I want to remain anonymous. The prejudices against the mentally ills are widespread among the sane population. Here’s a revealing anecdote. In professional life, everyone experiences this stress relieving discussion during coffee breaks. Consultants like this particularly. Here we can discuss the latest gossip of the project, make funny jokes and bash all people who do not belong to the coffee break community. One day, a colleague of mine began to share his wild theory on the project director. The diagnosis of bipolar disorder was sentenced without appeal. This project director was no doubt about it, harmful, malicious and completely stupid but he was not bipolar. The inference from malicious to bipolar was a hell of a shock for me as it revealed the full extent of prejudices within the sane society. The irony is I could I’ve told my colleague that he has been taking coffee with an horrendous bipolar over the past two years without noticing him being harmful, malicious and stupid. Prejudices are Psychiatry for ignorant dummies. In France, I’ve long understood that “depressive” is in fact an insult directed at those who don’t enjoy life as much as rest of the beautiful sane people.
Bipolar madness causes contrasted reactions. One the one side, it has a positive image. Creativity accounts for the most of it. The public perception of people being out of the boxes add certainly to this positive representation, at least when it comes to artist. Others are less lucky. Moreover, one can consider that craziness, religion, mysticism blossom on a common fertile ground. Unfortunately, on the other side, in people’s mind, bad representation of madness prevails. The mentally ills are often considered as dangerous madman. Journalists don’t hesitate to share the psychiatric medical records of criminals. You can read between the lines that this explains that. However, most of the criminals have no previous psychiatric history. Dutroux, a French horrendous sexual criminal is perfectly “sane” in the sense that he could lead a normal life in society. All mentally ills are not criminal and all criminal are not mentally ill. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not denying the fact that a high percentage of people in jail suffers from mental ailment. But no one should derive from this that someone who is bipolar is necessarily a potential criminal.
In France, you can compare the situation of mentally ills with North African. Some Arabs are criminals, the vast majority is not. Once, when there was a crime, journalists didn’t hesitate to disclose the racial origin of the perpetrator. I think this is positive as this is not the ethnical origin that makes someone a criminal. The same “benefit of the doubt” should be granted for the mentally ills. At least until a verdict of irresponsibility is pronounced. Some mentally ills can be dangerous madman but the vast majority of mentally ills are law abiding citizen who tries to find a pacific solution to their problems.
The bipolarity of type affects 1 % of the population. Do we have 650 000 bipolar patients in jail in France? The prison population reaches approximately 50 000 persons. If all the bipolar sufferers were dangerous madmen, we would have a real problem of overpopulation in prisons.
Shakira / Loca
And I’m crazy, but you like it (loca, loca, loca)
You like that it ain’t easy (loca, loca, loca)
I’m crazy but you like it (loca, loca, loca)
Crazy but you like it