Where Do We Go From Here?

Oh, I don’t want to talk about depression again, but I’m going to.

The recent school shooting in Oregon brought up the ‘mental illness’ topic again and it triggered some observations I have about depression.

I’m reading the book, Lincoln’s Melancholy, by Joshua Wolf Shenk. In the book, someone wrote about their observations of Lincoln. I’m sorry, I can’t remember who, nor could I find the sentence again in order to quote the correct person. I simply wrote down this line while I was reading.

“Many personal crises stripped from him nearly every layer of his fragile identity”.

When I suffered my last bout of depression, that’s what it felt like…being stripped of my identity. As if I were an onion, and each crisis peeled away a layer until all that was left were the tears.

What I can’t wrap my head around is what creates psychosis? The kind of person who performs mass killings—why do they cross the line? Why does the media report that we need to have the conversation about mental illness, but their contribution is always about the psychotic who act out in ways most cannot fathom.

We need to have the conversation about mental illness so that those who need help know where to seek it and can afford treatment whether it is therapy, medication, or both. Not a single sufferer should be embarrassed to ask for help. I spent a portion of my life not seeking help for fear that my boss would find out.

One other thing….gun control. I probably wouldn’t be able to purchase a gun because I’m currently being treated for depression/anxiety. However, I also know how to lie. I don’t do it much, but I know how to avoid truthfully answering certain questions which would red flag me. If there are politicians pushing for further background checks, how would they go about this without violating HIPAA laws?

We need to have the conversation about mental illness and it should include the millions who suffer in silence because they are fearful of being discovered.

Meh….just the thoughts I have tumbling around my mind. I’m not depressed but I’m always curious.


About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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19 Responses to Where Do We Go From Here?

  1. You have brought up some interesting questions here April.. And my thoughts are with the many who are both sufferers and victims.. Love and Blessings Sue

    • April says:

      It’s the victims who pay the ultimate price, isn’t it?

      • Sadly yes April it is… I often wonder about the perpetrators of such crimes , like yourself.. What triggers them to act as they do?.. Its as if a switch is flipped and their reasoning to judge their behaviour is turned on its head.. Its beyond my own levels of understanding.. 😦

  2. mewhoami says:

    They do need the proper help and should feel safe discussing their issues with family, friends and professionals. No one should ever feel that they must isolate themselves because of their problems. If we were to catch these people from the beginning, would they still commit these terrible acts? I don’t know, but I do know that we’re certainly not helping by… not helping.

    • April says:

      You know, the mom knew in this instance that her son had…..get this… Asperger’s. The media (the stuff I got) was linking that to the guy’s mental status and why he went on the spree. I don’t know what causes that little part of the population with a sick mind to do this, but when that is the conversation the media focuses on, it diminishes the feelings of sufferers. When we are bombarded with the fact that the person committing such a crime had mental problems, I think we know that is a given. However, it isn’t the complete face of mental illness.

      • mewhoami says:

        That’s true, but with all the media behind it many people may begin to think that that is the face of mental illness. Then begin to look at those with depression with a completely different viewpoint. It’s not good that they try to wrap everyone up into one category. We’re all different. Each one who suffers with mental illness suffers in a different way. As far as Asperger’s causing this – no, I don’t think so. Maybe an illness that was behind the Asperger’s, but not the ASP itself. My son has Autism (much different than ASP – to me anyway) and he would never even fathom the thought of doing such a thing.

        • April says:

          That’s what bothers me about giving the face of mental illness through horrifying events. If I were to tell someone I have been diagnosed with GAD and Major Depressive Disorder, would they be thinking……hmmm, wonder if she will go on a rampage? The answer is not necessary but that is what is planted in our brains. Even though I have a mental illness, I couldn’t act out like that. We need to change the face.

          • mewhoami says:

            I completely agree. This is why it’s good that you’re writing this. I’m sure there are some people who are stereotyping, without even realizing it.

  3. I think those who don’t want to lose their right to bear arms, use mental health as something to blame, when really they need to look at reviewing this right to bear arms which was written in a very different time and place and based on fear… The US has more deaths by shooting per capita than any other western country ❤
    Diana xo

    • April says:

      Yes! You are the first person I’ve had a conversation about this very thing. I thought I didn’t understand what I had read, but have been able to put my mind in the place of the original authors of the Constitution. ( am I making sense?) The 2nd Amendment gave communities the right to arm their militia for protection from any aggressor(s). Today, I read bills presented to congress, and I have yet to read one that said that all guns should be illegal. If I missed that one, I have an open request to obtain the bill number so that I can read it myself to see what I’m missing in relation to current times. We now have police instead of a militia to protect our villages, and they carry guns. 😀

      • Yes and the aggressors back then were people Europeans and oppressed like the recently freed slaves and First Nations people. So Americans were outnumbered especially in the west and were sore afraid!

  4. Gallivanta says:

    I wish they would leave the mental illness out of the accounts of shootings.

    • April says:

      Me too. We already understand the person apparently had something wrong going on in the mind. Not all of us cross that line.

  5. Glynis Jolly says:

    The questions are endless for why a person would be so violent. To make a prognosis without even having a diagnosis for people who do kill others (let alone anything in between) seems ridiculous to me. I know the law enforcement agencies, the media, and even the medical arena do this all the time, but how can they come up with the truth that way? I don’t think it can be done.

    • April says:

      I don’t know how to ‘fix’ the problem or understand why someone snaps like that. What I do know is that this minority of the population creating such horrendous acts and with the media reminding us that the person was mentally ill perpetuates a stigma. We’re simply having the wrong conversation about mental illness.

      • Glynis Jolly says:

        I agree, April. I’m not an expert by any means, but from what I’ve read and seen, the majority (vast majority) of people battling mental illness are hiding in the shadows being timid because of whatever illness they have. (I’m one of them with my GAD.) These ones who ‘snap’ are few and very far between. The media and their sensationalism seem to be the culprits.

  6. Elouise says:

    Great post and conversation starter. Thanks, April. I’ve missed being here–mostly because of being away recently for three weeks! It was great fun, but I missed my blogging friends!

  7. reocochran says:

    April, so much of what you say I agree on here. Don’t stereotype anyone, this should be our motto or mantra.
    I think it is okay to mention mental illness due to responsibility. In my mind, if I as a teacher was supposed to report child abuse or neglect, doctors and medical field have their “code” and by reporting fears to the police may help slow down killings. Then it is okay to remind parents, neighbors and teachers to tell children services to allow their office to approach subject matter.
    This is still a valuable tool! Open conversations really help in situations where children or young adults needed someone desperately to listen to their thoughts. 🙂 Nicely written, April.

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