Friday, June 13, 2008

We're all to blame for staying mum on mental illness


From Canadian Newspaper the Globe and Mail, June 5, 2008

"There is something we need to cry out long and loud: Joshua Lall was mentally ill.
Before the murderous rampage that left two of his children, his wife and a tenant dead, the 34-year-old Calgary man reportedly was hearing voices and feared he was possessed by the devil.
Mr. Lall's family said he had told them he was having a "mental breakdown," and according to an e-mail written by his wife he had been stressed out and unable to sleep for a long period of time - all classic signs of severe untreated mental illness and the psychosis that can grip those with depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

There are those who do not want to say Mr. Lall was mentally ill for fear of besmirching his memory. Apparently, there is one thing more shameful than being a mass murderer, and that is being crazy.

There are those who fear that openly discussing the role of mental illness in these killings will perpetuate negative stereotypes about those with mental illness.

Yet by tiptoeing around Mr. Lall's apparent sickness, by not daring to speak aloud the words "mentally ill," we are perpetuating the stigma that was likely a driving force in this tragedy.

Mr. Lall was sick. He was exhausted. He was hearing voices. He was probably frightened half to death....

See full article here

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