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Domestic violence, abuse are true problems

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Sometimes in the media, mentally ill people are portrayed as potentially violent. Every time we hear about a shooting, someone in the media comments on the shooter being potentially mentally ill.

Since this matter gets little attention, what some people don’t realize is that around 95 percent of the mentally ill never commit an act of violence in their lives. I got these statistics from a doctor who treats the mentally ill.

If anything, the mentally ill more often try to hurt themselves. They are a peace-loving group of people who have had it difficult usually and just cannot get over it, or it takes them longer than others to get over their problems.

Sometimes people need medication, but David Burns wrote a book called “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy” where he said that studies proved that his book helped people as much as medicine does. There are two very effective therapies for people called cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical therapy. They help many people to cope.

Statistically speaking, what is more of a problem than violent mentally ill criminals is domestic violence, child abuse and rape. Abuse is common in the home (not by mentally ill strangers); the last statistics I heard were that half of all women experience some form of domestic violence in their lives, and around one-fourth of children suffer from physical or sexual abuse sometime in their lives, often by a family member.

More attention should be focused on this subject and less on the very few criminals who are, in my opinion, not so mentally ill as they are serial killers. There have been maybe 15 shooting incidents that got a lot of attention in this country recently and between 30 million and 50 million people in this country who have depression or other mental illness.

So you see that abuse is a more common problem than violent schizophrenics. I am writing a book on mental illness and am a graduate at the top of my class of Nazareth College and Liverpool High School in Syracuse.

Please give these matters the attention they need so we can eventually resolve these issues so we can all feel safer. If people get help for any of these problems, they can lead productive, fulfilling lives.

Mary Weldon

Massena

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