Many will be speculating. Evil seed, lack of the proper faith. the zombie virus, drugs, one or another mental illness. The act was insane, killing innocents is an act of insanity.
Of course the narrow definition of insanity might prevent an insanity defense. However much we quibble, such acts of insanity always speak to a deranged mind. Think Hitler was sane, Stalin? Mao? I don’t.Powererful, able to lead, but leading to insane policies and able to tap the dark part of their followers hearts.
I am not for the death penalty, but those who kill innocents, whether at the head of a regime or one person, whether sane or insane are likely to kill again; so my option is always life in prison without parole.
Also the bigger issue in my mind remains prevention. Here are the thoughts of psychiatrist I knew and admired when I directed VNS of NY crisis teams in the Bronx, New York. All should read this link.
Here is a quote, but read the article, it details ways that might help prevent the next person heading down an insane path.We have no perfect treatments for a host of chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disorders, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, dementias, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. But we have learned a lot about chronic disease management. Our challenge is to turn what we know into better delivery of the right treatments that patients receive from doctors and enabling patients to learn to manage their diseases; some call this closing the science-to-practice gap. The challenge is as great in physical medicine as it is in psychiatric medicine. In mental health, we need to be wary of short-term, reactive “fixes” stimulated by agonizing events that may have emotional appeal but are no substitute for an ongoing resolve to apply proven means of systematically improving care and accountability, which are our best chance to reduce risks to the safety of individuals and communities.
Stigma keeps many from seeking help. Many will now be more frightened of someone with emotional problems. The stigma will grow.
While I label the shooter’s behavior as insane, the “mentally healthy” pose much more threat. Don’t agree. Well, think about how many “mentally healthy people drive talking on their cell phones. Even with a listening device that is as dangerous as driving drunk. Both drunk drivers and cell phone using drivers kill far more than the “mass” murderers. Well, at least the ones not ruling a country and commanding an army.
Fight stigma, one way is by becoming a wise consumer of mental health knowledge. Much is known, sadly myths and stigma keep far too many from getting help.
Here’s a quote to think about:
The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they’re okay, then it’s you.
Finally, here is my personal definition of mental illness: Cruel behavior. Some of the “craziest” people I know are the kindest I know. And some of the seemingly sane are the cruelest.
Be kind to me, like this post, comment or share. You will be helping me stay strong and maybe others as well. Click here for my free Ebook: The 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Training Exercises.
Stay strong and kind, I work at it every day.
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