I’m so tired of this…

27 Jun 2023

This blog is not well-crafted or well-researched, and it is certainly not an opportunity to do what I love most - having a good laugh.

A little while ago three people were murdered in a horrible random attack by a young man in Nottingham. When it became clear that this was not an act of terrorism, my immediate thought was "Here we go again".

Sure enough within hours ‘mental health issues’ was being bandied about. That's all some people will hear. Anyone with a mental disorder is potentially dangerous, they don't know right from wrong, they might be possessed by anti-social or violent impulses, you can't trust them.

It's the same with Autism. I have seen this diagnosis used as a defence in trials for the most vile crimes. My partner has Aspergers. He can have a meltdown in an argument, he can be very challenging (as can I), but unlike my neurotypical ex, he has never raised his hand to me. He has never hit another man, would prefer to walk away even if provoked. 

Around 25% of us will experience a mental illness at some time in our life. This will include quite severe cases of psychosis. Many people will make a full recovery, others may need lifelong management. Very few will be violent. Alcohol and substance abuse are the biggest cause of most serious crimes, especially those involving violence. People with mental illness and autism are statistically more likely to be victims rather than perpetrators.

I know three people with schizophrenia in my town. All became ill while at university, and had to drop out. One set fire to a shed in his parents garden, but then immediately phoned the fire brigade. They are all nearing retirement now, two work at a local supermarket and live productive independent lives. One is on the town council. The third only moved into sheltered accommodation when her parents died. They are far more typical of people with the illness than the Jekyl and Hyde stereotype.

Regardless of religious belief, the fundamental sense of right and wrong is deeply ingrained in most humans. People may choose to ignore it, but they still know, they make a choice based on hate, greed or dare I say it-plain evil. It seems to me that gratuitous harming of other people is far more likely to be the work of the sociopaths and narcissists among us. Someone or something has upset or offended them, and that simply cannot be tolerated.

Anyway, thanks for reading this. I will get off my hobbyhorse now, but would be interested to hear if others feel as I do. 


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