Racism is a Mental Illness: Why We Need to Talk About It | MHMNow.org

There is a lot of talk about racism in the United States right now (as there has always been and is likely to forever be). Some people believe that racism is a mental illness, and I happen to agree with them. Racism is not just an act of hatred or discrimination: it is a mental illness that affects everyone involved. In this article, we will discuss why racism should be considered a mental illness, and why we need to start talking about it more openly.

I do not make these statements lightly as mental illness is a serious issue. All too often, bad things happen and it is blamed on mental illness. In some instances, it is true which points to the gaping holes in our healthcare system and true help/treatment for severe mental illness. Other times, it’s just talk…a scapegoat if you will. But the fact is mental illness is a breakdown of the mind. It can cause people to act in ways that are harmful to themselves and others. Racism consists of peoples thoughts causing them to believe that one race is superior to another. This belief can lead to discrimination and even violence against members of the 'inferior' race. 

 Racism is a mental illness, but it is not an excuse for hateful or violent behavior. Mental illness does not excuse racism, but it does help to explain it. If we want to address racism, we need to start by recognizing it as a mental health issue. Only then can we begin to talk about it openly and work towards a solution.

There is no denying that racism exists. It's an ugly reality that we have to face every day. But what if I told you that racism is actually a mental illness?

You might not agree, but hear me out. Racism is a form of discrimination based on race. It could be viewed as a mental illness because it is an irrational belief that causes people to believe that one race is superior to another. This can lead to discrimination and even violence against members of the 'inferior' race.

 So why don't we talk about racism as a mental illness? For one, it's stigmatized. Mental illness is already seen as shameful and taboo. But when you add the word "racism" to it, it becomes even more loaded and controversial.

 There's also a lot of denial. Nobody wants to admit that they're racist. It's easier to pretend that racism doesn't exist or that it's not a problem. But the truth is, racism is very real and it's a serious problem.

 Plus, we don’t want to offend people that deal, battle, fight or live with mental illness in a manageable way and don’t want the negative association. 

However, to me, all of this explains exactly why we need to talk about racism as a mental illness because it's the only way to change it. Ignoring the problem won't make it go away. In fact, it will only make things worse. By talking about racism openly and honestly, we can start to address the issue head-on. Only then can we begin to find ways to treat and prevent it. Otherwise, we're just putting a Band-Aid on a much bigger problem.

 What do you think? Is racism a mental illness? Maybe you don’t want to call it a mental illness but it’s definitely a mental deficiency, and one that needs addressing. Thanks for reading!