No matter which model or models of mental difference most accurately reflect reality, it is still the case that many damaging stereotypes about individuals with mental differences are false.
In other words, please remember, no matter what model or models are true, that:
- There is good evidence that people with mental differences are no more likely to be violent than people who are mentally typical. And there is ample, solid evidence that people with mental differences are much more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. (see Stuart, Heather. (2003). “Violence and mental illness: an overview.” World Psychiatry, 2(2), 121.)
- People with all types of mental differences (even what are called “serious mental illnesses”) can and do “get better,” and find ways to live productive, successful, and meaningful lives, by their own definitions. There are several real-life examples of this, even in the case of individuals who were told otherwise by a doctor (see Eleanor Longden’s TED Talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syjEN3peCJw&vl=en) as just one such example).
- People with all types of mental differences are not necessarily any more irrational than those who are mentally typical. This will depend widely on various situations, but remember it is often also the case that mentally typical people can be highly irrational at many times.