Jodi Arias – Mental Health Stigma Heightened


Will Jodi Arias take the stand to save her life? Today is the last day of this 4 1/2 month court case. We have heard from Travis Alexander’s family, who have waited 5 years to speak to the jury, it was gut wrenching to hear his brother and sister speak.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to hear the statements, read text messages, voice mails that appear to be cut and pasted to make Travis Alexander appear as a pedophile, as a sex addict and as an abuser. 

I, like many people, have followed this trial of Jodi Arias. For those that don’t know, read my blog

I struggle with a mental illness, I am a domestic abuse survivor, I have been at rock bottom and I chose to work on my mental health and own what is my responsibility. 

When I heard that it is clear that Jodi Arias has a mental illness, that to expect her to give an honest answer to questions asked, is unrealistic. I cringed. I cringed because that means that she doesn’t and won’t own anything she has ever done. Many people have expressed disgust at Jodi’s description of being a domestic abuse victim. While I am not Jodi, I do not know if anything she has said is minutely the truth. I can assume none of it is the truth, but that is my frustration speaking. 

My feeling is that the work that has been done to promote the complexities of mental illness. The already strong stigmas associated with Depression, Schizophrenia, Anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, BiPolar 1 and 2, Borderline Personality Disorder, Eating Disorders, Social Anxieties, etc., will now be associated with criminals like Jodi Arias.  

I’ve had a huge battle to get where I am in finally getting a diagnosis other than being called depressed, chronically depressed, and struggled to keep employment with the assumptions made about me. I don’t work but not because I don’t want to, but because my mental illnesses are complex and multi layered. Yet the stigma associated with already having a mental illness, already panic me at the mere thought of going for a job interview because I have no idea how I would describe the several years I haven’t worked for fear of being judged and deemed unstable to work with any company. 

Now with the likes of Jodi Arias and her delusions that while she did murder Travis Alexander, she hasn’t owned that she did it because of jealousy, among many reasons. My fear is that when people hear I have a mental illness, that they will assume I have the potential to be a murderer, that I will be a criminal, that I will be unpredictable, such as Jodi is. No one knows what she will say, if she takes the stand today. No one believes she will apologize and be authentic in her statement. 

I understand why no one would believe her. She has changed her story so many times, it is like watching a chameleon morphing to suit whomever is defending her. Her tears are for her not for what she has taken away, the consequences associated with the severity and brutality of the crime committed.  The tears of for Jodi. 

While I am not a proponent for the death penalty; I see it as the belief that two wrongs don’t make a right or an eye for an eye. Sure American tax dollars will be what pay for her to live in jail for life, perhaps in solidarity seeing that she appears to love being the center of attention, to have people talking about her. 

I really, really hope that all the work that has been done, the years it has taken to speak, to educate and to promote that anyone who has a mental illness are a vital person to society, that although we (and I say we, not I) may be complex in our emotions, we are still quite capable to be employed in employment not just on minimum wage. For many years, I held and sustained employment as a legal secretary. That we are treated equally and fairly.



7 thoughts on “Jodi Arias – Mental Health Stigma Heightened

  1. Hello, your blog is the most interesting writing I found on JA, but what she did is so crazy and how she behave afterward almost as crazy as her crime, it seems that she is just profoundly mentally sick and has not full consciousness even if she appears so because she is very articulated!

    I’ll try to “prove” it :

    * The crime is 100% nuts, full rage, it seems like a overwhelming borderline / narcissist reaction using some sort of psychopath ability for the efficiency.
    o In my experience borderlines rage a lot and hit easily, but for that level and efficiency, it’s a full different scale! We had around Europe an affair very similar ( except that the guy was extremely rich, he got shot by 4 bullets inside his latex suit during a sex game and she got just a few years in jail.
    * She is very incoherent after being caught :
    o She smile so happily “it’s not me”, for someone normal who did not do that, they would probably still being concerned and grave about the situation (a lost life and still in jail + they would have try all possibilities to prove their innocence).
    o She uses a stupid cover : burglars! I think in the whole world not a single burglar did such a butchery before escaping.
    o She seems at some point of the trial to brag about her happy normal old family life! Why? If it’s true it just means that she has even less excuses to kill! It seems to come from stupidity and emotional impairment (show you the nice picture so you are nice with me).

    She fits quite well the image of 3 year old emotional brain trapped in adulthood! Give a gun to a young child and he/she is likely to kill a sibling because a toy got stolen! Happend quite a lot also thanks to the children weapons! At the same times she is probably more than just that, at least narcissistic protective layers, years of uncoherant thinking and probably many more! So what happens in her life? She probably got badly abused, may be she doesn’t remember, may be she does not want! Mystery, but she does not deserve capital punishment, because I think she is limit irresponsible, and probably fully irresponsible when emotional pressure is up. I wonder why nobody suggested a brain scan! Neural pattern like borderline or sociopathy are easy to visualize and she probably got both!

    In summary she is just fully crazy, she should be locked in an asylum and cured, if it’s possible (probably not), but she could do very usefull things if allowed to, and she could be a very interesting subject for psychiatry, so killing her would be a double crime : against her and science.

  2. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills as neatly as with the structure to your blog. Is this a paid subject or did you modify it yourself? Either way stay up the excellent high quality writing, it’s rare to see a great weblog like this one these days..

  3. Hi, you brought this post to my attention. I follow your blog but I must have missed this because I like to read other opinions about this. With regards to the stigma with mental illness. What the general public doesn’t understand is that first of all, having a mental illness does not all fall into one criteria. All mental illnesses to not mean a person is prone to any certain behavior. However, some illnesses can cause delusions. But a person with any disorder can be treated to some extent. Having a mental illness does not excuse people who do violent acts. I would also say that People do many violent acts who have no real mental illness. But, the stigma is going to be there as long as they aren’t interested in being educated about it. It causes a certain amount of discrimination not unlike all of the other groups of people who are discriminated against. It is because of pure ignorance and I doubt humanity will ever be short on that. I know that mental illness has so many stigma attached to it as it is. Like you, I feel I have had to somehow defend myself for being on Social Security instead of working the last 12 years. But, all we can do is stand up for ourselves as it happens and maybe, some people will one day get it.

  4. I, too, have a mental illness and fear this is a set-back for all of us.

    As for capital punishment, not only does it fail to deter crime, it is also more costly to American tax payers (because of legal costs associated with appeals) than life imprisonment.

    Thank you for your thoughtful reflections.

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