A Response To Countless Online Comments

Dear stranger on the internet,

You don’t know me, but I saw what you wrote about me today.
You wrote that you believe somebody should take me from my home against my will and lock me away, solely because I have a health condition.
You weren’t writing about me personally. It was much worse than that. You were writing about an entire group of people that I happen to be a part of. This group of people is estimated to include roughly 1 out of every 5 people in the United States, if not more.
You wrote this because you read an article about a man who did something terrible, and that man may have had a mental health condition. You seem to believe that mental health conditions cause violence, but that’s not true.

I don’t have much to say to you, but I wanted you to know that I saw what you wrote. I wanted to let you know that every time you say something like this, someone like me probably hears you. I wanted you to realize that this group of people you believe should be imprisoned almost certainly includes some of your friends, coworkers, and loved ones.

I hope someday you change your belief. I hope someday people like me can live freely, without having to fear being put on lists or locked up or forcibly drugged because of your fears. I hope someday we can talk openly about our health conditions without risking the loss of friends, employment, or educational opportunity. I hope someday we can all seek and have access to any and all the healthcare we might need, without having to worry about what kind of stigma might come with it.