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View Diary: Bipolar Granny kills grandkids, self (49 comments)

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  •  If only psychiatry worked very well. (3+ / 0-)

    Our public conversation about tragedies like these seems to assume that they would always be preventable if treatment had been available. While I'm all for expanding access to mental health care, I'm afraid we're being somewhat overconfident in the science of psychology and psychiatry. The fact is, not even trained clinical professionals can tell with any certainty who is or is not going to become violent; furthermore, patients harm themselves or others, despite being under treatment, every day. Also, the nature of mental illness is such that those who suffer for it often do not seek out what treatment is available, or actively resist being treated. So, the notion that we could or would "cure" most mentally ill people if we expanded access to care is, I'm afraid, sadly overoptimistic (we should do that anyway, but not because it will prevent gun massacres).

    We need to focus our attention on passing measures to restrict and control access to high-powered firearms. We cannot rely upon psychiatry as some sort of magic panacea that will protect us from people with harmful or destructive intentions. Focus on the guns.

    Visit Lacking All Conviction, your patch of grey on those too-sunny days.

    by eataTREE on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 10:39:10 AM PST

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