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To think there is a dire misunderstanding about schizophrenia and committing crimes

(10 Posts)
nazzina Tue 20-Dec-16 09:40:02

I hope I'm wrong and I'm just reading too much of the Daily Mail comment section.

But having worked with people with schizophrenia and having had a brother who also had schizophrenia, people just do not understand that when they commit crimes, no matter how violent, that this is the result of severe delusions which affect their ability to think rationally and within normal moral constraints.

They are out of touch with reality and therefore do not have the understanding that what they have done is morally wrong.

My brother was violent and once picked up a brick and threw it at me. He truly believe I was taking his thoughts from his mind and broadcasting them to others. He did not have the understanding that to injure me would be wrong.

When someone is suffering a delusion they do not think in reality.

AIBU to think people still don't understand?

Trifleorbust Tue 20-Dec-16 10:14:16

I think you're absolutely right that most people don't understand serious mental illness. Does anyone? It would be nice to see more empathy but I also understand why a person might be frightened by someone with, for example, schizophrenia. It is a frightening condition.

gandalf456 Tue 20-Dec-16 10:18:10

Do you mean that people don't understand in the way that they think people with schizophrenia should just think like us and be done with it?

Smoothyloopy Tue 20-Dec-16 10:19:06

YANBU a family member suffered from schizophrenia when I was growing up and they were always more of a danger to themselves than anyone else.

Curious0yster Tue 20-Dec-16 10:20:28

I completely agree with you, OP.

SukeyTakeItOffAgain Tue 20-Dec-16 10:20:34

Yes most people don't understand violent schizophrenia.

However that doesn't mean that the acts someone has committed are not violent and the public should not be protected from them

TheStoic Tue 20-Dec-16 10:21:43

It is not really about what they believe is right or wrong. It's about people with schizophrenia protecting themselves from others when they feel attacked or persecuted.

Unfortunately the attacks are (usually) not based in reality. If they were, their behaviour could be seen as self-defence.

BeautyGoesToBenidorm Tue 20-Dec-16 10:22:44

Schizophrenia is one of the more frightening mental illnesses, to many, and the media are doing nothing to help that. There are very few attempts to educate the general public about the tragic reality of it.

There seemed to be a time when everyone claimed to be 'a bit bipolar', as a lot of celebrities were opening up about having the condition and it actually seemed to become fashionable. You don't see anyone claiming to have schizophrenia in order to garner a bit of sympathy - the symptoms don't lend themselves to easy empathy, and the public image of a 'typical' schizophrenic is distorted and damaging.

It bothers me when a murderer/attacker appears in the paper, and a big point is made about the fact they suffer from paranoid schizophrenia. It further fuels the 'dangerous' image, whereas the majority of people living with the illness haven't killed or maimed.

DJBaggySmalls Tue 20-Dec-16 10:30:33

YANBU, I think this applies to most MH problems and physical disabilities with some people. I have family members who are deaf, and some people seem to think they should just tried harder. I've seen that attitude applied to people with physical disabilities as well.

gandalf456 Tue 20-Dec-16 10:32:10

I think the point about the mental health issue is quite important. A lot of people with acute mental illness aren't being looked after properly in the community or those suffering are not seeking the help that's needed - perhaps because the nature of the illness stops them and they don't have the support network to seek help in their behalf, possibly, again, because the illness has pushed people away. I think the media is right to address it but take the point that the hysteria about it does nothing for the stigma associated with MH problems

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