Every time a violent act happens, there is concern about whether the perpetrator was mentally ill. Now, Obama is recommending more mental health screenings in our schools to try to prevent violence.
While I am in support of more mental health screenings in order to help those who need treatment receive it, I am uncomfortable with the thinking that this seems to show in our society. I had planned to prove that we, the mentally ill, are not more likely to commit a violent act. I found a statement by the director of National Institues of Mental Health that said that people with servere mental illness are more likely to commit a violent act. Here is the quote.
Is violence more common in people with SMI? Yes, during an episode of psychosis, especially associated with paranoia and so-called "comman hallucinations", the risk of violence is increased. People with SMI are up to three times more likely to be violent and when associated with substance abuse disorders, the risk may increase much further. But, mental illness contributes very little to the overall rate of violence in the community. Most people with SMI are not violent, and most violent acts are not committed by people with SMI.
Since I struggle with depression and have been on anti-depressants for over five years, I cried after reading this quote. I have seen people behave as if they are walking on egg shells because of their concern that they will make me cry. I have seen fear in one person's eyes.