I hate to have to post about these stories but I feel I must. A mother has been charged with stabbing her daughter with a scissors and attempting to strangle her. You can read the rest of the article here. Now, what this woman did to her daughter is unthinkable and truly heartbreaking. However, because I know first hand what mental illness can do to someone who is untreated, I have to discuss the other side of the story. When these stories break, the media has an opportunity to educate the public about mental illness. We could reduce stigma if the public understood why this woman acted in such violence. Instead, news stories amplified the severity of the violence and even provided audio of the incident. Many versions of the story start out by saying that the woman was heard screaming "Die! Die!" in the 911 call. Now, to any reader, of course he/she will think that this woman was capable of this horrific act. Even if we tell the public that the woman had a history of mental illness, they can only reference movie villains or other one sided news stories. Some information led me to beleive that the mother was suffering from a paranoid episode (being chased by a cult). Also, "Johnson has a history of depression and had not been taking her medication, Binder said, adding she does not remember the attack in the laundry room."
The media will never advertise that less than 5% of those with a mental disorder have a history of violence. There are so many facts kept private from the public. There has to be a way to fight the media on this. I will keep thinking of ways to make a change here because if the public does not understand what caused the attack, then they will continue to view ALL INDIVIDUALS as "psychotic, schizo, crazy monsters" who are merely expendable human beings. We are in desperate need of more discussion. There are too many courageous individuals out there dealing with a very real illness. Lack of education about mental illness is evident in the comments below:
"Please even if you are a bit on the loony side you know it is wrong to stab and try to kill your child. People who hurt defenseless innocent children are the worst to me. I hope she rots in hell."
"If you're stabbing and attempting to murder your child, you're a nutter."
"Rotten!!!!! 100 of the same to the mother!!!!!"