Those of you that know me will know that I’m big on promoting positive mental health. Along with Ed, I try to normalise to conversation around mental illness, so that people will eventually be able to tackle the conversation themselves. This seems to be fine when it comes it socially accepted mental illnesses. These are the mental illnesses that society, subconsciously or not, has deemed to be ‘okay to have’. These include illnesses like depression, anxiety etc.
What is truly sad and disappointing to see is that some mental illnesses are seen as ‘not okay’ or ‘disgusting’. Yes, I agree that if some illnesses are left untreated or left unknown the implications can be disgusting and horrible. However, telling a person to kill themselves or that they are less than human because they have a certain illness is absolutely not acceptable.
Recently, I’ve seen alot of people online abusing paedophiles, telling them to kill themselves, that they are barely human and so on. Now don’t misunderstand me here, the resulting actions of paedophilia are unacceptable and wrong. No child should ever have to go through rape in any circumstance. What frustrates me though is that people act like being a paedophile (or a psychopath, or a schizophrenic) is a choice. Schizophrenia and paedophilia are psychological diseases in much the same way as depression and anxiety are. To say some are ok to have and some aren’t is wrong. Both types are serious and both types demand treatment.
It is unfair to dehumanise someone because of their battle with mental illness. Mental illness is mental illness. We don’t get to decide which ones are okay to have and which ones are not. You wouldn’t tell a depressed person to kill themselves.
The next time you read about or hear about a case of paedophilia just try to understand. I’m not saying condone the actions. The actions taken are unarguably disgusting and wrong and inhuman and horrible. Just try to understand that the person who does them isn’t choosing to be that way. That individual is seriously, seriously psychologically unwell and needs help.
Saying a person is evil because of they’re psychological dysfunction is a discrimination we do not need in the world.