I feel that I must write this article after events within my own life and the lives of others with brain conditions etc. There are times when we get involved in situations that result in us experiencing a vast amount of psychological distress.
Does our current system cause this
psychological distress? I’m certainly sure that the system has caused my
psychological issues. I’m tormented by the way I’ve been treated by the legal
system, both criminal justice system and family law. I was born with a
disability. It is not a choice. I am not one of those undesirable people that
maliciously go out to harm others. I was failed by the system. It isn’t helpful
if others misunderstand aspects of a disability. There is an extreme bias against
disabilities that affect the brain. If you go through the rules and regulations
within society with a fine tooth-comb, then you’ll soon discover that they make
functioning in every day life extremely difficult for those of us with various
mental illness/brain conditions.
I have spoken to others with conditions such as Tourettes’ Syndrome. This condition consists of involuntary tics. Eg. Swearing is the most commonly known tic, however, there are many other kinds of tics of varying vocal sounds and physical movement. They also had similar ocd impulse control issues to myself. They informed me that they have also been banned from various places because of their tics mainly. This isn’t the society that everyone says they want. Inclusion is not happening, however, exclusion is happening on a grand scale. There are many of us that have been excluded from places within society. And also put through the criminal justice system for misconceptions surrounding aspects of our disabilities.
Law, rules and regulations justify how we are treated. If those things didn’t exist and we had our morals alone to form a basis for an important decision that could potential have disastrous negative consequences on someone else’s life. We wouldn’t make the same decisions. This is because ‘neurotypical’ society has been indoctrinated throughout their lives to conform to a set of standards defined by the laws and guidelines. If society used their moral compass more. Then we wouldn’t be subjected to unnecessary suffering because of not having the ability to meet the standards set out in society. There are such acts as Disability Act and Autism Act, which sets out that there must be reasonable adjustments made to accommodate for those disabilities that affect someone’s brain. In reality this isn’t happening. There wouldn’t be so many cases of discrimination (mostly legalised) if these guidelines were being followed.
There are those of us that had our children taken into care and adopted because of generic guidelines used by social workers. Guidelines that are inappropriate for us because they were written for those without problems affecting their brains. The system sets us up to fail and then places the blame on us. This leaves us emotionally damaged continually blaming ourselves for the rest of our lives. We get put through the criminal justice system because the mental health services are somewhat still in its infancy stages compared to physical health services.
The psychological effects of this system are very damaging for those of us that don’t fit into the generic rules. We require patience and understanding because of the skills we lack. We need others to stop assuming that those lack of skills are a choice and subsequently punishing us in an attempt to make us conform to the norm and have a skill that we do not possess because of our illnesses. In my case, I haven’t slept properly for at least 5 years because of how I’ve been punished by the system. It has drastically affected my ability to remember educational things (whilst revising for exams) and my concentration. It has caused me to get physically ill. I’m in a constant state of high anxiety. I have PTSD type dreams and flashbacks. The door buzzer nearly sends me into a panic attack. I can’t relax because I’m constantly on my guard. We have to start questioning the systems laws. Are they completely going against our moral compass? Are we becoming a less compassionate and caring country because of the guidelines we currently have within our system. Is this why there is an increase in loneliness in the vulnerable adult population? These are the knock on affects of the laws and guidelines we have to seriously review if we don’t want a country full of emotionally broken individuals. It doesn’t have to be this way. We have to start using our moral judgment more than going by rules and regulations.