On the 27th of January two orthodox Jewish men were attacked. Closing their shop, a cctv recording shows the men innocently start to walk down the street, a man passes them, and then turns back towards them and says something. The fear and shock of the men is clear to see from the video, as 18-year-old Malachi Thorpe launches an unprovoked, vicious attack on them.
Malachi is unfit to stand trial, according to his lawyers as he was suffering psychosis during the attack, and, they say, was unaware of his actions.
To explain what psychosis is please see below taken directly from the NHS website:
Psychosis is when people lose some contact with reality. This might involve seeing or hearing things that other people cannot see or hear (hallucinations) and believing things that are not actually true (delusions).
Symptoms of psychosis
The 2 main symptoms of psychosis are:
Hallucinations – where a person hears, sees and, in some cases, feels, smells or tastes things that do not exist outside their mind but can feel very real to the person affected by them; a common hallucination is hearing voices
delusions – where a person has strong beliefs that are not shared by others; a common delusion is someone believing there’s a conspiracy to harm them
The combination of hallucinations and delusional thinking can cause severe distress and a change in behaviour.
Experiencing the symptoms of psychosis is often referred to as having a psychotic episode.
As a person with bipolar disorder, the events in Stamford Hill, the arrest, and the claimed inability of the accused to stand trial is upsetting and frustrating.
Having suffered from severe psychosis on many occasions the story does not make sense to me.
First, Malachi Thorpe has as yet not seen a mental health professional, which gives rise to the question “who gave the diagnosis of psychosis”.
Second, after watching the video on slow motion, repeatedly, Malachi is seen walking slowly and calmly towards the victims, and after his vicious attack walks away, again calmly.
Let me paint you a picture of a person who is having a psychotic episode.
We don’t walk calmly, we are all over the place, we are talking to ourselves rapidly, we do not usually attack people as we are overwhelmed with the voices, the delusions, the thoughts of everything we need to do, where we need to go.
Our brains are racing, we think others are lying to us, they are hiding things from us, we could be the queen, the president, a doctor or even the Messiah. Most of all we are scared, terrified at the world around us. Nothing makes sense, people seem to be conspiring, we do not understand why no one will listen to our (what we assume to be) wisdom and advice.
I do not want to generalise, and there are many different forms of psychosis. Personally, I go “high” I am in a safe place, yet a terrifying place. Love overwhelms me, in all forms, often inappropriate loving feelings. The belief that the world is just amazing and awe inspiring overcomes me. Everyone is my friend and I feel the need to give everyone gifts, hugs, money etc.
Malachi Thorpe may very well have been experiencing psychosis, and I do not claim to know either way. I am NOT dismissing the fact that he may very well suffer some form of mental health illness, however there are too many inconsistencies for this story to be taken face value.
So many times, we read/listen to/watch about horrific crimes being committed, only to be told after that the perpetrator was suffering mental health issues. Again, there are sometimes that mental health can cause someone to commit a crime, but the “get out of jail free card” is used far to often when it comes to taking responsibility for our actions.
There are amazing organisations, and individuals out there who endeavour daily to educate the world of the realities of mental health illness, yet a single headline claiming a crime was not committed as the perp has “mental health illness” can undo years of hard work.
The stigma of mental health illness will as a result never disappear, it will still be a feared, hushed, and hidden illness.