mental illness, not guns

Discussion in 'Politics' started by mont974x4, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. mont974x4

    mont974x4
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    Friday’s horrific national tragedy—the murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in New Town, Connecticut—has ignited a new discussion on violence in America. In kitchens and coffee shops across the country, we tearfully debate the many faces of violence in America: gun culture, media violence, lack of mental health services, overt and covert wars abroad, religion, politics and the way we raise our children. Liza Long, a writer based in Boise, says it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

    http://now.msn.com/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother-says-mom-of-mentally-ill-son
     
  2. annsni

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    But was Adam Lanza mentally ill? THAT is the question of the day.
     
  3. mont974x4

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    Most likely, yes, he was. If you read the blog you will get a sense for how difficult this situation is, and we'd be surprised to learn just how common these problems are. Diagnosing and treating mental illness is extremely difficult. That's the foundation of the problem addressed in the blog. That's the discussion we should be having.
     
  4. annsni

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    Most likely he was? Why? It's all gossip right now that he had Aspergers and we have no evidence at all yet that he did, in fact, have it.

    In order to deal with mental illness, it needs to be diagnosed. We don't know that he was diagnosed with anything.
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    Dr. Manny: Don't jump to hasty conclusions about Newtown shooter

    In the wake of Friday’s horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children and six staff dead, many of my colleagues in the media have asked me to give my opinion on the atypical behavior of Adam Lanza, which has mainly been reported by friends of the gunman’s mother and first victim, Nancy Lanza.

    It is being widely reported that the shooter Lanza suffered from Asperger’s syndrome, a diagnosis that has only been described by friends and classmates who used to know him. Even though I have not seen any official confirmation to tell me that this individual was diagnosed and treated for Asperger’s during the course of his early childhood, many folks want to know if this condition could have led to this horrific crime.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/...nclusions-about-newton-shooter/#ixzz2FM2zc3Pr
     
  6. mont974x4

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    A mentally healthy person would not take such actions.

    http://news.msn.com/us/gunmans-mother-kept-trials-of-home-life-hidden


    Now, let's think of this in the broader reality. It's easy to point to guns. However, millions of people own guns, many of us own multiple guns, and its a sad, tragic few that commit these horrible acts. In fact many times they are not even using their own guns. A knee jerk reaction is to seek more regulations and pass more laws. These do nothing to address the problem.

    We must look past the clutter, pass the emotional rhetoric, and past the talking points. What is the root cause of these tragedies? It is not guns. There is something going on in the minds of these, predominantly, young men. We need to discover what that is. It's true that mental illness can not be treated unless it is diagnosed. Reading the blog in the OP and considering my personal experience it appears that getting diagnosed is no easy task. Part of the reason is the complex nature of the human mind and the fact that no two people are exactly the same. Also, part of the problem is the broken health care system. It is very, very hard to get the help these individuals, and their families, need.

    These poor people did not die on a whim. They did not die because someone saw a gun and decided to go kill as many people as they could. There is a real reason that must be sought out.

    Keep in mind, like any other health situation, there are degrees of seriousness in mental health. Many of us on this board deal with depression, PTSD, and other issues and manage a decent and productive life. Others need more in-depth treatment, and others need a safe place to go in order to get help.


    Now, theologically we can sum this all up as sin problem or a consequence of the fall. What I am hoping we can consider, and avoid the distraction of the gun issue, is how that consequence is being played out in the lives of the people who are committing these acts. Something drives a person to do these things. Something makes a person have no regard for laws or for life.

    Making more laws will just more laws will be broken by people who don't care about them anyways.
     
  7. annsni

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    That I will agree with but we need to see how much of is man's issues were known by people who could have maybe done something.
     
  8. mont974x4

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    I just read this and thought it was worth sharing. Dr. Ablow describes how broken our mental health care system is.

    An excerpt:

    Focusing on gun control does more than squander the time and effort of our public officials and state resources and town police forces, it distracts us dangerously from the real work that must be done.

    America’s mental health care system is shattered and on its knees

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/12/17/why-cant-america-care-for-mentally-ill/#ixzz2FMso9UKi
     
  9. Gina B

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    I have to disagree with this, based on my own experiences with kids and those of friends, many of which adopted older children. Mentally healthy people don't go about shooting children.

    We call it "alphabet soup disorder." Diagnosing mental illness is a real mess and there are so many differing opinions out there that you can go to one place one day and another the next, and they'll try to call the problem something different. Then there are disorders that are taken away or renamed. There is one being changed this year from one diagnosis with a name to becoming a cluster of different names instead.

    It is extremely frustrating and difficult to deal with. Nobody will diagnose a child as a psychopath because it is such a strong "label," but there is a diagnosis out there that changes to that once the child turns 18. However, since the child is then legal, they cannot be diagnosed with it unless they take themselves in and get it diagnosed, and how many do that? None that I know of!

    It is a dangerous misconception that mental illness must have a specific name. All that name really does is get you in the door to getting the help the kid needs and trying to figure out exactly what it is. Sometimes the diagnosis isn't made until they try different meds and see what works. Sometimes, they don't nail down a specific name at all.

    Then there's the stigma and disbelief of everyone around. That woman's story? That's a story I've heard over and over. There's a story in the Huffington Post called "I am Adam Lanza's Mother." I highly recommend it. There are many parents out there who spent years screaming for help, many who went bankrupt and/or lost their health and job and even families trying to help these kids heal without support from others, yet they are still blamed for the child's behaviors. Nobody wants to believe a cute little kid is capable of the deep pain and anger that results in this type of behavior, so the parents of these kids are met with disbelief. Suddenly, they are teens or young adults and something like this happens, and all of a sudden everyone is finally paying attention, but often only to place blame on the parent and other people who loved that child for years and dedicated themselves to trying to help them heal despite the deck being stacked against them, despite having little to no support, despite having nobody who GETS IT. Often, the kid has to choose to heal and some do, some don't. We can't force it. We can only do our best to guide them to make the right choices.

    So yes, there are mentally ill people out there that aren't diagnosed. There are people diagnosed with something they don't have just so the doctor will have grounds to try different medications to see what might work. Sometimes, having the medication work changes the diagnosis. Sometimes they say "oh, such and such is helping, but we still don't know exactly what it is." Or they know exactly what it is, but are not allowed to legally diagnose it because the kid is just a hair's breadth away from fitting the exact criteria to be diagnosed.

    The world of mental illness is pretty messy and tough to navigate. I don't see it getting any easier anytime soon, especially as more and more people become more and more accepting of more and more behaviors as normal instead of wrong and the result of a sick mind.
     
  10. dcorbett

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    There is not a "treatment" for Asperger's...there is no pill you can take
    and no lamp you can sit under. It is part of the Autism Spectrum,
    and it doesn't imply mental illness. There are thousands of people
    out there with Asperger's. They function quite well in society, many
    are geniuses.

    My grandson is mildly autistic, possibly Asperger's because he has
    a very high IQ. - There are issues, but none with his loving personality.
    The issues are textures of foods, loud noises, and things like that.
    The boy hasn't got a mean bone in his body.

    He is not mentally ill.
     
  11. mont974x4

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    You're right there is no pill or treatment for Autism or Aspergers. The best you can do is treat the symptoms (for example, anxiety). We have friends whose 16 year old son was dx'ed with Aspergers. He can be a big teddy bear, but he can also be violent. This didn't seem to be much of an issue until he hit puberty. His mother has made statements in the past that mirror what was written in the blog "I am Adam Lanza's Mother". Her love, her fear, and her frustration with trying to get help match the blog. The teen years are hard enough, add in the development of a 6 year old in a 16 year old's body, and doctors trying to find the right med mix...you can have some real problems.

    That said, I didn't start this thread to just address the Lanza case and Autism or Aspergers. Dr. Manny, who has a child with Autism, reminds us that a secondary issue likely drives the violence.

    We have a real lacking in our country when it comes to mental health care, and its time that is discussed and solutions are sought.
     
  12. SolaSaint

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    While watching O'Rielly tonight there was a guy on there that said there were studies done at some university that concluded if you remove violent video games and television programs from the visual diet of young people that they are 50% less likely to act out violently. Of course there is no way to determine if they would carry out mass killings or not, it is at least an interesting study.

    I feel this is a big problem, seems like a majority of these mass killers are the reclusive types that huddle in basements playing role playing shooter games. I used to play shooter games years ago like Doom and that was very violent. I've heard of the terrible games available today and can see where it could effect someone who is not right in the head. So shouldn't this be on the table also? We don't need video games for any good purpose except intertainment value. Unlike targeting guns which are constitutionally protected, maybe we should ban violent video games and movies..what do you think?
     
  13. saturneptune

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    I am going to have to disagree with one point. In the vast majority of cases you all are correct, the person probably suffers from some type of mental illness. However, I firmly believe there are people on this earth fully in control of their minds, that are so evil and mean, that this type of thing is some sort of a game. They know exactly what they are doing, and know how to carry it out.

    I work in an adult day care since retiring. This job took extensive training. We are required to chart daily their progress in given goals. We also teach these folks basic education classes, and take them out in the community in varous settings. Quite frankly, most of these folks are much more kind to others and always willing to help others much more than the average person walking the street. Self centeredness, me first, I want, I want, and other self seeking attitudes are present to a much less degree here than in the general population. They do not sit around all day figuring out how to enrich themselves.

    So, for post after post to put this off on mentally challanged people, who have in general a much kinder heart than us, is just not an accurate picture. Some of these mass murderers are nothing but self centered, evil, immature brats wanting attention, kind of like our present day politicians.
     
  14. saturneptune

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    Sola,
    As you know, I respect your posts, and here you have an excellent point. This goes to the depth of putting sins on a pedestal like so many holier than thou types in our church do. For example, while we worry about lottery tickets, drinking, and sex outside of marriage, we ignore gluttony and gossip. I use this example to point out this. As parents, we constantly monitored what our kids were watching at the movies or on the internet in relation to a rating from G to X, the most explicit sex. At the same time, we gave no thought to the damage of X rated violence in some of these games. Every possible way to mutilate the human body is depicted. Not only do we allow our kids to view this, but some play it along side of them. Then we turn right around and talk about the evils of the X rated movie.

    IMO, the unimaginable violence is as least as bad if not worse than the most detailed sex scene.
     
  15. Steadfast Fred

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    Mental illness has nothing to do with the Sandy Hook tragedy. Sin is the culprit.

    The young man needed Christ.

    Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
     
  16. Revmitchell

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    And you know this how?
     
  17. mont974x4

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    Nobody here is going to argue that the root cause is not a sin problem. Each and every shooter has been a person who needed Christ. Yes, some of these acts are being done by people who are just evil and make sinful evil choices.

    The purpose of this thread is to get us talking about one aspect of the consequence of sin entering the world. That is the fact that we have corruptible bodies, which includes our minds. This means we need to seriously consider how we, as a nation, treat those with mental health issues. That includes the availability of help, how they are diagnosed, and how they are treated. If you read the article by Dr. Ablow I linked yesterday you will read about the sad state of the mental health system in the US.

    Please try to stay on track in this thread. There are enough threads on guns, games, entertainment etc on BB right now for you to discuss those things.
     
  18. Steadfast Fred

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    The root cause is indeed a sin problem... not mental illness.

    If one cuts the flower instead of the root, the weed will continue to grow.

    The Church today has become so complacent toward wickedness today it is pathetic. Instead of calling sin sin, they candy coat it and label it as something that is more appeasing to the human and sinful heart... mental illness.

    They then try to further mask the sin by taking psychotropic drugs that alter the mind so that the person does not do those things. In effect they are relying on self to remove sin instead of God. But try as they might, the sin is still there. It is in the heart, which is deceitful above all others and desperately wicked. They have not removed the sin, only incapacitated the body.

    The heart is still wicked and only God can change it.
     
  19. mont974x4

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    When a doctor treats cancer he also must treat the symptoms. yes, the cancer is the core issue. That does not negate the importance of treating the symptoms.

    I am not, and will never, candy coat sin. I have said many times in these threads that we need to deal with the sin problem and that is done through Christ alone.

    That does not negate the importance of dealing with the symptoms of that sin problem. That is the purpose of this thread. The symptom in question, specifically for this thread, is mental health, its roll in these tragedies, and how we address it as a society.
     
  20. annsni

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    I believe Fred has said that there is no such thing as mental illness and once a person repents and turns from their sin, they will be healed of what was once labeled "mental illness".

    I agree with you that there are two aspects here. One is biology and one is theology. Fred denies the biological aspect.
     

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