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Old 12-17-2012, 01:17 PM   #21
 
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The more I think of it, the more I think this mental health discussion (in general, not just on here) is a smokescreen. If we focus on identifying mentally ill people and restricting their access to weapons, we don't have to worry about the rest of the population, and their access to weapons, or anything in society or culture that could be creating killers. And we can stigmatize the mentally ill and leave weapons owners seeming normal.
ITA.

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Old 12-17-2012, 01:29 PM   #22
 
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I wish I knew what the exact solution was. As I mentioned in the shooting thread, facilities were opened in my surrounding area, people who needed supervision and assistance were brought in from other states, and the facilities were the cut and eventually closed. Yet, those in need still remain with few case workers to assist all. It is not ideal.

I also wonder about diagnosis. I have heard so many people, who are honestly happy and have no issues, being told that they are depressed by others simply because they have a bad week or two. I have seen people turn sentimentality and sensitivity into depression. That is as frustrating.

I do wish some meds would be re evaluated because I have known people who became bi polar after taking anti anxiety medications. People who have never hurt anyone, or had violent tendencies, suddenly started beating and threatening family members. It took some time to find the cause for the change.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:32 PM   #23
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I'm not sure if there's a crises. There will always be a percentage of the people who are mentally ill. As our population grows so does the group. So many states are against cheaper care for the healthy I don't think expanding it will pass congress at least in these economic times. I do remember during the 80's state and federal government closed many mental institutions that resulted in thousands wondering the streets homeless.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:59 PM   #24
 
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the reason i used the word crisis is because i work in life insurance and one thing we have seen is an increase in suicides. we don't know why. we believe finances are linked but not exactly sure how. there were some articles last month that tried to connect certain financial metrics with increases in suicide but it's not clear cut.

aside from increases in suicides, there seem to have been more cases of familicide in the news, cases of parents killing one or all of their kids, mass shootings at malls, public places and of course schools. it seems these events weren't as common as they are now. i don't think mentally healthy people could be capable of doing these terrible things so it seems like a crisis when these events are occuring on a very frequent basis but semantics aside i think the discussion about what to do about someone who isn't fully functional in society from a mental health perspective is needed. what can we do to assist that person so they have a decent/good quality of life and what can be done so that if there's the potential for them to harm themselves, family members or strangers it's all removed?
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:27 PM   #25
 
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Are people like this gunman really mentally ill or just evil? Why do people who do things like this get labelled with an illness? Maybe they are just a 'bad egg' and evil?
I don't believe in evil. I think all violence stems from dysfunction and illness. Yes, even war. That is societal-level dysfunction and illness.
Do you believe people are inherently 'good'? I agree with dysfunction but not necessarily 'illness'.

Some people are just 'bad eggs'.
ITA, curlylaura. I believe in "nature" and "nurture". Dysfunction and illness can certainly be causes of a person's behavior, but I don't think that all people are inherently good.

I think some people are simply rotten to the core...they might be capable of having/showing a good side of themselves, but their true colors will come out. This is why labels like "narcissist" and "sociopath" exist, IMO, although they are sometimes tossed around too freely.

There are people who truly enjoy hurting others and they have no conscience or empathy.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:42 PM   #26
 
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Not all people with mental illnesses are crazy and end up as killers. I have one (aspbergers) and I'm perfectly normal just a little quieter than usually. I am tired of people judging others based on their traits. Just because some people with Asberger's kills some people, doesn't mean all or the majority will. Just because some black people shoot or steal, doesn't mean all or the majority will. Just because some boys are players, doesn't mean all boys are. Just because someone is shy and sits in the back of the classroom doesn't mean he or she is plotting to kill someone. Those are all sterotypes and are just believed because they are highly publicized.

But to answer your question on what we can do, unless there is a way we can get people to be more respectful I don't think there is anything we can do. No words or medicine can cure depression. I'm not sure about the mind set of killers but they probrably kill to get revenge on someone who disrespected them. People with mental illnesses cope with things in different ways, not all are violent. I cope by talking to people. But just look everywhere: in person and online people are just so rude. Not all people though. I'm pretty sure others with mental illnesses go through tramatic events that can be pretty hard to cope with such as bullying, family issues, etc.
Asperger's syndrome is not a mental disorder. It is a developmental disorder .
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:53 PM   #27
 
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Life is different when you have a child that is wired differently. The typical methods of discipline aren't always effective because these children aren't neurotypical. I'm not sure what the answer is. I just keep trying whatever I can to help my son. It's heartbreaking. That is all I can say.

'I Am Adam Lanza's Mother': A Mom's Perspective On The Mental Illness Conversation In America

ETA: I did not write the above. It just resonated with me and I wanted to share it with you.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:37 PM   #28
 
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Not all people with mental illnesses are crazy and end up as killers. I have one (aspbergers) and I'm perfectly normal just a little quieter than usually. I am tired of people judging others based on their traits. Just because some people with Asberger's kills some people, doesn't mean all or the majority will. Just because some black people shoot or steal, doesn't mean all or the majority will. Just because some boys are players, doesn't mean all boys are. Just because someone is shy and sits in the back of the classroom doesn't mean he or she is plotting to kill someone. Those are all sterotypes and are just believed because they are highly publicized.

But to answer your question on what we can do, unless there is a way we can get people to be more respectful I don't think there is anything we can do. No words or medicine can cure depression. I'm not sure about the mind set of killers but they probrably kill to get revenge on someone who disrespected them. People with mental illnesses cope with things in different ways, not all are violent. I cope by talking to people. But just look everywhere: in person and online people are just so rude. Not all people though. I'm pretty sure others with mental illnesses go through tramatic events that can be pretty hard to cope with such as bullying, family issues, etc.
Asperger's syndrome is not a mental disorder. It is a developmental disorder .
It's usage is being phased out anyway (replaced by the more general Autism Spectrum Disorders umbrella).
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:43 PM   #29
 
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The more I think of it, the more I think this mental health discussion (in general, not just on here) is a smokescreen. If we focus on identifying mentally ill people and restricting their access to weapons, we don't have to worry about the rest of the population, and their access to weapons, or anything in society or culture that could be creating killers. And we can stigmatize the mentally ill and leave weapons owners seeming normal.

I agree completely; it;s also an easy escape from talking about how much we accept and glorify and even expect violence from our children and our boys in particular. It's easier to blame organic mental illness than a pervasive pattern of behavior in society as a whole.
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:56 PM   #30
 
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I'm not sure I agree with the developing consensus that the Connecticut shootings had much to do with mental illness. The jury's still out on that - there's not enough information.

I personally think that whenever these things happen (Colorado movie theatre, etc.) the media labels the killer as "mentally ill" because everyone is so desperate for an explanation. Interestingly, when someone who is an Other does something (9/11 terrorists, Black gangbangers shooting up somewhere) no one calls them mentally ill - they're just evil or bad or enemies. But white men committing mass murder in public aka terrorism? Must be mentally ill. And that just stigmatizes people who actually are. But that's my opinion.

In terms of mental health issues, I think medication compliance is a huge issue and it is so difficult to deal with. I'm facing this now with several clients. How do you respect someone's autonomy and dignity but also act in their true best interests? Do we need better meds or better supports for people on them, or what?
Totally agree, I am totally "guilty" of wanting it to be mental illness. Because if it's just some "evil" I feel like it's like saying we can't do anything to try to prevent it.

Also, your point about who we classify as mentally ill in these situations.....definitely agree.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:23 PM   #31
 
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Are people like this gunman really mentally ill or just evil? Why do people who do things like this get labelled with an illness? Maybe they are just a 'bad egg' and evil?
I don't believe in evil. I think all violence stems from dysfunction and illness. Yes, even war. That is societal-level dysfunction and illness.
Do you believe people are inherently 'good'? I agree with dysfunction but not necessarily 'illness'.

Some people are just 'bad eggs'.
Yes, I believe people are inherently good.

I don't think some people are just bad eggs, I think they have something wrong with their brain chemistry that makes or allows them do bad things without feeling guilt or empathy. Someone who has that sort of makeup is sick, the same way someone else has a chronic physical disease.

I probably should have said “mental illness” above. That's what I really meant.

It's kind of a chicken-and-egg discussion, however. I mean, what does it really matter, if someone's that sick, then you might as well label them a bad egg and be done with it. But I still feel deep down that people are inherently good.

Sorry for mixing all the egg metaphors.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:24 PM   #32
 
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dr. oz and dr. drew discussed mental illness and making sense of newtown on the dr. oz show today. it was a good show. several therapists on there. an emphasis that nobody knows all the answers of why this happened and we'll never know everything. very touching.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:35 PM   #33
 
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I worked with a 6 year old who was suicidal. A cousin's 8 year old has been diagnosed with a form of schizophrenia. It's scary to think of them in 30 years. 10 years.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:30 AM   #34
 
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^^^ sad.

other organs in the body malfunction or don't work optimally. it's no surprise that the brain can malfunction or not be as healthy as it should be. several factors including nutrition, sleep, environment, exercise, etc. come into play when someones brain is not in it's optimal state. i'm not saying the newtown shooter had or didn't have a malfunctioning brain i'm simply asserting that in general we as a society make the assumption that everybody's brain is functioning at full capacity when that simply is not true.

i agree with whoever suggested earlier that there needs to be more campaigns around mental health, like cancer, obesity, etc. there is a mental health month, we're a sharp group...does anybody know what it is? may. just like there are a zillion things focused on breast cancer awareness we need to be screaming from the rooftops about mental health. there are some common traits that people exhibit when there are mental health issues, everyone in schools, families, etc should be taught how to identify these things. everyone needs to be on alert. just like alcoholics can be "functioning alcoholics" i believe there are a lot of people functioning, albeit not optimally, with mental health issues. i think we see it with the coworker that gets set off by the least little thing, by the soccer mom or dad that blows a fuse over a kids game and so on and so on. we can't turn a blind eye to family members and friends where we know something just ain't right, it's too dangerous for society.
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:45 AM   #35
 
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Originally Posted by wild~hair View Post

I don't believe in evil. I think all violence stems from dysfunction and illness. Yes, even war. That is societal-level dysfunction and illness.
Do you believe people are inherently 'good'? I agree with dysfunction but not necessarily 'illness'.

Some people are just 'bad eggs'.
Yes, I believe people are inherently good.

I don't think some people are just bad eggs, I think they have something wrong with their brain chemistry that makes or allows them do bad things without feeling guilt or empathy. Someone who has that sort of makeup is sick, the same way someone else has a chronic physical disease.

I probably should have said “mental illness” above. That's what I really meant.

It's kind of a chicken-and-egg discussion, however. I mean, what does it really matter, if someone's that sick, then you might as well label them a bad egg and be done with it. But I still feel deep down that people are inherently good.

Sorry for mixing all the egg metaphors.
That makes sense
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:35 AM   #36
 
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I learned something scary yesterday. If you were to ask me: who is the least mentally stable person you know, there is this woman I would immediately think of. I'm not sure what is up with her, she may be bi-polar. She definitely has anger management issues. I used to volunteer for an organization she runs and every single time we had an event she would completely lose it at least once. Just start screaming at someone, in a public place, in front of volunteers and customers. The whole bit. I have seen her snap sooooo many times.

Even when she is happy and "normal" (for her) she comes across as intense and a little scary.

Anyway, I learned yesterday from a Facebook convo SHE has a gun. Maybe even more than one gun. I really shouldn't be surprised, given her politics -- she's also one of those people who thinks the world is ending because Obama got re-elected. *eyeroll*

She is like one of last people who should ever be allowed to have a gun.

This is the kind of stuff that scares me. This is why the U.S. is so messed up.

And I had already distanced myself from her quite a bit, for obvious reasons. I'll be doing more of that.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:53 AM   #37
 
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I actually thought the opposite was true, that humans are inherently evil which is why many say that religion was invented. Well originally to have some type of law/moral code.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:59 AM   #38
 
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Originally Posted by wild~hair View Post

I don't believe in evil. I think all violence stems from dysfunction and illness. Yes, even war. That is societal-level dysfunction and illness.
Do you believe people are inherently 'good'? I agree with dysfunction but not necessarily 'illness'.

Some people are just 'bad eggs'.
Yes, I believe people are inherently good.

I don't think some people are just bad eggs, I think they have something wrong with their brain chemistry that makes or allows them do bad things without feeling guilt or empathy. Someone who has that sort of makeup is sick, the same way someone else has a chronic physical disease.

I probably should have said “mental illness” above. That's what I really meant.

It's kind of a chicken-and-egg discussion, however. I mean, what does it really matter, if someone's that sick, then you might as well label them a bad egg and be done with it. But I still feel deep down that people are inherently good.

Sorry for mixing all the egg metaphors.

OK, so to play Devil's Advocate...

Do you believe Hitler was inherently good?

What about Pol Pot or Idi Amin?

Ted Bundy?

It's really hard for me to wrap my head around the notion that humans are inherently good when I think of people like this.

But I'm drawing no conclusions mind you.... moreso just kind of "talking things out" that are going on inside my head!
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:04 AM   #39
 
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Not all people with mental illnesses are crazy and end up as killers. I have one (aspbergers) and I'm perfectly normal just a little quieter than usually. I am tired of people judging others based on their traits. Just because some people with Asberger's kills some people, doesn't mean all or the majority will. Just because some black people shoot or steal, doesn't mean all or the majority will. Just because some boys are players, doesn't mean all boys are. Just because someone is shy and sits in the back of the classroom doesn't mean he or she is plotting to kill someone. Those are all sterotypes and are just believed because they are highly publicized.

But to answer your question on what we can do, unless there is a way we can get people to be more respectful I don't think there is anything we can do. No words or medicine can cure depression. I'm not sure about the mind set of killers but they probrably kill to get revenge on someone who disrespected them. People with mental illnesses cope with things in different ways, not all are violent. I cope by talking to people. But just look everywhere: in person and online people are just so rude. Not all people though. I'm pretty sure others with mental illnesses go through tramatic events that can be pretty hard to cope with such as bullying, family issues, etc.
Asperger's syndrome is not a mental disorder. It is a developmental disorder .
I also take medicine for depression, which runs in my family.
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