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Monday, February 16, 2009

Accused in subway case battled with depression

Once again those of us who have to deal with depression on a daily basis, have been unfairly compared with people who have committed serious crimes in the World. The title of this blog entry is taken from the Globe and Mail website: The title of my blog entry refers to an incident in Toronto, Canada on February 13th,2009 in which a media-labelled "depressed" man who had stopped taking his antidepressant medication, allegedly "pushing two teenage boys into the path of an oncoming subway." In this same article, the writer of the article, CAROLINE ALPHONSO, writes:
"A man accused of pushing two teenage boys into the path of an oncoming subway train Friday afternoon lived a normal life up until a year ago, when he became depressed and started taking antidepressants, according to a person familiar with the case."

Later on in this same article, this writer states:
"The last incident of a fatal subway pushing was in 1997, when 23-year-old Charlene Minkowski was pushed at Dundas station by Herbert Cheong, a 41-year-old man with a 20-year history of mental illness."

Why do the media chose to use the term "mental illness" in relation to these incidents? Are these writers qualified to use such a term in an article they write? Apparently, they are not because most people who have a "mental illness", do not commit criminal acts against others. As stated at this website:

"Mental illness and criminal insanity are two different concepts. Many people within our communities who come from all walks of life and levels of success are mentally ill. Research shows people in treatment for a mental illness are no more violent or dangerous than the the general population."

Someone has to begin to educate these writers and media types that people who commit these kinds of actions are criminally insane and not mentally ill! And I have taken up the challenge, and suggest that these writers who label people who commit criminal acts as being "mentally ill", do some research before they write the story, and get direct quotes from qualified medical professionals concerning the "conditions" the person is suffering from, rather than using the label "mentally ill" to describe them!

To read the full article of Caroline Alphonso, go to:

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.