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View Diary: Stop blaming mental illness (58 comments)

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  •  I disagree with the premise of this Diary ... (1+ / 0-)
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    CherryTheTart

    Gun violence is a national public health issue and as the President said: it is complex, but that cannot be an excuse to do nothing.

    This Diary and many commenters seem to deny the complexity of many factors that do correlate with violence generally and gun violence specifically.

    Major mental health disorders do show a somewhat higher correlation to violence than in non-affected population groups -- this is not disputed in the academic literature.  The correlation increases when presented in combination with other independent variables that also correlate to violent propensity, including gender (male), age (young), income (low), education level (low) and substance abuse (alcohol and drugs).

    To deny these data is just silly and the argument "Stop Blaming Mental Illness" really does nothing to address this public health problem in the comprehensive manner it requires.  In fact, it puts out more smoke than light -- a similar fault of demagogues who would deny the existence of gun violence as a national problem in order to avoid dealing with the problem of easy access to firearms for those who may pose a greater risk of using them violently or criminally against members of the public.

    The progressive agenda does need to look at underlying causal factors and avoid the error of myopic focus on simple banning, which in any case would have to overcome the inevitable constitutional challenges.

    The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

    by ancblu on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 11:01:45 PM PST

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    •  I'm not sure we should (3+ / 0-)
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      ancblu, smartdemmg, Otteray Scribe

      lump all mental illness together in this. Are some forms of mental illness more correlated with violence than others? I would think that some may correlate more with self-harm but less with violence against others.

      "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

      by AaronInSanDiego on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 11:27:46 PM PST

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      •  You are absolutely correct ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CherryTheTart, Otteray Scribe

        mental health covers of very wide range of clinical diagnoses.  As a society we are still working through the public stigma of this type of health diagnosis and we should careful when considering the role it might play in propensity to gun or other forms of violence as a public health issue.

        The literature does place the emphasis on "major" disorders as categorized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association.  These would include certain anxiety or mood disorders, as well as schizophrenia and paranoia, etc.  DSM-IV

        Importantly, the statistical prevalence of violence is most strongly indicated when multiple independent correlating variables present in some combination.  

        The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

        by ancblu on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 11:52:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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