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View Diary: Seattle PD arrested Aaron Alexis in 2004 for shooting car tires, shooter claimed PTSD (77 comments)

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  •  No there may not be... (4+ / 0-)

    one simple answer, but I don't agree that his PTSD (if he did indeed have it) was irrelevant. Or is the cause of violence always simply irrelevant? Should we just not bother to find out why people snap and do things like this? What if determining the cause could help prevent future crimes?

    Every time I hear about a PTSD related murder or death, I think of a case that happened in my state ca. 2006. A man who served several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan had developed PTSD. Friends and relatives noted that the formerly friendly, kind, out-going man had become quiet, depressed, given to fits of rage. One day he lost it, started hallucinating, having flashbacks, and murdered his wife with a hammer. The cause? He was mentally ill and wasn't receiving proper treatment.

    Obviously, it is much too soon to say if mental illness was the cause for this shooting today, but I do think it is important to try and determine the cause of violent crimes. If only to try and help prevent future violent crimes.

    Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by AuroraDawn on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:26:26 PM PDT

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    •  He claimed PTSD, never diagnosed (5+ / 0-)

      Yes, people who commit violent acts also have a PTSD diagnosis. It isn't necessarily causal. I was careful to say that PTSD had little or no relevance to this event. He claims that he was a responder to the Sept 11 tragedy, an event that even affected people who only watched it on TV.

      There's little evidence, there's no diagnosis.

      PTSD is very real. I don't disagree with this in any way. Even child abuse can result in symptoms and behaviors that mimic PTSD. And it affects everyone differently.

      There's only reports of violent and explosive behavior. Obvious anger management issues and deep insecurities. The history of getting booted out of the Navy Reserves after just two years is a very significant source for a little reality here. He never saw anything close to active duty. We'll just have to wait for the details.

      I have little doubt that mental issues are involved here. But hanging your hat on PTSD isn't productive. It can't be rejected out of hand nor can it be the one and only answer.

      The origin of "going postal" wasn't related to PTSD at all.

      I can give you a long, sad list of violent and deadly incidents that happened within my own circle of friends and family. Not one was even remotely related to PTSD. Yeah, it included a childhood friend who took a hammer to his parents and damn near killed them both.

      He was diagnosed mentally ill. After the fact, unfortunately. He was "just an excitable boy" before that happened, as the song goes.

      "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

      by GrumpyOldGeek on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:46:21 PM PDT

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      •  I agree with this. (5+ / 0-)
        But hanging your hat on PTSD isn't productive. It can't be rejected out of hand nor can it be the one and only answer.
        It's much too soon to say precisely what caused this, and you are right, there is often more than one "cause" in cases like this. I just don't think we can dismiss PTSD (IF he had it, and I realize there is no proof right now that he did) as a contributing factor.

        I apologize if I misunderstood or misinterpreted your original post.

        Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by AuroraDawn on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:50:58 PM PDT

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