Ask Elyn Saks Anything: The Stigma Of Mental Illness

Andrew Sullivan —  May 12 2014 @ 2:18pm

In another video from MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner Elyn Saks, she identifies the ways society often fails those with mental illness, especially when it comes to stereotypes and name-calling:

In a followup, Saks pushes back on the popular idea that mental illness somehow always leads to violent behavior:

More about Saks:

Elyn Saks is an expert in mental health law and a winner of the Mac­Arthur Foundation Fellowship, which she used to create the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics. She is also Associate Dean and Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California Gould Law School. Saks lives with schizophrenia and has chronicled her experience with the illness in her award-winning, best-selling autobiography, The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness.

Update from a reader, who points to a transcript of a TED talk by Saks:

Immediately after the appointment with Kaplan, I went to see Dr. Marder, a schizophrenia expert who was following me for medication side effects. He was under the impression that I had a mild psychotic illness. Once in his office, I sat on his couch, folded over, and began muttering. ‘Head explosions and people trying to kill. Is it okay if I totally trash your office?’ ‘You need to leave if you think you’re going to do that,’ said Marder.

(Archive)