Depression to Violence, What is the Catalyst ?

I think it’s fair to say, we’ve all had times in our lives, where we’ve experienced depression. Very few of us though, experience a permanently depressed state. But even with the wide experience of depression, among the people, the risks and the daily realities of a life suffering with a permanent mental health disability, is completely unknown to most and unacknowledged by the majority.

The fact is, this isn’t a surprise. It wasn’t so long ago, when “people” with physical mental or psychiatric illnesses, were hidden away in shame. Most often, by their own families. The disabled destined to live a life, in the attic or the basement.

Like all areas of science, many improvements in treatment and understanding the needs of physical mental or psychiatric conditions. But not much has changed, in the public’s view of these conditions. This can easily be seen on a trip to the local grocery store. This will be the location where the general public is most likely to come across, those who are disabled in some way.

Eyes turn away, comments are made in whispered tones, contact is avoided, and I dare say judgments are made. Then those who have turned, commented, whispered, avoided, and possibly judged, go home and forget all about it. While those with the disabilities, carry on with their struggle through difficult lives.

Discounted, persecuted, and ignored, is the life of the mentally, psychiatric, or physically disabled. Unacknowledged and feared, is their existence. And to spite the advances in understanding and treatment, we’ve developed softer ways of hiding these the perceived unwanted away. We’ve given them the name, group homes. They are the new basements and attics.

Let us take a “normal person”, we will shun him, laugh at him, make disparaging comments about him, judge him, and discount his every thought and opinion. We will tell him what and when to do life’s required activities. But most often we will set him aside, ignore him, and hide him away in shame. This we will do for years. And all things being the same, when this individual breaks, has an outburst, commits a crime, or an act of violence, we will all wonder why.



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