazy, "coo-coo" or whatever.

Now, he's the "bad guy" and everyone is accusing him of being the one who messed up the vote that could've given another contestant the money. There's no evidence he's done anything wrong. In fact, I think everyone else has been more irrational than he has but just because of his history, everything he does, from now on, is colored by the revelation he's been in a mental hospital.

Why, in this day in which there's so much info about mental disorders, is there such a visceral response to reject the person? This is TV but it's so typical how NTs react and a reflection on how hateful people are toward people who're different.
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animallover
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder this, too - for example, there is this person I know at work who is really very nice, but she tells me about this other person she used to work with who had a really bad psychotic break - but nothing really dangerous (she thought she was recieving transmissions from God through her brain and would go and sit in fields to get the transmissions better - but God wasn't telling her to get on the cross town bus with a shotgun or anything)
And then this person who I know is very liberal in general and nice tells me that she was terrified of this person she used to work with and I'm thinking, why? I don't get it either . . .
I think there is an idea in our society that mentally ill people are unpredictable AND violent . . . I own up to the unpredictable part, but I'm certianly not violent . . .
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Spriteling
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I despise those who discriminate against those with mental illnesses. I've been in a mental hospital three times; if someone wouldn't hire me or something because of that, I would be very irritated. What is the big deal about being mentally ill? Sure, there are a few people who do get violent, or harm someone else because of their illness, but that is only a small percentage of those people classified as mentally ill. The stereotypes about us drive me crazy. >.<
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renaeden
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It has been like this for centuries, shun the mentally ill because who knows what they'll do?- unpredictability. It is this that people are afraid of. The reputation of the few violent mentally ill people rubs off onto the rest of us who don't deserve it. I don't know how we can change the view of this.
I have been in hospital twice and if a background check is done of me in the future, I know it will affect any decisions made about me.
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pzrn
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work in a small psychiatric hospital, less than 60 beds. We have an adult unit, adolescent unit, and children's unit. We're a short term facility, usually 7-10 days, but sometimes a month or two. We get people, just like ourselves, who are having problems leading to depression, severe anxiety, suicidal and homicidal ideations, schizophrenic, etc. Many never have had problems before, just took one thing or a build-up of circumstances leading to their being voluntarily or involuntarily admitted. Some people just stop taking their medications and they need to be readjusted on them to get them feeling well again. We also have group and individual therapy.

I've never felt uncomfortable around any patient. I find I can talk to them easier than most people on the 'outside'. I don't hear the words 'mentally ill' much anymore. I've been treated for depression and anxiety disorder myself, and my son had been treated for the same before being diagnosed with AS. The few friends I do have don't find anything wrong with this. I personally find that most of the stigma associated with these disorders is gone.

This may not apply to someone who is a criminal and possibly used the defense of mental incompetence at the time. But I would think most people would wonder about the criminal aspect rather than the 'mental incompetence' issue.

Regarding the television show, instead of saying the person was treated inpatient for depression, or whatever, they chose to word it the way they did probably for 'good reality TV'. An oxymoron if I ever saw one.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate the lable that society puts on some people. It's not like everyone that was treated in a mental hospital has been treated as being extremely criminaly insane. I think that people after many years of putting this lable on people are just taught to think this way, and it's more out of habit than out of pure thought that people set these kinds of lables on people, or almost any lable for the matter. I think that everyone puts lables on someone once in a while; some people just do it more than others but it's still the same. It's sad but very true in pretty much every aspect of life.
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Emettman
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Why do people hate the mentally ill more than criminals?"

Because they know they might break the law.*
But they don't want to think they might ever be mentally ill.

So the first can still be "people", but the second have got to be classed as something "other".



*everyone has, of course.
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Aspie_Chav
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Same reason why many NT prefer charming criminals over aspies , because those criminals, if on their side can get them money and power.
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moomin
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Emettman wrote:
"Why do people hate the mentally ill more than criminals?"

Because they know they might break the law.*
But they don't want to think they might ever be mentally ill.

So the first can still be "people", but the second have got to be classed as something "other".



*everyone has, of course.


that's a good reason, plus i think:
people would prefer a criminal because they think a criminal can improve/change to be a 'better person' but a mentally ill person can't.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's prejudice, plain and simple...

In Western cultures, the prejudice against the mentally ill is, I think, the worst, most prevalent, and most socially acceptable form of prejudice.

I'm not saying other sorts of prejudice aren't bad--they are--but there are people speaking up for the black people and the handicapped people and whatnot... but the mentally ill still suffer the severe stereotyping in our culture, and are still marginalized to a horrifying extent... and very few people speak up for them.

If people with mental illnesses had a different skin color, you can be sure there would be "Help Wanted" signs with "No Mentally Ill Need Apply" written across the bottom. As it is, it's hard to tell, just looking at someone; and the prejudice is quiet, insidious, and easy to get away with.

It makes me sick.

(Regarding my own experiences with prejudice against the mentally ill: After hurting myself and being put in the hospital for depression, I was expelled from college and then kicked out of my apartment--my rent was up to date and I had no disciplinary problems at college.)
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walk-in-the-rain
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the label sticks. In the middle of arguments - even if it revolves around taking out the garbage - I've been called a mental patient when that has absolutely nothing to do with the situation. Alot of people have what they consider depression or anxiety but if they find out it was a major depression or something with unusual activity there seems like there is a "pecking order" to what is acceptable and what is too weird. People can relate better to someone who says they were depressed because they may have felt that way but maybe not clinically - but not to someone who has a more unusual or severe disorder.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something thats been missed so far which I'll just point out.

Religion....

The west has been heavily influenced by the adoption of judo-christian faiths and throughout history you can find examples of people who had mental health problems being persecuted and made examples off by the church. Mental health in the eyes of organised religion is the manifestation of evil/posession by the devil even just look at the medical profession back in the 19th century we were classifying people as being "morally defeccient?" A totally laughable diagnosis from our perception.

Because our moral and ethics that all our social institutions operate by originate at a basic level from religion this attitude towards mental health prevails and manifests itself in the way our cultures and society approaches mental health and provides services and treatment. It will probably be along time as our society progress's away from relgions influence but progress is a comfortable disease and i imagine there will be a time when barriers will be broken down but it is certainly something that won't happen over night and is an immensly complicated and interwoven issue that can't be dealt with on its own without discussing a range of other factors. (which we can see is slowly fading away as there being challenged and in some respects are no longer relevant to the world we live in now)
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walk-in-the-rain
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laz wrote:
Something thats been missed so far which I'll just point out.

Religion....


That played an interesting part in the attitude toward my issues when I was growing up - but mostly to the point that I was being weak not necessarily immoral. I went to a Catholic school and had one religion teacher tell me that I would not be depressed if I had enough faith. That is like kicking a person when they are down.
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Odda
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a christian, I can say that many churches and christians today are pathetically weak, stooped in sin, weakness, and hypocrasy. Defenately not helping. I became non-demominational partly to preserve my current mental state.

I have times were I've been called retarted, or made fun of for my behaviour as well. But telling people about my syndrome only made it worse. I hate being generalized with a passion. Being black AND autistic, it's REALLY annoying.
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Aspie1
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the marginalization of the metally ill seems to be an American/Western thing. When I traveled to Israel with a tour group a few months ago, the tour guide said that Israel has an extensive social intergration program for the mentally ill. If such a person is diagnosed by a doctor as "not dangerous to people or property", he/she is placed into a relatively simple job that does not require social interaction, yet allows him/her to contribute to society. For instance, many cleaning workers at historical and religious sites are the mentally ill that have been placed there through a program. They are prohibited from touching any visitor, but have a lot of leeway in how to their jobs. When my group was at the gravesite of the first prime minister, there was someone washing a granite walkway with a mop. When my group passed by, he said to us, somewhat incoherently: "This is the Jewish homeland; how dare you not speak Hebrew!?" But the manager of the place reassured us that the worker was not dangerous in any way, and from what I saw, he did a decent job cleaning. Most native Israelis are quite accustomed to such behavior, accept it as a given, and respond to it with polite neutrality.

To respond to Laz's comment about the society being founded on Judeo-Christian faith, I don't think it's the religion. Here it is, the Biblical homeland and the crossroads of three religions, and yet the country treats the mentally ill with full dignity. So I think the bias against them is historically and culturally ingrained, not based on religion.


Last edited by Aspie1 on Fri Apr 07, 2006 11:57 am; edited 4 times in total
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