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View Diary: I understand the violence, but don’t believe people really want to know (15 comments)

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  •  I agree with everything you said (6+ / 0-)

    Excellent diary.

    We have a huge problem that there are really no truly effective treatments for some of the worst mood disorders, some of which are given the misnomer "personality disorders" and are famous for not responding well to medication, despite what you will hear on Cymbalta commercials.   And, not much help at all is available for psychopaths, persons whose empathy-chip doesn't work.  Many cases of brain damage, that can impair mood regulation and impulse control, are often not even identified, and if they are, there is little that can be done to fix it.  And, there seems to be little or no acknowledgment that these processes -- mood regulation and impulse control, aren't fully developed in young persons, even those in their early twenties.   We know this, scientifically, but act shocked!  shocked!  shocked!  when the inevitable happens.

    I wish, in the aftermath of this tragedy, we could drum up support for major research into mood regulation and impulse control, and find effective screening and treatments for persons with these types of impairments, with a focus on repairing what's not working in the brain, not just throwing drugs at it.

    It's almost always very obvious that the killer suffered for years, or all his life, before the final meltdown.   One recent killer was, not coincidentally, studying neuroscience, just before he blew.  My own family member who struggled with this went into the field of psychiatry.   She did get a loaded gun and try to shoot her husband, but the gun went off accidentally and scared her.  Also took a gun from a cop, once, and several other wild incidents.

    Many of them know they are suffering and do want help.   My own family member tried all the antidepressants, light therapy, meditation, exercise, everything she heard about or could think of.   She said she drank to stop the racing thoughts, and if it were't for alcohol, she would have killed herself a long time ago.   She went through treatment programs, and had plenty of medical treatment and support, and got dry for many years, and none of it worked.  She was erratic and basically crazy, and the best medicine couldn't help her.

    Science and medicine just don't have really effective help to offer despite their claims.   Often, these desperate people turn to what is available -- cigarettes and alcohol, with tragic results.   One family member struggling this way, died fairly miserable at age fifty, after trying all sorts of psychiatric drugs, and dying from cancer caused by cigarettes.    

    I've seen family members totally disabled, unable to work, simply from a mood disorder.    It's a huge problem.

    Pot does cause paranoia, and can be particularly bad for someone already inclined to paranoia.  But, hands down, alcohol is far, far worse.  And, smoking cigarettes is like swallowing a daily dose of toxic radiation.   The bottom line, though, is that people are on their own, smoking pot, drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, because they know they are on their own.


    •  Was your family member treated for bipolar (0+ / 0-)


      Bipolar disorder has many manifestations and is often missed or misdiagnosed as something else.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:28:03 AM PST

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      •  another diary (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FishOutofWater, DFWmom

        What I could write about mental illness would take an entire diary by itself.  
        We can discuss mental health issues but is just a piece that just like the guns, of an overall plan.  It wasn't one thing that kept me from going over the edge, it was a combination of things.  It isn't one thing that will send my family member over the edge, it is a combination of events.  
        Even in this latest event,  look at the equation.  He had access to guns.  He had nothing to live for because he was socially isolated and couldn't cope interacting with others and lastly he obviously had nothing to help prevent him from taking the problem to the point of violence.  
        Where in the equation of pain = anger = rage = fury = violence could there have been intervention that would have prevented this newest shooting from ever happening?
        If you took the guns away, would it have kept him from committing violence or would he have done it just another way?   If you gave him someone to talk with,  a pyschiatrist perhaps,  would that have stopped it?  If you just put him on meds or let him smoke pot would that have prevented it?  My answer is no.  the simplest solution would have been to address the pain or the anger before it got to the point of violent destruction.  
        But to do that means spending money.  Spending money in Washington is only allowed when it's a War.  Call it the War on Drugs and you can get all the $$ you need.  The War on Terror, you can get around the Constitution.  Manufacture a war with another country and see busines boom.  
        Perhaps if it is seen as a war on Violence then it will get the $$ and attention to stop it.  

        Visit the Iraq Memorial Quilt @

        by pollchecker on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:47:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I could write 100 diaries about mental health (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sunspots, DFWmom

          issues and that would only crack the surface.

          The specific question about bipolar was to DFW mom.

          We can analyze the details of each mass shooting to study the individual case and never make progress because we aren't looking at the big picture.

          Mental illness does not cause the same levels of violence to happen in other countries as it does here. One of the reasons is that we are the only developed nation without health care for all. Another is the mass worship of violence in all its many forms in America.

          look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

          by FishOutofWater on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:59:14 AM PST

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          •  i agree on both points (1+ / 0-)
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            For someone who has not been able to communicate the degree of pain they are experiencing internally, the thought that people would finally see it even to such a violent degree is validating to the person in pain.  We glorify violence; it gets ratings and ratings provide $$$.  

            that's why I think the traffic comparison is so valid.  
            What makes some people be able to cope with it and others get so angry?  Perhaps it has to do with support system that provides validation.  If we had a health system that addressed mental health issues as well as physical issues, that would be a great place to start but I just don't see it happening.  Call me pessimistic but I think power and politics trumps even this.

            Visit the Iraq Memorial Quilt @

            by pollchecker on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 08:10:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

        She was treated for bipolar.  She also showed signs of BPD.

    •  the will to do the obvious (1+ / 0-)
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      Do we have it?  perhaps as a nation, we the people agree on various paths that can lead to solutions however, then we have to make the politicians listen and act.   In an age where they can't act on even the simplest of matters, I highly doubt anything will change.  Now if you can find a way to commercialize what you recommended so that some big conglomerate can make money on it, then an only then will it happen.  however, since the closest thing we have to that is the private prison industry, I'm really very pessimistic about the results.  We say the same things every time something like this happens.  

      In simpler terms, if we have a malignant cancer, do we address the cancer or do we address the symptoms of the cancer?  If we limit the conversation to just the access to guns and not the other issues, then we only prolong the inevitable results of the cancer.  

      Look at the words used every day.  I can't read comments on most sites because they are just so rude, so insulting, so unkind.  And there is no reason for that behavior, it is not necessary to act or react in such a manner.  It comes from anger and that always comes from some kind of pain.  Address the pain, whatsoever it is and you can make the rest go away.  

      Visit the Iraq Memorial Quilt @

      by pollchecker on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:34:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pain is a symptom of unwellness (0+ / 0-)

        We don't prevent disease, and we don't minimize the effects of chronic disease, in this country. That's one reason our health care is so expensive.

        Imagine if we tried to reduce the levels of mercury in our environment, for example.  Republicans would attack it as costly, burdensome regulation. They would accuse us of waging a war on coal.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

        by FishOutofWater on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 08:04:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My pessimism stems from (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          this simple fact.  In summer of 1966, an engineering student and former Marine killed 13 people and an unborn child, and wounded 32 others in a shooting rampage located in and around the Tower of the University of Texas.
          That was 46 years ago.  I was 12 years old.  The public debate we are having today is no different than it was in 1966.  But still nothing has changed to stop or even address the root causes of it.

          Visit the Iraq Memorial Quilt @

          by pollchecker on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 08:26:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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