Sunday, February 24, 2013

Diminished Capacity: Negative Emotions = Negative Actions?

  This is a guest entry from Steph's personal journal. I'm honoured she asked to add it to my blog, and I applaud her bravery for sharing such a personal piece of writing.  She discusses the Human Rights Violations that some mentally ill individuals experience.

My Daily Journal

 2013-02-22 6:20 PM

Since when have emotions been regarded as negative things? To be happy? That's ok. Great, and good for you, others will think. You say you feel angry, and automatically people take that to mean you are aggressive. Anger (emotion) does not mean aggression (action). One can be angry, and not act on that emotion whatsoever. They can just allow themselves to feel it. Or they can use that emotion to release it. Exercise, meditation, grounding, or whatever works.

The same goes for the feelings of sadness, depression and suicidal ideation. These are all feelings. Not actions. Every single person in this world has felt sad. Many have felt depression, and a certain few have felt suicidal. But because a person feels these, it does not mean they are lessened, weakened, or have a diminished capacity. Legal or otherwise. It means that they FEEL. All human beings FEEL. Maybe some feel more than others.

But when did feelings become intertwined with action? When has it become ok to condemn those who have a negative set of feelings, such as those mentioned above, sadness, depression and suicidal idealation, when has it become ok, by law to tell these people that they have no right to feel this way? To take their rights away legally by saying they have a diminished capacity? This is condemnation for human beings who feel! TO FEEL IS HUMAN! Does this mean if we condemn those with negative emotions and feelings that we will commemorate those who have positive feelings and emotions? Why not give out a prize or bursary by judges and other legal members to people of the society WHO FEEL but feel positive feelings and emotions. Sounds silly doesn't it? So why is it not silly that they strip away the rights of those who feel negative emotions? Because emotions, are not, actions.

~ Stephanie P.

1 comment:

  1. I have an MA in forensic psychology and work in the criminal justice field, often assessing people in conjunction with legal representatives. At face value what is being offered here is factually innacurate, there are no statutes whatsoever making emotions illegal. Now, what may be being discussed is a particular situation where a person acted out a place of rage/sadness and those actions landed them in jail, which of course would not be making emotions illegal.

    There is a very strong and detailed process involved in the involuntary commitment of people, which is carefully reviewed and overseen by more than any single person. The subject in question must minimally be indicating by their actions an intent to harm self or others and by those very actions be found incapable of engaging in such a way that shows an ability to reason through their actions such that they are capable of changing or reacting to harmful situations. In other words (to offer a ridiculously simplistic example that should not be taken as having any legal necessity), if the person is throwing themselves at a wall or at other people and does not engage in any attempts to stop through verbal discourse, they are putting themselves and others in danger and are no longer deemed competent.



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