60 Minutes’ coverage of mental health last night, Jan 26

Here’s the link: http://www.cbs.com/shows/60_minutes/  I don’t own a TV but someone sent this to me.

So I watched.  Here’s my reaction:

I’m afraid people are going to assume we’re all a bunch of dangerous criminals.  Only a fraction do anything violent.  A very small fraction.

In my 3+ decades of repeated hospitalizations, I was “violent” in a hospital once.  Only once.  I smashed a window, a teensy window put in the doorway area for cosmetic reasons, that had safety wires in it.  Now we’re talking about maybe 60 hospitalizations.  This was my third.  Must have been March 1983.

Weeks earlier, I had been on the ward, watching TV, and saw that Karen Carpenter died. I tried to tell these nurses that I, too, had an eating disorder and I got the usual blank stare.  There was nothing I could do and in three decades, although I begged and begged, I was never able to get “care” for it. Just that stupid blank stare.

I figured pills might help. Boy, was I wrong.  Most had no effect on me except side effects. I was always hoping that if I kept asking for medication, something might work.

Along the way, I ended up with the diagnosis “schizoaffective.” They’d given me so many drugs that didn’t work and by then, I looked “schiz,” as I heard them put it, cuz I was so drugged I couldn’t put a sentence together.

I am not a criminal.  But they lock us up and give us those disdainful looks.  Disapproval.  Hatred, even.  They have to contain us, manage us, beat us into submission, deceive us and threaten us so that we’ll agree to the drugging.

Now, they assume I’m violent without even asking.  I am never believed when I try to speak up.  I am feared and loathed in my community.

When I am treated with such discrimination, I feel despairing.  Yes, true.  I ask myself, how much hatred can one person take?

That, my friends, is the problem. I am one of the 99% that isn’t violent.  Yet we are loathed and there’s no basis for their fear.  Try doing that to anyone and their life is going to turn to crap.

Gus Deeds, I don’t believe in Heaven, but if you did, then I truly believe that’s where you are right now.  I’m sorry no one listened. It’s sad that so many turn their backs on us and don’t listen until after we’re gone.

I gotta stop here cuz I’m gonna start bawling.  And no, quit concluding that I’m “out of control” just cuz I shed a few tears. Another example of societal prejudice.