I thought that the world had moved on since the days of the well to do visiting the inmates of 'Bedlam' on St George's Fields to stare at their condition - seems human nature never changes. It is a bit sad considering that any one of us could sucuumb to a psychotic illness at any time. I would hate to think that people were sneering at me or any one I love if they were ill. Generally we do not sneer at people with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses so why the endless fascination about some poor woman who sounds as though she is desperately unwell? Also if you are going to hold forth about schizophrenia try getting accurate information - have a read of the MIND or SANE websites and see if it dispels the ignorance and prejudice that still surrounds such illnesses.
I think beverly is right to sound a note of caution - there's a fine line between sharing experiences of someone who seems to have intimidated several of the posters in this thread, and unpleasant sneering.
I am sorry if LOAFER thinks that I am sanctious but it just strikes me as odd that racism and homophobia are (rightly) considered totally unacceptable yet those who are mentally ill or just different are still considered fair game. It was the London Dungeons comment that riled me. Mental Illness seems to be one of the last unmentionables. Hence the hoo-ha about the statue of Winston Churchill in Norwich that has hit the news today. (He is portrayed in a strait jacket to signify that he was at times imprisoned by depressive illness despite managing to function as a world leader. There is general outrage that he should be portrayed as being vulnerable in this way) I can't comment on the merits or otherwise of the statue but I think that it is interesting the fuss it has caused. If this woman is genuinely threatening or intimidating people then surely the police should be called? If she is ill it is a way of getting her the help she needs. If she is 'bad' and not 'mad' then the police can also deal with this accordingly.
Beverly - Loafer clearly says that he agrees with you - as I'm sure do the majority of people who post here.
It's always dangerous to attempt to read tone of voice into a post.
Mental illness is kind of the last taboo - it is hard to understand and subsequently people are scared because they don't understand. It is quite a natural 'defence' to mock what you are scared of or don't understand. I am certain that no one is being malicious here - we are good people.
I started this thread because I was struck by this local woman's extraordinary appearance and eccentric behaviour. To be honest I thought it went without saying that she has some mental health problems, and that this would inform any further comments. OK,perhaps some of the comments that followed were a bit uncalled for, but I don't think her obvious mental illness makes discussion of her outlandish appearance and demeanour out of bounds.