Re: Mental illness: the other side

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From:Paul Howard Lockwood <>
To:Bryan Llewellyn <>, Histonet <>
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Dear Bryan,
     My thoughts exactly. I appreciate your courage in voicing them.
     As for the comments made about a supervisor needing to know the
mental state of their employees, I ask this question: At what point
does caring for an employee become intrusive, and even discriminatory?
A short seminar, or even a couple of semesters of Behavioral
Psychology does not qualify someone to make a diagnosis, or any
judgement concerning a person's mental state. This is always best left
to a professional with years of training, and an internship under
their belt.
      Paul Howard Lockwood 
- -----Original Message-----
From: Bryan Llewellyn <>
To: Histonet <>
Date: Monday, July 10, 2000 1:00 AM
Subject: Mental illness: the other side

>> Lastly, if we screen out all of the mentally ill from jobs, what
>> are we to do with them? They have rights, and one of them is the
>> to pursue happiness by being gainfully employed.
>I too thought long and hard about whether I should reply to the
postings on
>this subject.  I finally decided that I should because I can bring an
>to the discussion that has not yet been made.  Please excuse what may
>to be bragging, but I am going to speak very frankly because I have
>some off the comments made on this subject quite demeaning and
insulting.  I
>do not apologise for saying this.  I think it needs to be said.
>I am a long time chronic depressive.  I have been depressed on and
>(mostly on) for about 50 years (I am 57), and have been a passive
>since I was about eight.  The source of my emotional problems is
abuse as a
>child; physical, sexual and emotional.  Did you ever wonder where
>children went when they grew up?  We hide among you.
>Depression is considered to be a mental illness.  I am therefore one
>those people you are all wondering whether you should fire because
you are
>concerned I might attack you.
>I do my job, and rather well, I always thought.  I am the supervisor
of a
>small histology lab, and have been the supervisor of a very large
>lab years ago in Winnipeg.  I qualified at the highest possible
>available at the time (1969 and 1979) in two countries (Britain and
>I authored and administered for several years three separate
>courses for the Canadian professional Society in advanced
>techniques.  I have written a few papers on histological subjects
>staining, H&E substitutes).  I set up the StainsFile web page, and
have done
>all the work for it with the exception of one article.  I venture to
>that I have received considerable respect for my technical abilities
>the years from coworkers and pathologists, some of whom have been
>I am politically active and have been asked on more than one occasion
to run
>for office provincially.  I have been declared an honorary woman
because of
>my strong committment to gender equity.  I feel just as strongly
>racial equality and gay and lesbian issues.  I venture to suggest
that I
>have made a noticeable contribution to society.
>I have been married to Linda for 37 years.  She has borne the brunt
of my
>depression for all that time.  We have three children, all of whom
are well
>educated (Jason a city planner, Stevyn a pharmacist, and David a
>student in organo-metallic chemistry at McGill unioversity).  None of
>have inherited my depression.  All of them love and respect me and
will miss
>me when I die.
>Mentall illness is no more a single entity than any other branch of
>activity.  Both smallpox and the common cold are viral diseases, but
>would anyone in their right mind think that a person with a cold is
>dangerous as a person with smallpox.  Please get a perspective. 
>illness ranges from the inocuous to the dangerous.  Most people alive
>means you) have some kind of a neurosis, and all neuroses are a form
>mental illness.  From very personal experience, I can tell you that
>who suffer most from mentall illnesses are the people with it and
those who
>love them.  An example is the poor progress of the StainsFile web
site, on
>which I have been unable to work for a year.
>I am most certainly not ashamed of my mental state.  In fact, I am
>proud of the fact that I have been strong willed enough to rise above
>handicap.  I think I have made a contribution to society.  I have
never hit
>anyone.  I have never killed anyone.  I treat others with respect. 
>should I be discriminated against because someone else has a hangup
>neurosis) about emotional disorders?  Why should I be fired when it
is your
>problem?  Would you fire me if I had one arm?  Would you refuse to
work with
>me if I stuttered?  Would you send me to the back of the bus if I
>black?  Please tell me how discriminating against me because of my
>depression is any different from those things.
>Remember, we are all innocent until proven guilty.  Please do not
fire me
>until I have done something worth being fired for.  As for not hiring
>someone because in a ten minute interview, an interviewer with no
>psychiatric training decides the candidate is nuts, please, get a
>I would request that people think before they post comments that are
>demeaning to those like me.
>Bryan Llewellyn
>Depressive, and absolutely NOT ashamed of it.
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