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Insensitive column

I am compelled to respond to Patt Morrison’s Other Voices column, “One nation, off its meds.” I will not take issue with her content – she does, after all, have the right to her opinion – but with The Union for printing a column that is so insensitive to the mentally ill in our community.

Even the title is pejorative and dismissive. The implication that the mentally ill are incompetent, stupid and politically unaware is not only false, but incredibly simple-minded. Blaming mental illness for bad political decisions is simply intellectual laziness and an inability to think critically about a viewpoint one disagrees with.

Yes, there are mentally ill people who are paranoid and believe in conspiracy theories, but these symptoms should be met with respect and compassion, not used to describe a political enemy’s position in the manner of Morrison’s column. I suffer from bipolar disorder, but my degree in political theory has far more to do with my political decisions than my illness. Please remember that mental illness affects one in five Americans, and that those of us who are ill may be “crazy” but we’re not stupid.



Catie Elzie

Grass Valley


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