Terrorism: A Bipolar Perspective

What? A bipolar perspective on terrorism? This’ll be interesting.

Yeah, it sounds weird. I wouldn’t have thought of it either until I saw this.

Now I’d just like to say that I agree with the intended sentiment ENTIRELY. It is disgusting that people who do not have pale skin or don’t share Western beliefs have to bear the responsibility for the condemnable acts of extremists, while white people are never blamed based on race.

But why are they implying that it’s ok to blame it on the mentally ill?

I’m here to propose a new idea. One that’s not talked about as much as the race and religion issues. That mentally ill people don’t deserve to bear the responsibility of the actions of a minority either. 

At the moment the Islamic community is being harshly judged for the actions of extremists. They are being bullied, degraded, and made to feel ashamed for their beliefs. But it is heart-warming to see how many people are standing up for them and creating a discourse on the subject.

As a social activist, I am an active participant in that. Yet, even with Bipolar, this is the first time I have spoken up about having to face the same issues for having a mental illness. 

I prefer being in my university’s lecture hall anyway

Society is being told that the mentally ill are dangerous. That they are people who are not in control, who will hurt you.

How many of you have felt that mentally ill people are dangerous, honestly? Did you know that in reality, people receiving treatment for a mental illness are no more dangerous or violent than anyone else? For example, the chances of someone with schizophrenia seriously harming or killing someone are 0.005%. In fact, mental health professionals suggest that if a mentally ill person is to show violence it is more likely to do with other factors such as who they were before the illness.

Because illness or no illness, we remain ourselves (at least to an extent). I am the most peaceful, childishly sweet person you would ever meet. I hate conflict, resolve things through rational discussion, and cry about anything. Yet in the midst of a manic episode I had an impulse to lash out and hit someone. With an infuriating, ugly, itching sensation, like a thousand bugs all under my skin trying to wriggle and burst their way out, only aggression was going to solve that itch.

A cruel person would give in, but instead I physically hurt myself because I knew hurting anyone else would be far more painful than any self inflicted damage. This was a time of no control, but I still controlled myself.

And most people wouldn’t have even had that shameful urge.

Because most people, like myself, are far more likely to harm themselves than harm someone else. And they are 14 times more likely to be victims than perpetrators. 

I am mentally ill, and even experiencing that agonising aggression I remained peaceful. Yet a man I knew, a peaceful Buddhist with nothing wrong with his brain, spent years sexually abusing his girlfriend and felt he did nothing wrong.

I was victim to that man. Do you still think mental illness is to blame?

The next time you see the mentally ill being referred to as dangerous, remember this. If you wouldn’t judge the whole Muslim or black community for the actions of a minority, will you judge us?

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