Skip to main content

Last spring, I spent about forty-eight hours in a psychiatric hospital for a major depressive episode. I had checked myself in. It was some of the most revealing forty-eight hours I've had in my life. I thought about writing a diary about it, but there's almost nothing as stigmitizing in this world as mental illness. While I was there, I met some of the sweetest, gentlest people I've met in my life. Sure, there were a couple of people who seemed to be what people might call disparagingly "crazy." However, most seemed fairly lucid much of the time. A suprising number of people had been victims of child abuse and sexual assaults. There were moments when I felt that we lock up the victimized in this society so we can let the victimizers go free, because as a society what we respect is strength and force. The scariest thing was not the other patients, but realizing that in order to get help you had to give up control over your life. I know that is a simplification, but talking to the people in there, that is how it seemed sometimes.

Another thing I saw was how responsibly many people deal with their illness. Not a few people had checked themselves into a place they did not want to be because they felt that their medication wasn't working or some other problem. Many people with mental illness try to deal responsibly with it. This is a side most people never see, not even those who are mentally ill because, frankly, we don't know each other.

I never wanted a gun before and I most certainly wouldn't want one now. Obviously, people with violent tendencies, whether towards themselves or towards others, should not have guns. However, right now I'm feeling like everyone's punching bag. Over a quarter of Americans have a diagnosable mental illness. That's a large number of us whom you would deem "defective."

Will we allow guns to the victimizers of the vulnerable? The child abusers and the rapists?

Originally posted to FourthOfJulyAsburyPark on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:48 AM PST.

Also republished by Mental Health Awareness.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site