The incident at the Capitol yesterday involving Miriam Carey once again illustrates how we are failing on the issue of mental health in this country. Family members have said that Carey suffered from post-partum depression and mental illness.
We may never know what set her off yesterday as she was shot and killed by Capitol police but we can take steps now to improving the perception of mental health in this country. The first thing that has to happen is we need to remove the stigma that is associated with it on a cultural level. There are far too many people who think that people that see therapists are "nuts" and should be locked away. This is fallout from baby boomer bullshit and all their fucked up issues with their parents.
The fact is that the brain is the most complex organ in our bodies. Something that is "in the mind" is not magically disassociated from the body. Why on earth do people think this? We don't think twice about getting our annual breast exam or prostate check. Or even going to the dentist every six months. But a psychologist? Well, that's only if you are crazy...so the stigma sadly goes.
Everyone, and I mean every single person, should see a therapist at least a couple of times a year for a tune up, if you will, at the very least. Working out the complexity and the difficulties of emotional and mental issues require specialized dedication. It's a process, so the joke goes from the Analyze That. This isn't a "take a pill and you are cure" situation. Whatever drove Miriam Carey to go berserk yesterday is likely a combination of several issues (nature, nurture) that require individual attention.
There is no doubt in my mind that we could reduce violence in this country if we moved to changed our perception and actions on mental health.