Mental Illness Doesn’t Discriminate

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Just because you’re pretty or handsome, doesn’t mean that you are immune from mental illness or anything else for that matter.  Much is being made about how beautiful, Miriam Carey, was.  I don’t know how many times in the past two days that I have heard, “Looking at her, you would never think she was nuts,” or ” I didn’t think she was black,” or “She was so pretty, why would she do something like that?” What image filled your mind when your first heard about the Capital Hill Shooting? What ethnicity did you think the suspect  was?  Did you think it was a man or a woman?  And when you found out it was a woman, what image formed in your mind?  If Miriam Carey’s tragic death means anything, let it teach us that mental illness doesn’t discriminate based on beauty, race, gender, age, economic status,  or education,.  It can happen to anyone.  Why people would even focus on the way she looked versus the illnesses she suffered from, is beyond me, but it does speak volumes on where many people’s mindset are. We will never know what set Miriam on her tragic course, but we do know that she left behind a beautiful daughter, family, and friends who loved her.  And she left with us a tragic reminder that mental illness is not just a cry for help but a disease that needs to be taken seriously. It is often ignored, swept under the rug, or shamed into silence. We treat it like a Scarlett Letter and label people without understanding the cause of their mental illnesses. RIP, Miriam.

For more information and help with mental illness, contact:

http://www.nami.org/Template_itstime.cfm?Section=Its_Time

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