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Dan Foutch
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I'm reposting this from FB because a lot of the posts here are very moving and I wanted to share my own words about #MentalHealth  : 
I've tried to stay quiet until now. The waters are muddy enough and there is so much speculation and strong feelings in every camp. What happened to those little children cuts me to my heart. If I could go back in time and take every bullet those children died by, I would. That should never happen to anyone and least of all little kids who never get to go through life. They will never have their first kiss, they will never have a first dance. They will never fall in love. They will never have to chance to be dumbass high school/ college kids who make dumbass mistakes. They will never get to grow old, to see everything the world has to offer. Their candles were snuffed out in one day because a man was sick and had guns. 

All that being said, arguments about gun control and how he was mentally ill are complete bullshit. Who's to say what was in his head? Who's to say what all the other factors that facilitated this heinous act are. I'm not going to get into gun control, I'm not going to claim that I know everything that is involved. But that's not the point right now, weapons are not the point of this post. It is being talked to death by millions of bloggers and everyone else who wants to put in their two cents.

What I can talk about is mental illness. I'm not going to defend that man's actions. Was it partially because he was mentally ill? Absolutely. Does that mean that that was the only reason? Probably not. I'm not a professional, I've taken a couple classes on mental illness, I've done clinicals at a mental health facility, I've seen how awful things can be for them and the things that go on in their head. I'm not a MD, PHD, I don't have a masters in counseling. What I do have is bipolar disorder. I am mentally ill, I know a number of people with one mental illness or another. I get unbelievably depressed, I get so angry and I can't see straight, I get euphoric and make really bad decisions. Does that make me a bad person? Am I a danger to myself or anyone else? Should you be scared of me and what I'm capable of? If you can honestly answer yes to anyone of these answers, unfriend me now because I want nothing to do with you.

Mental illness is a DISEASE. We can't help that we are who we are. We can't pull ourselves up by the boot straps or "just get over it". Would you feel the same way if I told you I had diabetes or a congenital heart defect? Because those people have as much choice as I do about my condition. Yes, there are people with mental illnesses that can't function with the rest of society. There are those that get violent, homicidal, suicidal. That doesn't make them bad people, it makes them sick. I'm not trying to defend his actions, but that anyone would attack and accuse ANYONE simply because they are mentally ill offends me. I know that opinions are like assholes, everyone has them and they all stink. If you have a problem with anything I've said or that I'm giving him too much credit, let me know, in PM and I will try to explain how I feel. If you blow up my wall with accusations or incendiary replies, not only will I be disappointed, I will be hurt. 

Instead of spilling millions and billions of dollars on legislature and laws and enforcement on new gun control, how about we spend it on mental health services? The level of funding for community health, long term facilities, free mental health care, crisis care, and every thing that could help that I have mentioned is fucking absurd. We are marginalized, feared, stigmatized, we are the fringes of society that nobody wants to think about and nobody cares about. Why are so many of us loners? Because that's the way society wants us. They want someone to fear and blame when things like this happen. And again I stress that I am not defending anyone involved in any of the shootings or any other violent crimes we have committed. What I'm not going to defend is how the government and everyone else deals with mental illness. Instead of pitching your two cents in about your feelings on gun control, how about writing your representatives both state and federal about the state of our care for those with mental illnesses. How about instead of saying guns don't kill people, people kill people. How about instead of saying if there were stricter gun control laws this wouldn't have happened. Instead of high handed statements of good intention, you help fix the underlying causes. Take action not words. Stand up for your friends and family who are afflicted with the incurable disease that is mental illness. For those of you without either, than take pity on us and stop fearing us.

End Rant.
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