Using the Mentally Ill as Scapegoats in the Gun Control Debate

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  6 years ago  •  102 comments

Using the Mentally Ill as Scapegoats in the Gun Control Debate

Recently, it has become vogue among some gun advocates to imply that the mentally ill or the medications they are taking, are to be blamed for the mass killings over the years, where guns have been involved. This is "chicken or the egg" logic and helps to reinforce the stigma that goes along with mental illness. Mental illness is treated as the orphan child disease. Yet,in a recent study, one out five Americans suffer from a form of mental illness and about 60% get treatment. Most of those benefit greatly from the medicines they are put on, which gives them a better quality of life. The correlation between the medicine that those mass murders took, caused them to kill, can't be proved. Obviously, they were put on those medications because it was deemed by medical professionals that they were needed. The outcome of them not being put on these drugs could have been the exactly the same.

Brenda Ann Spencer, made famous by the Boomtown Rats' song "I Don't Like Mondays", never took any medications before she went on her shooting spree. Neither did Thomas Watt Hamilton, the shooter of the Dunblane Primary School, in Scotland. And in case you just in case you think my point is about guns, it isn't. Jim Jones didn't used guns or where on medications when he committed mass murder. It is an impossible prove that the medications caused these killings, because the mental illness was there in the first place.

Sadly, I have been born into a family that suffers from mental illness. I have seen what these people are like when they weren't on their medication, and how much better they are today, because of medications. To blame these medications or the mentally ill for these shootings, is like blaming the victim of rape for her attack. It is an injustice to those who suffer from an illness ever bit as real as cancer or M.S.

We should we be reviewing our laws about the mentally ill and the criteria for helping families deal with their ill. It shouldn't be as minimal and limited as, "Are they are danger tothem selfor others". We need to have laws on the books to help these families have some power to get their ill the help they need from the medical community, even if that person is over the age of 18, as opposed to leaving them powerless after the age of majority, which is what our present law is. .

But let's stop using the mentally ill as scapegoats in the gun control debate.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/01/19/1-in-5-americans-suffer-from-mental-illness/
http://www.mentalhealthandillness.com/question/Genetic.html

  

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Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

OK, first wrong assumption... I have never said anything about gun control.

Second: These people were mentally ill before they took any drugs. The issue that I have been seeing is that the meds were the reason for these murders. There is zero proof of that.

The only causation is that they were mentally ill, which in no way did I deny. What I did want to address is that:

  1. The mentally ill have beenstigmatatizedby these events, as if they weren't before.
  2. That there is no way to determine if their medications were the cause of their actions
  3. That the laws need to be changed so that family can intervene when a mentally ill family member is over the age of 18. Right now, their hands are tied.
 
 
 
Old School Marine
link   Old School Marine    6 years ago

Perrie I posted the article about psychotropic medications complete with the list. The bottom line Perrie, is that the fact remains that every shooter from Adam Lanza back to Columbine was on some form of psychotropic medication.

EVERY SHOOTER

This being the case, how is it not feasible to at least delve into the possibility that these medications and/or their side effects could have possibly played a role in the behavior patterns of these shooters?

And Perrie are you also unaware of the fact that the person who originally published the list in my article was a legendary gun manufacturer who was killed in a "MYSTERIOUS" single car accident within days of his publishing of this list on a road he had driven multiple times every day for years?

 
 
 
wmolaw
link   wmolaw    6 years ago

@Perrie:

Look, who knows if the medications are at fault, or if the mental illness is what caused it.

But the fact is that it has not been adequately explored. Period, end of story.

And, not, it's not like blaming the woman who was raped, for the rape.

It's more like trying to find out if rapists rape because they are on psychotropic drugs, or just off them.

Surely you would agree that this area needs further exploration, right?

 
 
 
Old School Marine
link   Old School Marine    6 years ago

Perrie when the police conduct a criminal investigation involving multiple crimes the first thing they do is attempt to link the crimes with some type of common thread. In the case of these shootings, as I said in my previous comment every shooter back to Columbine was under the influence of some form of psychotropic medication.

Do you not agree that this is a form of common thread which should be further explored/studied?

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Look, who knows if the medications are at fault, or if the mental illness is what caused it.

1 in 5 Americans are taking these medications. So 20% of the population are taking these drugs, less than .001% are committing violent crimes. Is it apossibilitythat they are the cause. Sure. But how would one prove that? They were mentally ill to begin with. And even if we could prove it, what would be the outcome? More people benefit from these meds than don't. It takes people who would otherwise be in the hospital or on the streets and gives them a real life again.

Every drug out on the market has bad side effects. The issue is whether or not those side effects out weight the benefits.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Dylan,

Of course everyone of these shooters was on these drugs. Why do you think they were put on these drugs to begin with? Because they had a mental issue long before. And as I pointed out, there have been shootings and even non shootings mass murder by people not on these drugs.

And I am sure that there is a possibility that the meds might have caused a few of these to go over the edge... or they just might of anyway, given that they were mentally ill.

As for the car accident... just a coincidence. So many drugmanufacturersmake these drugs. Are you implying collusion? Proving that would be as hard as proving the drugs caused the shootings.

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
link   Mark in Wyoming    6 years ago

Perri , using that logic , then its not alright to stigmatize gun owners that obey the laws already in place for the actions of those that do not obey the laws .

 
 
 
ScarlettSonja
link   ScarlettSonja    6 years ago

I think it would be interesting to see a historical take on this. Mental illness is what prompted the development of many of these meds. What do you suppose isthe percentage of mentally ill committed some form of mass murder before the widespread use of meds? And secondly, having known several people with mental disorders, are we too quick to medicate for things that can be managed without meds?

 
 
 
evilgenius
link   evilgenius    6 years ago

Now that so many people are talking about "keeping guns from nuts" how many people that need help will avoid it if they think they may have their guns taken away?

Rather theconversationshould be about broadening access to treatment and removing the stigma so that people that need treatment can get it. Nowhere in this conversation should guns or listing people need to be brought up. We need smarter physical health care and added parity mental health care.

 
 
 
Old School Marine
link   Old School Marine    6 years ago

No Perrie, I'm implying only that I find it extremely suspicious that an internationally known legendary rifle manufacturer, in the immediate wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy would wind up dead in a single vehicleaccidenton aroadhe could drive blindfolded mere days after being the first person to openly call out Big Pharma and publish a list which is so convincing it screams for an investigation into the possibility that this is a real issue.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Mark,

This isn't about the gun control issue. This is aboutstigmatizing20% of the population and blaming drugs that might also avoid these kinds of killings.

 
 
 
cms5
link   cms5    6 years ago

If we look at the recent shooters, their sex, age and mental health, we'll find that while their mental illnesses were/were not treated...mental illness existed.

This isn't to place another stigma upon something this Nation prefers to sweep under the rug, but to recognize the similarities...which happens to be more than just their choice of weapons.

The first signs of severe mental illness often appear in adolescence and early adulthood, doctors say. Schizophrenia, for example, is usually diagnosed in men in their late teens to mid-20s, and in women about five years older.

Young Men

A person with a treated mental illness can expect a lifetime of pharmaceutical cocktails.

Pharmaceuticals have their place but pills aren't perfect...nor does everyone have the same reaction to medication.

If we're to look at this we must look at the entire picture...ruling out mental illness or medications because it's creating a strain on the already stigmatized mentally ill is sweeping a part of the picture under the rug. If it's swept under the rug...change will never occur.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Actually no Dylan. That list you provided showed that a specific group of people with a common factor. In reality, that is just a fraction of violent crime that has happened since the 1970's. In fact according toprofessor James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston who has been studying mass murder for the past three decades, said:

Despite the huge media coverage devoted to them, crime statistics show that there is no upward trend in mass killings -- defined as having four victims or more, not counting terrorism -- since the 1970s

His research indicates that from 1976 to 2008, there were 852 massacres, involving 4,131 victims and 1,176 perpetrators.

http://articles.cnn.com/2012-04-03/us/us_us-mass-killings_1_campus-shootings-mass-killings-murder?_s=PM:US

So your list found about 50 of these killers and dismissed another 800 of them.

BTW, it's an interesting article.

Do you not agree that this is a form of common thread which should be further explored/studied?

And even if we did, and we found out that .001% of the people takingpsychotropic drugs were the cause, what would we do with that information? Nothing. Because the benefits outweigh the risks.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Rather theconversationshould be about broadening access to treatment and removing the stigma so that people that need treatment can get it. Nowhere in this conversation should guns or listing people need to be brought up. We need smarter physical health care and added parity mental health care.

Spot on! My point totally.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Good questions all around Scarlett. It's hard to get data on dates preceeding the 1800's/ As for giving drugs out before therapy, also a hard stat to get. I know in my family, medication was the only way. I can't speak for others.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Thanks Micky for your candid posting. So many of the mentally ill don't want to discuss it, as they know people will judge them because of it.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Pharmaceuticals have their place but pills aren't perfect...nor does everyone have the same reaction to medication.

Absolutely.

If we're to look at this we must look at theentirepicture...ruling out mental illness or medications because it's creating a strain on the already stigmatized mentally ill is sweeping a part of the picture under the rug. If it's swept under the rug...change will never occur.

Again, absolutely.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Again Mike, you are missing the point of this article. It isn't about guns. It's about the mentally ill beingstigmatizedby gun advocates for their end, which is unfair to those who are mentally ill and getting treatment. They have enough to deal with already.

But here, in this article, we have another anti-gun crusader, doing everything they can, to remove blame from the individual that pulled the trigger, and instead, trying to blame the gun.

Go ahead Mike... find one comment or article that I have posted that was anti-gun. Try again.

We already accept that people can be criminally insane, and we also recognize mental illness as a defense against guilt, so how can we deny that being crazy, and/or being on psychoactive medication can be the cause of violence?

And it's hardly ever works. Andrea Yetes is the poster child forinsanityfor murder without a weapon, and it took them 3 years to overturn her conviction. She is now still in a mental facility.

Answer: Because the usual, anti-gun zealots want to focus all the blame on the guns, and nothing else.

Again, proof please that is my case? In fact I went out of my way to point out those who committed mass murder without a gun.

So, they want to remove the reality of the insane being to blame, and/or the medications that often make them even crazier, so the focus can remain on the "guns" which is there political objective.

Interesting twist on what was said here. Obviously, for any one to do these kinds of killings must be insane. The presumption that the drugs were the cause is what is at issue. For all we know, these medication prevent more of these killings than cause them. That is the point of this article. If anyone has a political objective, it's the sites that post thoseridiculouslists of mentally ill people who were on medication and draw a conclusion. They are the ones that might have a motivation, not the other way around. Remember a list of about 50 on medication while committing mass murder vs. 800 since 1970 who were not on any meds.

BTW, if you had bothered to read the link I put up, that stats of dying in college from a gun rampage is minimal, while death by drugs, drinking and suicide dwarfs those numbers.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

I still find it doubtful... and I am no lover of big pharm. But the study he would call for to prove his theory, would be a meta study that would have to go back to the 1970's andencompassso many classes of psychotropic drugs that it would take at least 10 years to prove, drug class by drug class. And that is why I think it was just an accident.

Most car accidents happen within 10 miles of your home.Statistically, it'sbecauseyou have to travel that route to get home. I myself have had accidents within 5 miles of my home.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

However to intentionally use it in anger to insult a large group of people with an illness is beyond the pale. The way you used the word is very insulting.

I totally agree, Randy.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

I couldn't agree with you more Jewel. That is why I am concerned that more people will not seek help or be afraid to take meds because of being further stigmatized.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

People with "mental illness" suffer, and get help, etc.

And that is why I published this article. So that people wouldn't be afraid to take medication when needed.

Crazy fucks plan on ambushing a theater or an elementary school.

Or didn't get proper medical care. No distinction.

I think what you might be referring to are sociopaths. Those that are not fixable and get a thrill out of killing people. Those are serial murders and not mass murders. There is a difference, in both motivation and cause.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Royal,

There have been several articles that have popped up that implied that these incidents were possibly caused by meds, and then gave a very incomplete list of people who had committed these types of crimes. My concern is that not only does this furtherstigmatizethe mentally ill, but also would deter some from getting proper medical treatment, some of which might justpreventthis type of behavior.

On NOVA a few nights ago it was suggested that in homes where there were people that might have some problems thateither should not have weapons or have them locked up preferable in a safe.

Which makes perfectly good sense.Personally I wouldn't feel comfortable being a gun owner with someone with mental illness in the house, but that's just me.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Can we ever think the human being is immune to feelings of rage, whatever the cause? Even the sanest of us have periods of insanity.

This is true, but it is also a personal choice to have a gun. It is a calculated risk that is on the owner of the weapon.

 
 
 
evilgenius
link   evilgenius    6 years ago

Thanks Perrie. Many of the social issues we face are symptoms of larger root causes.

 
 
 
evilgenius
link   evilgenius    6 years ago

Bruce, that was a well thought out and articulate response. I totally agree with you.

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
link   Mark in Wyoming    6 years ago

I really miss the like button for comments at times , bruce well said and i totally agree, in this case i think all has to be looked at , not just point fingers towards any one thing .

 
 
 
stephanie (o'stephanie)
link   stephanie (o'stephanie)    6 years ago

Perrie,

Thank you for bringing this up. Psychotropic medications have been discussed and early reports on two shootings mentioned Asperger's which has everything to do with the public stigma surrounding mental illness. Some people will only remember "Autism" and "shooting" which is a terrible misunderstanding of the disease. So this needs to be discussed.

As a nation, we need to overcome the stigma which causes families to isolate themselves and hesitate to get help for their loved ones. The lack of community support can make parents feel that they have no options but to try to hide the "condition" out of shame or a desire to protect their loved one from public scrutiny.

Have you ever seen a child throwing a tantrum in a store? A scene like that can attract disapproving stares. It just might be that the child has Autism and the parent (rather than being bad) is struggling to take care of their child who is different from others. We err when we judge by what we can see.

The reason that we need to change that public impression of those who take psychotropic meds is that public stigma of mental illness is the number one reason most schizophrenics give for not taking their meds. They do not want to be viewed that way by society.

 
 
 
Peter Loves the Real Tea Party.
link   Peter Loves the Real Tea Party.    6 years ago

I'm going to throw this out there. The majority of mental illness are societal in nature. Meaning that it is the enormity of society that creates the environment in which these illnesses take root. I see this as part and parcel with mass murders, which is in and of itself also a mentally ill reaction to society, the pressures that come with it, etc....

So to me, they are in fact one and the same. The fact that people need to medicate to simply interact in society really just validates the claim that it is the medication or lack thereof that contributes to these events.

 
 
 
ScarlettSonja
link   ScarlettSonja    6 years ago

From personal experience I know that experts are too quick to jump to a diagnosis before testing. The school wanted to give my child a diagnosis of ADHD in the 3rd grade because she was doing poorly in so many areas and acting out in class. I refused to sign the paperwork, because we have never had those issues with her at home. I did however start to watch her behavior while she was doing her homework and I could see what they were talking about. The school specialist came out to talk to me one day after school to get me to sign the same paper and I told her if she would test for dyslexia instead I would sign. My brother is dyslexic and one sister is ADHD and at a 3rd grade level it is very hard to distinguish the two apart. As mom I had to go with my gut and override the school on this and I feel that many parents don't know that there are many "disorders" that can cause the same "symptoms". In my case it turned out I was right, she scored soooo high on the tests in every area but reading. We are medication free because I questioned the experts, I wish more parents knew that professional diagnitions can be wrong too. lf I had just signed the paperwork they had given me (after they ganged up on me and told me it was for her own good) she would be taking meds she doesn't need for a problem she doesn't have.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Scarlett,

I am a teacher and also a dyslexic, so I totally understand where you are coming from. And a child usually under the age of 8 or 9 isn't dealing with a server mental illness, but rather a learning disability that could have several different dxs. A parents input is invaluable in trying to establish what is really going on when a child "acts out". But in young adults, emotional issues become very selfevident. And when a child turns 18, they are considered adults by the law, whether or not they are emotionally adults is a totally different subject. And that is where family shouldn't be shut out. It is something that the laws need to address.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Bruce,

That was a well thought out response and I can't disagree with a single point. My sole purpose for writing this article was to highlight the dangers of the blame game. My worries are for those who need drug therapy won't get it. But you said it so well here:

And smack in the middle are those who advocate for more support for mental illness, including better drug therapy, as well as reform in mental health resources.

Children with mental health disorders don'tmagicallybecome adults on their 18th birthday, yet the law treats them that way. Most are still just as immature as they were before they turned 18. The media gets hooked on tags, anti-depressants, autism, Aspergers, and now those kids who's maturity really has changed in the days before their 18th birthday, now don't want to taketheirmedications and the family can do nothing about it. That is the issue that upsets me.

Blaming the drugs is easy. Just as blaming the gun is. But I don't agree with either case. I think we need a better method of identifying the Chos and Laughtners out there, and getting them the proper care they need, while ensuring the steps are taken to prevent them from being a danger to others.

I totally agree.

 
 
 
ScarlettSonja
link   ScarlettSonja    6 years ago

I agree...but I have noticed that there seems to be a push towards medication for so many things that don't need it. Or the wrong medication is given because the diagnosis is inaccurate, allergies, or just plain laziness. I am not discounting medication as helpful for many. I just don't think it should be the "goto" answer. We are all unique and as such we should all have unique treatment and support plans.

My historical bent may be sort of rhetorical, since I know the data isn't there. Every year it seems there are new "disorders" that need meds, but I don't think they are new and I think to many are mistaken for something else. I advocate any avenue of mental health that is med free, however I do understand that some people will require them. I think the whole mental health system needs to be revamped, but towards the needs of the patient and their caretakers.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Stephanie,

A perfect post. My nephew hasAsperger's. After this shooting, all the reports on the news said over and over that the shooter hadAsperger's. Anyone who knows an Aspie kid, knows that they are generally quiet kids, sweet kids, just like my nephew. My nephew is now 12. He understands that he asAsperger's, and worse was the reaction of his schoolmates, the days after the shooting. His own friends were afraid of him. He came home mid day in tears, which did the same to my sister. That is the kind of thing that I want to stop and for people to have a better understanding of these kids who are different instead of stigmatizing them. It is very painful to be in those families shoes.

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
link   Mark in Wyoming    6 years ago

perri , i have a 45 yr old brother who is developmentally slow ( he has the mind of a pre teen when it comes to some things) , i also have cousins whose kids have different developmental issues , the one best thing i heard to describe how these people are came from an uncle , i know it didnt origionate with him , but its true non the less and helps explain it to people that dont quite understand . in a world where most people are PC's and operate on windows , there are some that are MACS , they do the same things , they just use a different operating system and process information differently .

 
 
 
ScarlettSonja
link   ScarlettSonja    6 years ago

I don't think Perrie is in anyway trying to blame guns. I feel she is advocating education on pharmaceutical use and in family groups for support of mentally ill people.

I believe in the proper training and use of guns, however I also believe in the proper training and use of psychology/psychiatry/medication and family support for the mentally ill.

Believe it or not the two go hand in hand. If a family of "gun nuts" also has a mentally ill person amongst their number, they should be educated and equipped to judge the capacity of that person to deal and handle weapons appropriatly.

 
 
 
Dowser
link   Dowser    6 years ago

I couldn't agree more!

I know how difficult it is to get help for someone who is mentally ill... If they have no money or insurance, it is almost impossible. If you have money and/insurance, it is still very difficult. That shouldn't be!

Medications are what keeps my sister-in-law alive and, most of the time, semi-normal, for her. Without them, I'm truly afraid what she'll do. She is 6' tall, when healthy she weighed 180 pounds, and could take me out with one swipe. I never knew what she was going to do next, before they put her on medication. She threatened to kill people, she behaved in a very volatile manner, and was scary...

Now, she has ovarian cancer, and as long as she takes her medications, she's mentally stable-- more stable-- anyway. I'm not so scared of her. That she is not welcome in my home is about as far as I'll go-- but she isn't. You never know if she just won't take her meds for a couple of days and what she'll do next. SIGH!

Smile.gif

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

I'm surprised that I am once again forced to point this out, but not every comment I make is directed at YOU!

It's kind of not hard to do, since I am the author of this article that I do believe you called in your very first post:

Wow, this article is stupid!

You know me Mike. I'm pretty thick skinned. Butbasicallycalling my article stupid, is implying that the author ain't to bright either... and the views therefore put forth must be the authors, and also stupid. So please excuse me if I happen to think that you are directing your comments to me.

Your assertion above, is that people with mental illness are being unfairly scapegoated, which is a lie.

Really? No stigma being associated with those who take medications to control their mental illness? That there is a strong link based onanecdotalevidence that drugscausedthese shootings.I'm positive that I read a comment from YOU, that said that.

Saying that people with mental illness are unfairly scapegoated, when we have had crazy people going on rampages, one after another for a few years, is akin to saying that fat people are unfairly scapegoated regarding America's obesity problem!

It isn't "scapegoating", it's a goddamned statement of fact.

Yes it is a fact. And maybe if we as a society can come to terms that mental illness is real and shouldn't be swept under the carpet less of it would happen. BTW, you list was about 50 long, while since 1970, there have been over 850 mass shootings. That leaves 800 people who went untreated. Maybe there would have been less, if we stopped blaming the drugs which would take the stigma out of taking them.

Dangerous psychotics are dangerous, the average depressed person isn't a danger to anyone, and YOU are the one conflating the two, nobody else.

Mike that statement just proved to me, that you really don't get it. First, mostpsychotics are not dangerous. My aunt was a paranoid schizophrenic. The worst thing she did was think that she was a spy and tried to fly out of a second story window resulting in a broken hip and leg. A large population of the homeless arepsychotics and propose no danger to society. As for the "average" depressed person.. well my childhood friend's average depression lead her to jump off the Throgs Neck bridge after her husband left her and two of my daughter's friends' dads 1. blow his brains out and 2. hang himself in their home's basement. Yeah, the average depressed person only hurts themselves. I guess that's OK.

I don't hear anyone blaming everyone with "mental illness", but we also can't just look past the fact that certified lunatics on psychoactive medication have all the recent headlines for mass shootings.

They don't have to, Mike. You just proved the general misconceptions about mental illness and how this event has impacted the mentally ill and their families.

Just do me a favor... before you respond to this... chat with me first.

 
 
 
EmmaJo
link   EmmaJo    6 years ago

I agree with your statement:

Personally I wouldn't feel comfortable being a gun owner with someone with mental illness in the house

And yes, I think that there is a stigma being placed.

A thought I have: There is a drug, or two, advertised on television of all places, for either bi-polar&/or sleep deprivation, and further into the ad it gives side effects to look for. Thoughts of suicide is one of the side effects.And I don't know the answer to this, I am just putting this out there, but if the medication can produce throughts of suicide, what is to say that the person does or does not act uponthat suicidal thought, and then, what is to say that they could or could not kill others. So many of these acts of death end in the person committing suicide.Perhaps there is some proof that using certain medications can prompt people to kill, or at least think about it.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

I am just putting this out there, but if the medication can produce throughts of suicide, what is to say that the person does or does not act uponthat suicidal thought, and then, what is to say that they could or could not kill others. So many of these acts of death end in the person committing suicide.Perhaps there is some proof that using certain medications can prompt people to kill, or at least think about it.

You mean something like suicide by cops? Could be. A very interesting thought.But I must also say, that if you are being seen by a good doctor, they always ask you if you have had suicidal thoughts or thoughts of hurting others. This is the only criteria they also have to commit people, and although these patients might not be in their right minds, often the are very intelligent and can figure out what is the required answer. Again, another reason to keepfamiliesmore involved.

 
 
 
stephanie (o'stephanie)
link   stephanie (o'stephanie)    6 years ago

Jewell,

Interesting to get your take on this since you lived through those de-institutional days of Reagan. He just destroyed the safety net for our most vulnerable and we are still suffering the effects of it. They are well-represented in jails and prisons.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Now, she has ovarian cancer, and as long as she takes her medications, she's mentally stable-- more stable-- anyway. I'm not so scared of her. That she is not welcome in my home is about as far as I'll go-- but she isn't. You never know if she just won't take her meds for a couple of days and what she'll do next. SIGH!

I so get this. One of my earliest memories was my aunt, all 5' of her, being held down by 3 grown men in our living room..my dad being one, he was 6 feet. My mom was too upset to notice that me and my cousin were watching right at the doorway. That night she got sent to "PilgrimState Hospital".. a place that looked right out of "One flew over the Coocoo's Nest" But that image of her strength in that state, was something that has lasted me until today.

10500_discussions.jpg

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Mark,

We do have the NT way of voting up a comment. Here it is!113.gif

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

helps explain it to people that dont quite understand . in a world where most people are PC's and operate on windows , there are some that are MACS , they do the same things , they just use a different operating system and process information differently .

Very true and a greatdescription.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Scarlett.... Zackly!

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Good point Robert. I can see how it could be confusing that I wrote this, since there are links at the bottom. I just gave those as references that I used. I have to think about how toimplementthat, but I have to agree.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

You would have to be able to study hundreds if not thousands of cases to draw any conclusion about who took what medicine and when and how it relates to those shootings.

Which is why I think that the media trying to make a point about a handful of these people who were on medication, juststigmatizesthe use of medication, never mind the Aspergers part, which has made the autistic community very upset as well.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

LMAO BadFish... probably most of us would fall under neurotic... but hey, what the heck?

 
 
 
stephanie (o'stephanie)
link   stephanie (o'stephanie)    6 years ago

Mickey, Thanks for "coming out". I use meds too for dysthymia (low level depression your born with). I think it is unfortunate when you have "Depression" because people think they know what that means like..Uh, I'm so depressed. Football season is over.

At any rate, the meds help. There is a movement out there of people who are psychotic who consider themselves a minority. They refuse medicine in order to be free to be themselves and expect society to accept them. Human rights are for everyone. Identity politics.

The more people see people with disabilities, physical or mental the more normalization we will have. On TV, at work, at church, in the store, everywhere. The early coverage was damaging to perceptions.

 
 
 
stephanie (o'stephanie)
link   stephanie (o'stephanie)    6 years ago

I hope it is changing too. Disability is actually in the environment not the person because how a person is perceived makes the "problem". That is why the stigma is so limiting. It can cause a parent to "home school" a child (like the Newton shooter) to hide the problem. (Of course, having inadequate treatment options goes along with that.)

I saw a documentary about people with Tourette's who go to an annual convention. They were having an absolute blast with each other, laughing at tics and completely at ease because they were among those to whom tics were as normal as coughing.

Good for you to do such follow-up all the time. It is easy to fall in a hole and be so paralyzed that you just stop. It is a daily battle.

My best,

Stephanie

 
 
 
Pat N2
link   Pat N2    6 years ago

1 in 5 Americans are taking these medications. So 20% of the population are taking these drugs, less than .001% are committing violent crimes.

And I'm willing to bet that the stats are even more minuscule for legal gun owners who commit violent crimes with guns.

I don't really see how the mentally ill are being used as "scapegoats" in the gun control debate. You said...and I agree...that mental illness is treated like an orphan disease.

That's why the NRA and others want to help take the disease out of the closet, get it under the spotlight and change the mental health system. Some of the things they are advocating for is making it easier to get conservatorship of mentally ill patients that have been professionally diagnosed as having violent tendencies and have been recommended for inpatient treatment. Adam Lanza's mother was in the process of trying to do this and running into all kinds of red tape because Adam was an adult. Had the process been easier, Newtown would never have happened.

No one is talking about singling out people on anti-depressants, leading normal lives. In fact, the NRA is adamant about issuing permits in Shall Issue states to EVERYONE who passes the background checks. Unless that person on mild anti depressants has been mentally adjudicated...the are getting a permit. And should.

 
 
 
Petey Coober
link   Petey Coober  replied to  Pat N2   4 years ago

I'm thinking that the solution is to design a test to be taken by anyone who wants to own a gun . Rather than focusing on the "mentally ill" the test should reveal those with a strong potential for "bad intent" .

 
 
 
 
retired military ex Republican
link   retired military ex Republican    6 years ago

Unless your going to push the pill down these mentally unstable individuals throats how do you expect to keep them away from your chilldren and grandchildren? They can buy these guns like you and me. When the use it they don't use it in self defense they use it to start the altercation they get at least I magazine maybe 30 shots before you get one shot off.

 
 
 
retired military ex Republican
link   retired military ex Republican    6 years ago

Anti depressants are the answer NO NOT IN ANY LIFETIME. Once these individuals are on their own many quit taking the meds have no health insurance do know if they are covered by affordable health care. Once they are of age a parent can do very little. Even when the mentally disturbed live at home the medication dosage and taking it must be monitored. Some will save up the pills and use them to get high or commit suicide. I know personally of what I speak. Will Sequester impact the medications doubtful. Are the mentally ill part of the problem of Mass Murders your dam right they are Conn. dead school children and Gifford shooting mass killing/shootings. New gun laws will help if it saves 100 of the 30,000 gun deaths a rear is that worth it. Guess it depends if its your kid who has their brains blown out now doesn't it. Get the damned guns off the streets. The Media hatred like I'm seeing on here today just fuels the fire of the radicals and missfits. They are often under the radar until they kill. Go to a prison for the criminally insane and talk to a few see where they are coming from.Do an article on your findings.Some will tell the truth usually those on life sentences but not always.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

I think that Terry has it more right. In fact, it is human nature to blame when things go wrong. Things have gone awful wrong here.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Ex-retired, are you saying that people shouldn't take anti-depressants? Because I know from where I speak, too, and I have seen these medicines give backnormalityto the family members that had none in their darkest hours.

My article wasn't about guns as it was reinforcing the public view that the mentally ill are a danger to us. That is my issue.

 
 
 
retired military ex Republican
link   retired military ex Republican    6 years ago

More than one way to see us level headed humans that can change after a mind or body or both changing experience. One comon big one is jealousy. But there are far worseas many of us know!

http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Myth-of-the-Reliable-L-by-Greg...

Good read thought provoking.Frown.gif

 
 
 
retired military ex Republican
link   retired military ex Republican    6 years ago

I agree with you Perrie!Unfortunately I've had to be on these in the past never know about the future none of us do.

Point I wanted to make is while medications help many, some decide to quit taking their medicine or a child I knowhis dad forgot or decided not to give him his medicine.The child was expelled forfighting on that day last week.

While medicine does help many of us when we need it not all use it or get into a financial situation where they have no insurance to get it. They go to the Hospital emergency room or an emergency medical center all they give you is a script to take to a pharmacy. Without insurance or money the availability is much more limited or difficult to obtain.

Every one has a mental limit be you a Tough Marine a school teacher or a Doctor or anAirforce Instructor. Solid citizen today mental casein the future and it can happen any time to anyone.

Many have a quick temper or fear of noises outside or inside or feelings of sorrow or depression.Gun owners possibly all of us. Legally I've never been hospitalized or institutionalizedsolid gun buying prospect.

Mental illness is not the only problem nor isMedication a perfect answer things happen. There are issues that affect all us and we don't have to be mentally ill. Like the insane stand your ground law. This is only my limited knowledge concerned opinion.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

The laws about the mentally ill, both regarding family intervention after the age of majority and the availability of drugs really need to be reviewed. We don't want to go back to the 60's where anyone could be committed, but we also shouldn't need the courts to intervene to get medical help for our loves ones. This case is a perfect example of that.

I don't want to digress into the "stand your ground" law here, since it will eat away at the issue that no one is addressing.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Sorry I missed this RL,

What a terrible story. It only highlights the point about how we as a society are not dealing with out mentally ill.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Hi Charles,

Sorry for missing this post, too. And you are right. It is far cheaper to treat these people than to lock them up. And by treating them, they become members of the society again. This is a case of being penny wise and dollar foolish.

 
 
 
retired military ex Republican
link   retired military ex Republican    6 years ago

Just a lady a little up set and carrrying hey she was just kind of standing her ground no not really.

http://www.wlwt.com/news/national/Woman-pulls-gun-over-coupon/-/983...Frown.gif

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Roy,

You are kind of proving my point.

The Tucson shooter was know to have severe mental healthproblems and was baned from a local community college. No one had the guts to try to get this person some help.

The reason that is, is because they are not allowed to keep the family in the loop because the kid is of age of majority, and unless they sign the HIPAA form, the school has to take full responsibility for the report, They don't want to do this, because if they are wrong and the kid is forced into a 48 hour observation and let go, the kid can then turn around and sue the school for violation of HIPAA. If the families were allowed to be involved and the state recognized that a child doesn't magically become an adult at the age of 18, many of these issues would go away.

 
 
 
Carol-99
link   Carol-99    6 years ago

The bottom line Perrie, is that the fact remains that every shooter from Adam Lanza back to Columbine was on some form of psychotropic medication.

Actually, it is not a fact that Adam Lanza was on medication.

http://www.businessinsider.com/adam-lanza-taking-antipsychotic-fanapt-2012-12

Inside the piece thoughthey report Adam Lanza's unclesaid the boy was prescribedFanapt, a controversial anti-psychotic medicine.

UPDATE: Since the publishing of this article,New York Daily Newshas removed the reference, the originator of the quote from Lanza's "uncle," because they believed him to be an "imposter."



Read more:http://www.businessinsider.com/adam-lanza-taking-antipsychotic-fanapt-2012-12#ixzz2P9pByuN1

 
 
 
Carol-99
link   Carol-99    6 years ago

I agree...but I have noticed that there seems to be a push towards medication for so many things that don't need it.

And much of this push comes from Big Pharma. They're advertisements attempt to convince people that there's a pill for everything, and that we should all take medication to boost their profits.

 
 
 
Carol-99
link   Carol-99    6 years ago

Stephanie,

I'm happy that your meds are working for you.

Me, too. I have also been diagnosed withdysthymia, but I have given up on therapy and medication. I'm able to hold a job, and I am not suicidal, but I have difficulty doing more than what I absolutely have to do. I have had problems with depression since I was a child. I have been to several different psychiatristsand therapists over the years, but just haven't found anyone who I felt really helped me. How do you find a doctor or therapist who is right for you? Do you just have to try out several until you find a good match?

 
 
 
Carol-99
link   Carol-99    6 years ago

Nowhere in this conversation should guns or listing people need to be brought up.

I agree. Gun control and mental health are two separate issues.

 
 
 
Carol-99
link   Carol-99    6 years ago

So where does that leave us. The gun control crowd would say take away the guns, AND the opportunity to get guns, at the expense of the law abiding gun owner.

Very few people are advocating banning all guns. Most people just want to make sure that only law abiding or mentally competent people can easily obtain them.

And smack in the middle are those who advocate for more support for mental illness, including better drug therapy, as well as reform in mental health resources.

Actually, I think that this describes the majority of Americans. I would think that both gun lovers and gun haters could agree on that point.

 
 
 
Carol-99
link   Carol-99    6 years ago

We should we be reviewing our laws about the mentally ill and the criteria for helping families deal with their ill. It shouldn't be as minimal and limited as, "Are they are danger tothem selfor others".

We should try to identify and treat mental illnesses before a person is a danger to himself or others. If we can detect and treat mental illnesses earlier then then perhaps more mentally ill people can become productive members of society. When some people talk about improving mental health care, they seem to be saying, "If someone does something crazy, let's lock 'em up so that they can't hurt anyone". We should try to help people before something tragic happens.

 
 
 
Nightbreeze
link   Nightbreeze    6 years ago

OK, first wrong assumption... I have never said anything about gun control.

Probably the title that's misleading people then, eh?

So, taking steps to ensure that mentally unstable people aren't able to easily purchase weapons is a bad idea... why? Not following that.

Recently, it has become vogue among some gun advocates to imply that the mentally ill or the medications they are taking, are to be blamed for the mass killings over the years, where guns have been involved.

You must admit, concluding that an individual who commits mass murder (regardless of the weapon used, Kool-Aid or Beretta, it makes no difference in the end) is mentally ill is hardly a stretch.Mental illness isn't the only factor or course...

 
 
 
Wheel
link   Wheel    6 years ago

I have chronic itching, all over, but especially in my brain area.

Brain washing, it's not just for the CIA any more.

I can feel bugs crawling under my skin. My lips get chapped frequently, and I'm convinced I'm being followed by government robots.

Bot flies are a bitch aren't they? Lay off the Chapstick, it's actually bad for the skin on your lips. Those are MY robots, not the gov't. Don't damage them, I 'm still making payments.

Sometimes I feel like my clothes are too wrinkled, but other times, like they're aren't wrinkled enough.

Go naked. Problem solved.

I feel an almost overwhelming need for everything to be clean and immaculate, but I have no desire to clean things myself.

Get married.

Oh, and I'm thirsty a lot.

Get checked for diabetes.

And almost everyday, usually close to the evenings, I get very tired, as if I cannot live without sleep, but if I do sleep, I wake-up feeling just fine.

You're young. When you get to be my age you'll wake up as tired as when you went to bed.

Bizarre, 'eh?

Obamacare can help.Grin.gif

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Carol,

I totally agree that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But that requires our present laws to have the family be a part of the equation. Only close family and friends can tell if someone is going down hill, and often this individual doesn't see them self as needed help. By the time they do, or the family can get some help from the authorities, these people have a serious problem. So really, the first thing to change our the laws that tie the hands of the family and even the doctors.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Badfish...

Normal is such a funny word. Yes many of us would get a vaguediagnosislike OCD, ADD, neurotic. None of these people are going to hurt themselves or someone else. What we are talking about here are people in dire need and are suffering from server depression, bi-polar disease,paranoidschizophrenia. I have seen first hand how these play out, and it is nothing like your run of the millneurosis.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    6 years ago

Obamacare can help.Grin.gif

Wheel, I think you might have given Mike back his rash!

 
 
 
Wheel
link   Wheel    6 years ago

hehehehehe24.gif

 
 
 
Randy
link   Randy    4 years ago

Ban, permanently, every semi-automatic weapon of every kind, pistols and riles, from being owned by anyone in the general public. Only the military needs them and the 2nd Amendment says nothing about them. When the Constitution was written the few weapons that were around (and no, most people did not own one) were single shot. I'd be willing to concede that bolt and pump action weapons qualify as single shot. Everything else is just jack off toys.

 
 
 
Uncle Bruce
link   Uncle Bruce  replied to  Randy   4 years ago

Comment removed for CoC violation [ph]

 
 
 
sixpick
link   sixpick  replied to  Randy   4 years ago

Ban, permanently, every semi-automatic weapon of every kind, pistols and riles, from being owned by anyone in the general public. Only the military needs them and the 2nd Amendment says nothing about them. When the Constitution was written the few weapons that were around (and no, most people did not own one) were single shot. I'd be willing to concede that bolt and pump action weapons qualify as single shot. Everything else is just jack off toys.

http://truthaboutguns-zippykid.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/courtesy-conservativenewjersey.com_.jpeg

 

 
 
 
Cerenkov
link   Cerenkov  replied to  Randy   4 years ago

Shall not infringe.

 
 
 
Randy
link   Randy  replied to  Cerenkov   4 years ago

Own as many single fire muskets as you like. That's not infringing.

 
 
 
Cerenkov
link   Cerenkov  replied to  Randy   4 years ago

Neither is owning as many semiautomatic  weapons as I want. 

 
 
 
Randy
link   Randy  replied to  Cerenkov   4 years ago

Yes. It is.

 
 
 
Cerenkov
link   Cerenkov  replied to  Randy   4 years ago

No it's not. The 2nd ammendment allows it. In fact, it should be a duty.

 
 
 
A. Macarthur
link   A. Macarthur  replied to  Cerenkov   4 years ago

In the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, is – so far – the most important decision the court has ever issued on the scope of the “right to keep and bear arms.”  But in that very ruling, the Court said explicitly: “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”  It went on to say just as clearly that it was not barring the government from imposing “reasonable regulation” on that right.

 

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
link   Nowhere Man  replied to  A. Macarthur   4 years ago
(deleted)
 
 
 
Randy
link   Randy  replied to  Nowhere Man   4 years ago

And, even though I know it won't happen in my lifetime, I (and hopefully others) will begin the struggle to get all semi automatic weapons out of the hands of civilians.

If you can't hit it the first time, you are a shitty shot. Get in some range time or take the time to operate a bolt or pump and try again.

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
link   Nowhere Man  replied to  Randy   4 years ago
(deleted)
 
 
 
Randy
link   Randy  replied to  Nowhere Man   4 years ago

Then get a job as a cop or join the military. Just don't carry as a civilian.

 
 
 
Petey Coober
link   Petey Coober  replied to  Randy   4 years ago

    Then get a job as a cop or join the military. Just don't carry as a civilian.

Don't live in the mid-west . The culture is different there ... And avoid Chicago completely !

 
 
 
Cerenkov
link   Cerenkov  replied to  Randy   4 years ago

Civilian lives matter too.

 
 
 
Cerenkov
link   Cerenkov  replied to  Randy   4 years ago

So in your world we could not use weapons to protect ourselves unless we were a beyond-expert marksman? Our enemies would be pleased...

 
 
 
Randy
link   Randy  replied to  Cerenkov   4 years ago

So in your world we could not use weapons to protect ourselves unless we were a beyond-expert marksman? Our enemies would be pleased...

In my world only the military and police in America would have semi-automatic weapons and then only on duty. They are they only ones that need them.

 
 
 
Cerenkov
link   Cerenkov  replied to  Randy   4 years ago

You don't live in the real world. Nor do you apparently respect the Constitution. I prefer to defend my family and treasure rather then dying in support of an unconstitutional, anti-human rights principle.

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
link   Nowhere Man  replied to  Randy   4 years ago
(deleted)
 
 
 
Randy
link   Randy  replied to  Nowhere Man   4 years ago

The founders, when explaining what they meant with the second amendment clearly stated the current personal weaponry of the common soldier in the current militaries of the day.

For a well regulated militia.

And the Supreme Court completely and absolutely established that intent, and agreed with it.

Link?

 
 
 
sixpick
link   sixpick    4 years ago

I'm not saying that some prescribed drugs are not beneficial to some people, but in today's society too many people put their lives in the hands of psychiatrists and contrary to what some believe, psychiatrists don't know everything about some of these drugs they are prescribing daily to the children at very young ages and basically changing the brain chemistry in their brains so they will never be the same and didn't need the drug in the first place.

 
 
 
Uncle Bruce
link   Uncle Bruce    4 years ago

The dumbass is strong in these threads...AGAIN.

 
 
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