GRAND REPIDS, MICHIGAN (DRES) – The violence at the Meijer store in Western Michigan has re-focused on mental health and the stigma that often accompanies mental illness.
Wyoming police say 57-year-old James Ivy randomly stabbed two people on Monday in Meijer on Clyde Park Avenue. Information about the diagnosis of schizophrenia in 2015 was published in court documents on Wednesday.
Dr. Jed Magen, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan, explained that most people with the disease are not violent and, in fact, are more likely to be victims of crime. He warns against allowing the actions of one person to identify anyone who may have a similar diagnosis.
“It is clear that this is a terrible incident for anyone. It’s horrible for both the victims and the person who did it, because … cases of people with mental disorders who can commit violence … later they are just horrified by their actions, “Magen said.
He noted that people with psychiatric disorders are less violent than the general population, and that many people with these disorders who commit violence are in prison.
“We are talking about the criminalization of the mentally ill. Some of these people are, legally, pretty tough, and so you have to worry about such people. But in general, patients with psychiatric illnesses, including schizophrenia, are not really violent … when you see a story and see someone, you start to worry that it’s all schizophrenia, but it’s not, ”he said.
Magen suggested thinking of it as any other disease, such as diabetes. People with diabetes sometimes have low blood sugar, which can cause fainting.
“Someone might say,‘ Oh, maybe that’s what happens to all diabetics. I’m very worried that next to people with diabetes, “or“ I don’t want them to be in their workplace, ”so when you put it into context, it’s not common,” Magen explained. .
He added that it is important to be sensitive to the victims and to what they are going through and to what may be the result. Some people get out of it just fine, but some people don’t, and they can end up with post-traumatic stress disorder.