(Closed) I don’t understand how people can treat the mentally ill like this..

posted 7 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
Member
7175 posts
Busy Beekeeper

People have trouble relating to people that are different than them.  It’s human nature, unfortunately.  If they aren’t used to being around people who appear to be homeless and/or have mental illness, they don’t know how to interact with them and it’s not second nature to just treat them like a normal person.

You might want to mention to customers to ‘say hi to  “John” on your way out – he’s harmless and a ‘regular’ – or something like that…. if you deem it appropriate, just to take the edge off and make them think twice.

 

Post # 4
Member
7695 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

People act like this because they don’t understand or it scares them. Not an excuse at all, but thats many times why people do it. Im glad you are kind and caring towards him. It seems like he needs something like that in his life.

Post # 5
Member
2512 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

@oracle: I really like your suggestion about mentioning that you know him. I think that will make people realize oh snap he is a human just like me.

Post # 7
Member
592 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Unfortunately, people’s attitudes towards the homeless and the mentally ill are fueled by misinformation and ignorance (maybe even some stupidity too!). A large percentage of the homeless do suffer from mental illness – a lack of social welfare programs put them in the position of having to live on the streets when they could be provided with treatment and lead relatively “normal” lives. It’s a vicious circle. So, I totally agree with you that those types of reactions are infuriating. It’s a soft spot for me too! I’m sure he’s a totally lovely man.

Post # 8
Member
2398 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I wish more people thought the way you do.

Fear, I think, is what drives most responses.  That and ignorance.  The mentally ill can be unsettling to some people because their reactions are sometimes unpredictable and they are often portrayed in popular culture as being dangerous and beyond help rather than simply sick.  There’s also a certain amount of, “There but for the grace of God,” that triggers a need to create distance between oneself and the mentally ill.  We all know that we, too, could get sick or lose our homes or our loved ones, but we want to believe that we’re safe so we pretend that those who suffer are somehow completely different.  Cataloging the reasons why we’re nothing like the man on the street reassures us, somehow, that we’ll never be the man on the street.  It’s illogical and hurtful, but it’s comforting.

Of course, there are also plenty of people who are just falt out stupid.  Who believe that the mentally ill bring their troubles or conditions on themselves and want to congrtulate themselves for being better, stronger, smarter or whatever. 

Post # 10
Member
6351 posts
Bee Keeper

This is my biggest fear for some of my students. They are mentally disabled but you’d never know by looking. I fear them growing up and being treated this way.

Post # 11
Member
4024 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

It is really sad. I work with the mentally ill, so I see it a lot and it breaks my heart. People can just be so judgemental and harsh and it is not fair.

Post # 12
Member
5273 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

I agree w/ Miss Lilac, a big majority of the homeless suffer from mental illnesses, and I don’t think people are aware of this cycle and why these individuals are homeless.

Regarding your situation, I think it is normal for people not to want to engage in conversation w/ him (you mentioned they give him looks, or act snooty) some people arn’t social to strangers regadless, and to me I wouldn’t consider not engaging in coversation w/ him or any stranger for that matter, as wrong.

Now if customers are taunting or teasing – this is inappropriate.   

Post # 13
Member
2398 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

@SoontobeMrsA:  Sometimes it’s easier to have an “invisible disease,” if that’s any comfort.  Looking just like everyone else goes a long way toward preventing torment that’s usually reserved for the obviously different.

Post # 14
Member
2265 posts
Buzzing bee

Awe this makes me sad. I’m glad you are at least going out of your way  to make sure he feels welcomed. I can’t even imagine what he must have gone through.

Post # 15
Member
6351 posts
Bee Keeper

@teaadntoast: My concern thought is that since they look like typical say 12 year olds when they behave differently people just think they have bad parents or whatever.

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