Recently a woman picked up an ambien prescription from her pharmacy and saw on her customer file the words \"This customer is craZy\" and \"She\'s a psycho.\" This caused her great stress and reinforced her fear that she is seen as inferior, among other, worse perceptions. This is unacceptable behavior on the part of a pharmacy, or any professional institution, and it is indeed worthy of a lawsuit which has currently been initiated. Ambien is a mild medication, often prescribed as a sleeping aid. There are far, far stronger medications prescribed to those suffering from mental illness. Though there may be some truth in the claim that medications are being overprescribed and diagnoses too readily handed out, it does not change the fact that a large number of people within our global community have one mental illness or another. There is an enormous variety of mental illness - from mild to severe. Many of those considered \"mentally ill\" live productive lives, have contributed to our societies, and through treatment and medication are no different than those considered \"normal.\" Normal being an utterly useless label and somewhat mythological. The recent news report brought up the fact that there continues to be a strong stigma attached to mental illness, that discrimination and misinformation abound within society and that no one within the political realm and other offices of power are doing anything to help minimize the mistreatment of those who have mental illness. We must act to bring these issues to the mainstream and to the awareness of the general population. We must work to improve understanding and do as much as we can to help remove the stigma, combat the discrimination and mistreatment, and demand equal rights for those human beings with mental illness. The media, the government, civil rights organizations, and all other bodies of power, should be working to towards the goal of improving the quality of life for people with mental illness.
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