Friday, June 22, 2007

Bad press for BiPolars

Not sure if it's happening everywhere in the world, but there's a growing trend in SA to claim BiPolar (or any other mental disorder) in defence to murder crimes.

And it's perfectly logical if you think of it. Been linked, beyond doubt, to a murder? Two choices buddy - life imprisonment (death in some countries), or else an insanity plea. A No-brainer for every defence lawyer this side of the North Pole.

I mean how difficult is it to feign mental disorder after being caught for a murder when...

  1. Everybody assumes already that you must be looney?
  2. You're probably under the most stress you've been under your whole life (I mean you don't get caught red-handed for a murder every day)
It's happened a couple of times recently in South Africa. Mrs M told me about a case going down in South African headlines just yesterday. Which is what got me thinking about this.

Of course, I cannot prove the perpetrators are NOT bipolar, just as most PDocs can't. That's the whole beauty of it. AND ALSO: I'm sure there are BiPolars that have committed murders, likely even a higher percentage than the muggle population. But the generalisations that these high profile "murderers with bipolar" foster is doing us dudes no favours. And unfortunately peoploids, I can't see any work-around for this publicity problem, so we're just gonna have to learn to live with a fcked up PR department.

***
WBF - still coming (prob Mon, tues next week)

V - I think the weather has something to do with it, midwinter is not conducive to high spirits. My Nuerologist appointment is on Monday. Wish me luck.

9 comments:

  1. WillBeFine22 June, 2007

    I feel sometimes peoples' first thoughts when they see me high, murder is at the forefront of my mind! There are new laws being passed in the UK to force people to take their medication given a number of high profile schizophrenic murder cases.

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  2. There definitely seems to be a trend of this in the US and UK at the moment - just last week I read in the local paper about a serial rapist and murderer who claimed to have borderline personality disorder. The media never talks about the thousands of people with mental health problems who aren't murderers or rapists, I guess we're just not as interesting.

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  3. Hmmm. I've been accused of crimes with no evidence against me and never once have I plead my condition to excuse something I haven't done.
    Methinks only the guilty use mental disorders as an excuse. Murder means the premeditated taking of a human life. If the prosecutors can't prove intent to kill with malice, preparation and planning, then the accused should be charged with a lesser crime or allowed to walk free. And as far as the legal requirement for innocent sufferers to take medication in the UK, shouldn't it also be necessary for every person in the country to undergo a thorough psychiatric evaluation in order to detect those going freely about their lives with an undiagnosed disorder? It would only be fair...

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  4. stop watching/reading new:z! it's all manufactured, sensationalistic crap anyway.

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  5. Oh yeah, totally true. Crimes happen ALL THE TIME where the excuse is "bipolar, off their meds".

    Where I live, a cop was shot in the face by a guy, and that was his excuse.

    Hello? Could he not have been a sociopath, and even if he WAS bipolar, it had nothing to do with it?

    People DO have personality disorders, you know, and that has nothing to do with being bipolar, a chemical imbalance.

    It's actually my "button" that gets set off on a regular basis.

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  6. I'm also Bipolar I, and before I was psyched and medicated, I used to verbally lash out at people in a crazy, psycho hysteria, Though I never physically attacked anyone, people were terrified. The annoying thing about the use of the Bipolar defense is that manic-depressives are further marginalized and deemed as potential killers. Once on meds, which work well, I used to be up-front about my mental condition so that people could see a positive face to it. I stopped, because people put a negative face on me.

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  7. Bipolars have a lower rate of violence than other people EXCEPT when they have been drinking. But then drinking is something you do voluntarily and what jury or judge is going to throw sympathy your way then?

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  8. I read an interesting book about the correlation (and lack thereof) regarding mental illness and the general public's view that it is tied to crime. Its called "Telling is Risky Business" by Otto Wahl. Please comment to my question about a proposed retreat concept and stigma: http://thiscrazyidea.blogspot.com

    Thanks!

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  9. I just wanted to say thank you. Your blog has really helped me stay sane. I have bipolar type one as well, although I am an American teenage girl. It really helps to know someone is out there who has gone through all this and that I'm not alone. Thank you.

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