There are hundreds of thousands of people that are diagnosed each year with some type of mental illness. What about the millions of other people who have mental illness that goes undiagnosed and unnoticed. What about the people that have some form of mental illness and do not seek treatment. It is a fact that there are so many more people that are not aware that they suffer from mental illness than the actual people who are treated in society. In fact, the number of these people is probably double. I have consistently stated that this area needs immediate attention as soon as possible. Now...one would say what can be done to help people with mental problems? Well first of all, mental illness carries a stigma that makes the public uncomfortable and unwilling to put the time and effort to study, implement money and funding for more research as well as sometimes discuss the issues in school.
Now my argument would be virtually this. My father has bi-polar disease so I have been around mental illness my entire life. I myself struggle with anxiety and depression on a daily basis. My argument is that just because someone has mental illness, that it does not justify these mentally unstable people from committing senseless irrational horrible acts of violence. As mentioned, my dad has bi-polar disease and would never consider walking into a building of innocent people and slaughtering these poor souls. However, my father has struggled with suicide ideology and has made numerous attempts to take his life. Suicide is another issue that is stigmatized and is not addressed enough. Because of Violence and suicide, we as Americans have an obligation to imply more research, public awareness, teaching and education, and less stigma. You may have mental illness and be scared to talk about it. People should not be ridiculed for having a mental disorder. So much education and funding/testing is used for cancerous tumors, AIDS, and other terminal illness. But, what about mental illness...where is the funding and insurance to help these people. It reminds me of the plague...no one wants to face the facts that this illness is alive and well and destroying millions of people's lives as well as family members.
Substance abuse and addiction are two major problems in American Society today. Alcohol continues to be one of the leaders as far as abuse as well as heroin use. However, the biggest drug problem today is prescription pills. Percocet, Oxycoten, Klonopin, and many other pharmaceutical drugs have become the substance of choice by addicts. As a former/current addict, I can totally relate to many of these issues. Addiction can be genetic and this has been studied with alcoholism and other drug addictions. However, the biggest contributing factor today is sociological factors. Many children grow up in broken homes, dysfunctional family environments, poverty, and many other negative social and economic environments. However, the one key area that contributes to addiction that is rarely discussed is mental illness.
Mental illness can take on many forms such as psychopathic issues, sociopathic issues, and also cognitive behaviorial dysfunctions. There are so many types of mental illness that cause chaos in our society. Bi-Polar illness is one of the most common. Bi-Polar comes with a "manic" state as well as a "depressive" state of mind. There are two types of Bi-Polar (Bi-PolarI and Bi-PolarII.) They are opposite in nature and one is a hypo manic state and one is a very depressive mental state. There is PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) which causes many problems in teens and adults alike. There are many other forms of mental illness, some that are worse and some that are not as bad. The important thing to note is that these are all serious and can lead to fatalities wether by murder or suicide. Many of these people have suicidal thoughts because they believe that they are alone and nothing can fix their pain.
Former front man for the band KISS, Gene Simmons recently had some harsh comments regarding addiction and depression. Here is an excerpt of his recent words..."I don't get along with anyone who's a drug addict and has a dark cloud over their head and sees themselves as the victim. Drug Addicts and Alcoholics are always:The world is a harsh place. My mom was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don't want to fucking hear about the world as a harsh place. She gets up everyday, smells the roses and loves life. And for the putz, 20-year old kid to say, Im depressed I live in Seattle. Fuck You then kill yourself. I never understand because I always call them on their bluff. When there is a guy on top of a building who says, thats it, I can't take it anymore, Im going to Jump. Are you kidding me? Stop Announcing it! Shut the fuck up have some dignity and jump! You have the crowd." Well, well, well...this is extremely sad. A high profile person that has no freaking clue. What is even more sad is that I used to love the band KISS. Well now, I will boycott anything that has to do with this band and the man Gene Simmons, who really has no clue. Here is another example of how most of the public is blinded to mental illness and the harsh reality it plays in many people's lives.
Here is a quote from Nikki Sixx, Bassist for Motley Crue, yesterday on Facebook. "We're going to be discussing Gene Simmons comments on how depressed people should just kill themselves...I have struggled with addiction and depression in my life and I'm glad someone like Gene was not handing out advice when I was looking for help...I'm sure I am not alone." Now here is another high profile star, just like Robin Williams who went through a life of hell, but was able to escape without ending his life. This does not make him better than Robin Williams nor does it mean that he did not try to take his life. If you are curious, just read Nikki's book "The Heroin Diaries" where Nikki tells his tale of almost losing his life to depression and addiction.
Hopefully, this recent tragedy will make America wake up and smell the coffee. Mental Illness/Depression is real and not going away. And yes, there are many other non famous people who struggle with this issues daily. However, when a high profile incident like this occurs, it gives us a chance to expose the issue. And one thing that I am so sick and tired of hearing is that the people who commit suicide are selfish. Maybe some instances are that way; however, in most cases these people are just in so much pain they would rather not be here. Unless you have experienced this mindset, you have no right to judge others. In conclusion, I hope that mental illness gets the attention it deserves. Maybe then the suicide and homicide statistics will decline. We can't know unless we try. So my cry is for all people to pull together and push forward for action in this area.