Sunday, December 16, 2012

Society is Paying the Price

Families and doctors who treat the mentally ill say they hope that Friday's tragedy in Newtown, Conn., will refocus the nation's attention on improving mental health services. Police have not yet released details about the motives or mental state of shooter Adam Lanza. But the perpetrators of similar mass murders -- at Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University and a Tucson gathering for Rep. Gabby Giffords, for example -- all suffered from serious mental health conditions. "We wait for things like this to happen and then everyone talks about mental health," says Priscilla Dass-Brailsford, an associate professor of psychology in the psychiatry department at Georgetown University Medical Center. "But they quickly forget." There are hundreds of multiple-casualty shootings every year, says forensic psychologist Dewey Cornell, director of the Virginia Youth Violence Project. People have become so desensitized to the horror, however, that they pay no attention. FULL COVERAGE: Nation mourns the victims of the Conn. school shooting STORY: Sandy Hook victims mourned for lives cut short "It's gotten to the point where only the ones with high body counts make the news," he says. "It takes a record number, or something extraordinary, to get our attention." Yet mental illness destroys countless lives everyday, he says, contributing to domestic violence and child abuse, drug addiction, homelessness and incarceration. Investing in mental health care and reducing its stigma could help prevent future tragedies, he says. "Mental health has shrunk down to the level of short-term crisis management," Cornell says. "If we are going to focus on prevention, we can't think about the gunman in the parking lot and what to do with him. We have to get involved a lot earlier." Schools and communities "have cut their mental health services to the bone," says Cornell. "We're paying a price for it as a society."
Well said and thanks Mr. Freeman TURN OFF THE NEWS....... Morgan Freeman's brilliant take on what happened yesterday : "You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why. It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody. CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer's face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity? None that I've seen yet. Because they don't sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next. You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news."

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Nauseating situation in CT

I haven't posted here for a while because I thought it was becoming redundant. But how sad and actually nauseating that still more tiny, innocent lives have been lost due to another mental illness. Call it "Black Swan Syndrome" or Asperger's Autism, we need to do a better job with the mentally ill in America. Countless numbers now are "Victims" of mental illness. All family members, the mentally ill person, and the ones who are killed and their families, are who the victims are. Who are the victims? We all are. I would like to see the research on Asperger's on the per cent who may be violent. Having been a Special Ed. teacher for many years, I have worked with Asperger's and I am sure it is not classified as a mental illness. So for the CT shootings, this man, had a severe undiagnosed illness. Most mental illness manifests itself in early to mid 20 year old range. If you look at the past history of the shootings it is young males in that age group. They need more attention, caring counselors, and better means of diagnosing mental illness. Then, when they have been diagnosed by a qualified medical professional, they need to be monitored and have assistance with maintaining the mental illness. The homeless man who made the news after the police officer bought and gave him a pair of shoes; was on the street by choice according to his family. A typical human does not choose to live on the street. That man, in my opinion, probably has a mental illness as well.This is not a gun control issue, this is an issue of mental illness in America. If we can sit for hours and listen to the news report incessantly on this horrific event; even read how the shooter shot those poor babies multiple times at close range; then read and listen to what goes on in a double lock down mental illness ward. If you can stomach the news all day of this event, then lets talk about the "real" world of mental illness. How there is a reason why they are placed in double lock down padded areas. From my experience it is when their mania is out of control and the delusions have taken over. They destroy things, walk around naked, pass their waste on the floor and throw it on the walls. Yes America it does exist that way. But, then with proper counseling and medication and therapy, their mania subsides and they can leave the double lock down are and join the general population in the single lock down area. And after some more counseling, medication and therapy they rejoin the "outside" world, go back to work and are contributing members of a tax-paying society.No one wants to talk about that, don't want to address the reality of it. We all talk about how something needs to be done. Let's talk about solutions, not just state the obvious.