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Are We All Mentally Ill?

When are we going to learn that we have to act, not just bemoan the fact that these shootings happen again and again. And we fall again as a nation into a temporary depression until we forget. But we don’t do anything to resolve the issue.

Some things to consider:

– We need to be serious about getting halfway decent laws about gun and gun possession and use into our laws.

– We have to as a nation re-look at the second amendment and stop using it as a way for people who think they are entitled to have guns “just because.” That amendment didn’t apply to your neighbor and you arming yourselves against perceived dangers. Give our forefathers better credit than that.

– We have to get better in how we treat mental illness. We have to draw the entire community into the treatment and we have to teach each other about mental illness so together we can help people get better.

– Maybe, if that entire community is working to learn and respond to mental illness, there won’t be enough time for people to think only of themselves and to what they are entitled.

– We have to address anger – anger at our government, anger at our lives, anger at each other and anger at ourselves. We have to learn better ways of dealing with our anger than with guns.

– We have to address fear which will only continue to grow with each and every shooting. We have to see that fear empowers those that would harm us.

We have to be ready to do all of the above and not go into the safe haven of seeing that it has happened again and we turn the page onto other things that are easier to digest, easier to do than finding a way together to solve the problem of guns in our country. We need to become mentally healthy.


P.S. This is addressed to gun advocates and gun foes alike. Until we can talk together in a measured and open way, we will continue to have things like this happen and we will continue to be a nation depressed until one day we find we can’t climb out of the fear and anger and depression and the nation we love is no longer. People with mental illness deserve better and we as a people deserve better.


2 Responses

  1. Very wise words.

  2. I think most people have a degree of mental illness at some time. We categorise mental illness as functional and organic, that which is caused by ‘nothing tangible’ and that which is caused by a ‘malfunction in the brain’. I think time will show that all mental illness is organic and that the spectrum is much broader than it is currently. Is feeling ‘a bit down’ not able to cope at that moment, tearful, anxious not a mental illness, even if only for an hour, a half day, a whole day? We have lots of 24 hour bugs why can’t we have 24 hour brain bugs and why don’t we start to notice if there is a link between those 24 hour bugs and longer term depression developing?

    It’s so difficult to seek treatment too, because of stigma. I’m a teacher and I have to have a physical each year and part of that is to show how I’m coping with stress. I can’t tell my doctor I’m depressed as it will show in my work report, they will see that as me being unable to cope with stress and I’m out of a job and with depression on my record I won’t get another one. I know it’s discriminatory but it happens, there are ways around discrimination laws.

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