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Is Debra Lafave A Bipolar Disorder Publicist?
March 29, 2006
by Tony Zizza

Just when I thought our culture couldn't sink any further into the ground, along comes a child molestor by the name of Debra Lafave who is serving as something of a bipolar disorder publicist.

Where is the outrage? She had sexual relations with a boy who was not old enough to consent, and now all we hear is bipolar disorder is REAL. From what I understand, this Tampa teacher engaged in sex when she was 23, and her student/victim was 14. If the genders were reversed, we all know what would happen. Certainly, there is a double standard for sex crimes in our country, but this is a small problem compared to the large problem staring us right in the face.

That is, the MIC (mental illness card) is being played by everyone now in criminal court cases. I mean, the gender bias is disgusting, but if you get anything out of the Lafave trial, it was a huge advertising campaign for bipolar disorder and its treatment/drugs. Debra Lafave is a scourge upon our culture because she represents everything no one should want to become.

She became a celebrity through a crime and through the smoke and mirrors of mental illness posturing and pandering. If there ever was a poster girl for bipolar disorder, it's Debra Lafave. Why can't she just be honest and admit that she likes sex? Actually, scratch that. Why can't she just be honest and admit that she really likes sex and thought she could get away with it? After all, 14 year old boys would think they won the lottery by living out a hot for teacher fantasy, right?

I don't know about you, but I'm really getting sick and tired of adults getting away with crimes by using a defense made up of subjective mental disorders that seem to be worn like a red badge of courage. I look at someone like Debra Lafave and wonder how she can sleep at night knowing what a farce she has made out of herself, out of the criminal justice system, out of the mental health industry, and out of her victim and his family.

You would have to have a brain smaller than a pea to ever buy a book that Debra Lafave comes up with. It appears she wanted to, and she will continue to define herself not by choices she must live with, but with a subjective bipolar mental disorder. We used to know that Terry Bradshaw was a great quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. We now seem to identify him more with being a publicist for Paxil. So it is with Debra Lafave. I wonder if she will be invited to speak at The National Institute of Mental Health? What about The American Psychiatric Association?

Actually, here is a better idea. We need to get Debra Lafave together with runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks. Remember her? Less than a year ago, Jennifer Wilbanks was all over the news claiming that mental illness drove her to lie about hispanic men taking her hostage when she really should have been getting married. Here's something else. Why is mental illness always used as an excuse for doing something - wrong?

I can't help but wonder how our culture will survive when everyone and everything is defined and explained away by playing the mental illness card. You would think we would find it insulting, childish, and pathetic. Nevertheless, the likes of a Debra Lafave and Jennifer Wilbanks blanket our news shows and newspapers. It seems the way to gain publicity, make money, and escape criminal punishment is to say a mental disorder told me to have sex or run away from a marriage.

What makes me really sick is when women like Debra Lafave and Jennifer Wilbanks blame the media for extensive coverage. For someone like Debra Lafave, the media seems like a great avenue to announce to the world you are taking a journalism course online because "God has given me a great outlet to write, and I would hope I could reach people through writing." Quite a gem from Debra Lafave, wouldn't you say?

As twisted a quote this is from her, it gets better. She has also announced to the world after molesting a child, "I am a strong Christian woman. I believe that God has a path for me, and this was just a bump in the road." Does she ever take the time to notice what a walking contradiction in terms she really is? Does she have any genuine integrity or honor?

Not to worry. Debra Lafave's moment in the sun will turn to rain when we all finally realize that a crime is still a crime, no matter what flavor of the month mental disorder is being served up.

Zizza is a freelance writer who lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He writes frequently about mental health issues, and serves as Vice President for the State of Georgia for the non-profit organization, Parents For Label and Drug Free Education.

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