The presidential race is in full motion while the candidates are far from being silent. Amidst all this, GOP Presidential candidate Ben Carson has made a public statement saying that Muslims who embrace American values have to be ‘schizophrenic’.
This statement can produce a vast number of consequences for people with mental illnesses. Aside from the fact that the word ‘schizophrenic’ in itself is a label, the mere diagnosis of schizophrenia can now have a negative connotation attached. It implies that people with mental illnesses are somehow inferior to everyone else, including but not limited to schizophrenia alone.
By generalization, everyone with a mental disorder can now be viewed as automatically disobeying the law. This gives a whole new meaning to a mental illness in general. Imagine cops seeing someone acting odd, say having a Tourette syndrome. They might just take them into custody based on the premise that a mental illness equals noncompliance with the law. So don’t you dare to have depression or a panic attack while out in the street or you’ll pay the consequences.
I think that this comment is totally out of place. Banning Muslims is one thing but labeling them with a possible mental disorder is quite another. Please note, the word possible is mine.
More so, the good doctor specializes in neurosurgery. This specialty covers things like brain tumors, traumatic brain injuries, epilepsy, congenital abnormalities etc. The treatment is usually invasive, such as, well, surgery. The neurosurgeons however, don’t treat mental issues. The latter belongs to the psychiatrists, and the treatment is usually non-invasive such as a combination of therapy and medications.
Therefore, a neurosurgeon is not qualified to diagnose mental disorders. Dr Carson however implies that his being a medical doctor gives him the necessary credibility to diagnose illnesses outside his scope of practice. But then again, he is not making a formal diagnosis; just speculates in public. Whatever it takes to please the crowd and advance in the presidential race.
According to Quora, his chances to win are very small regardless.
This post was inspired by Dr Carson’s statement which coincided with the Daily Prompt: SILENCE