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View Diary: The War for the Disabled, My Soul, and the Heroes I've Known (93 comments)

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  •  My opinion (5+ / 0-)

    For what it is worth .... Amazing story but I think people with violent mental illnesses such as schizophrenia should not be allowed to purchase firearms. I think if people have severe violent tendencies or a tenuous grip on reality they don't need access to guns.

    •  People with schizophrenia are not usually violent (10+ / 0-)

      NIMH

      Are people with schizophrenia violent?
      People with schizophrenia are not usually violent. In fact, most violent crimes are not committed by people with schizophrenia.7 However, some symptoms are associated with violence, such as delusions of persecution. Substance abuse may also increase the chance a person will become violent.8 If a person with schizophrenia becomes violent, the violence is usually directed at family members and tends to take place at home.
      The risk of violence among people with schizophrenia is small. But people with the illness attempt suicide much more often than others. About 10 percent (especially young adult males) die by suicide.9,10 It is hard to predict which people with schizophrenia are prone to suicide. If you know someone who talks about or attempts suicide, help him or her find professional help right away.
      People with schizophrenia are not usually violent.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 04:22:33 PM PST

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      •  Thank you! (9+ / 0-)

        Many studies have looked for a link between mental illness and violent crime without finding a statistically significant correlation. Same with people on the autism spectrum. Both groups are at much greater risk of suicide, however, and deserve our help, not fear.

        "Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu

        by KelleyRN2 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 04:27:58 PM PST

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        •  There are some studies on this (4+ / 0-)

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...

          I've been looking into studies on this quite a bit.

          I think no one deserves our fear, but I do fear not properly offering treatment to certain groups of psychiatric patients for specific reasons which I feel does a huge disservice to everyone. We will have to deal with the stigma and recognize that schizophrenia, in particular, is a disease which causes thinking to be skewed. So do other diseases, such as thyrotoxicosis, that are just as organic in nature. Diseases should be treated by a caring society to avoid anyone to suffer needlessly.

          Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

          by mahakali overdrive on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 05:15:19 PM PST

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          •  Interesting finding in that link (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mahakali overdrive, suesue
            Schizophrenia and other psychoses are associated with violence and violent offending, particularly homicide. However, most of the excess risk appears to be mediated by substance abuse comorbidity. The risk in these patients with comorbidity is similar to that for substance abuse without psychosis. Public health strategies for violence reduction could consider focusing on the primary and secondary prevention of substance abuse.
            Other studies I've been looking at find a greater danger of violent behavior toward others coming from certain personality disorders wherein lack of anger management predominates. I suspect there is a high substance abuse comorbidity in that cohort, as well.

            There is also a substantial view among mental health professionals that serial killers like Lanza are such outliers that trying to categorize them is not only impossible, but futile.

            Which brings us back to common sense, I suppose: provide adequate care and services for those who need it, and make it much, much harder for the outliers to buy assault weapons, multi-shot magazines, and certain types of ammunition.

            "Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu

            by KelleyRN2 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 05:49:50 PM PST

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            •  One thing that should be discussed (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KelleyRN2

              that doesn't seem to be well-accounted for at all in the articles that I've looked at is whether or not the stats refer to treated or untreated individuals. There's a walloping difference, and like you, I contend that treatment need to happen much more with treatable disease. When people say schizophrenia can't be treated, that's a mistake, an utter fallacy: the so-called negative symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, etc.) can be easily brought under control with meds. The negative symptoms, like flat affect or emotional numbness are more resistant to treatment.

              If we are talking about untreated people, I think this is pretty obvious. Untreated schizophrenics aren't functional and have a horrible time of things. I recall talking to one girl about it right after an episode where she thought she was being enveloped in a cocoon and was assailed by werewolves, literally. She had no idea what was going on at the time, she'd said. But when we spoke, she was basically fine and oriented. Sad. Her roommates didn't recognize her situation at all or seek help until she wound up grabbing a knife or something. And then, I will just never get the image of my friend's kitchen after she hacked herself up out of my mind. Seriously, it haunted me for years; I had nightmares about it. The day after all of that, I got in my car and started driving and wound up ten hours away, no joke, crying the whole time and running it through my head. It saddens me to think that so many people don't get help. And I see that as a major, major breakdown in our society. It's like we'd rather just not talk about it. Ignore it and maybe it will go away! Shut it up and don't talk about it! Never in America! Costs too much to provide care! All that rhetoric. It doesn't fly with me.

              I distinguish serial killers from mass murderers though: mass murderers have a statistical rate of documented, preexisting mental health issues (usually some delusional disorder which isn't being well treated by medication or social help) at about 50% according to Mother Jones' examination, which Ezra Klein recently cited. I'd guess many were also just under diagnosed for the reasons cited above. Serial killers? They've never found much in the way of delusional type disorders: they're just regular sociopaths and often pretty societally functional. They're also not prone to buying guns. So we're not much talking about these right now.

              Sorry to digress there. I find these interesting topics and important as well since there are clear things we can, as a society, do to fix this sort of problem.  

              Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

              by mahakali overdrive on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 06:40:01 PM PST

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              •  The newer drugs aren't so bad as far as (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KelleyRN2

                affect goes, but they do cost a fortune. I'm bipolar 1 and take a drug used for treatment of schizophrenia. I still have plenty of affect and emotion. I do not appreciate the $600 per month pricetag, however.

            •  Well, one solution would be to let their doctor (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KelleyRN2

              decide whether or not they can safely own a gun just like they do with a driver's license now.  There is even a standard form in most if not all states that the DMV gives you to take to your doctor that asks if all the symptoms are fully controlled to the point that it is safe for the person to drive.

              You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

              by Throw The Bums Out on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:04:10 PM PST

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