Stop using us as scapegoats

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Alright. This is going to be a bit of a rant because this is an issue that has really really pissed me off.

It is an issue that comes up every single time there is some sort of mass shooting Instead of looking at the issues, the response is quick by the media and pundits.

And that is to blame mental illness. Claim that the problem that the US has such violent crime rates is because of mental illness. Over and over they talk about how untreated people are dangerous and how the solution should be better mental health care.

And this angers me. I totally agree there should be way better mental health care, but NOT because mental illness is dangerous.

Mental illness is a problem that causes people to suffer. It is horrifying to go through. I've been through it and I still struggle. We need a way for people to get help.

But there is fear. Fear because the public likes to hold onto myths and make antagonists to the mentally ill. Why? Because of the stigma and fear about what they don't understand.

This stigma is overwhelming for the people who start having problems. When you start feeling bad, you hide it. Because you know that if others know they will be scared of you. That your loved one will leave you and your family will reject you. I myself have had a romantic relationship be ended immediately once they knew I had schizophrenia. I was called a potential danger, despite my extreme passive nature. I am the person who had to quit martial arts because I couldn't bring myself to hit someone.

The media tells you that you are dangerous and you know you aren't. So you hide. You do everything you can to not be recognized as one of them.

What is worse is that even if you are one of the lucky ones who is both able to overcome the fear of stigma and then actually get some help, you still face it. Now it is known that you have mental illness and you have people avoid you when they do find out you have it. That people are scared of you even though you are on medication after medication and finally have things mostly under control.

The sad thing is, that this stigma is unjustified.

While there is a marginal increased risk for violent behavior among people with severe mental illness, it is not enough to justify the fear.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/18/health/a-misguided-focus-on-mental-illness-in-gun-control-debate.html?_r=0

new york times:
But there is overwhelming epidemiological evidence that the vast majority of people with psychiatric disorders do not commit violent acts. Only about 4 percent of violence in the United States can be attributed to people with mental illness.

This does not mean that mental illness is not a risk factor for violence. It is, but the risk is actually small. Only certain serious psychiatric illnesses are linked to an increased risk of violence.

One of the largest studies, the National Institute of Mental Health's Epidemiologic Catchment Area study, which followed nearly 18,000 subjects, found that the lifetime prevalence of violence among people with serious mental illness - like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder - was 16 percent, compared with 7 percent among people without any mental disorder. Anxiety disorders, in contrast, do not seem to increase the risk at all.

Alcohol and drug abuse are far more likely to result in violent behavior than mental illness by itself. In the National Institute of Mental Health's E.C.A. study, for example, people with no mental disorder who abused alcohol or drugs were nearly seven times as likely as those without substance abuse to commit violent acts.

Again supported here

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1525086/

ncbi.gov:
Several general conclusions are supported by this brief overview. First, mental disorders are neither necessary, nor sufficient causes of violence. The major determinants of violence continue to be socio-demographic and socio-economic factors such as being young, male, and of lower socio-economic status.

Second, members of the public undoubtedly exaggerate both the strength of the relationship between major mental disorders and violence, as well as their own personal risk from the severely mentally ill. It is far more likely that people with a serious mental illness will be the victim of violence.

If we cured mental illness, this would only drop the overwhelming violent crime rate of the US by 4% of its current total.

Now you might say, but Lu! The vast majority of mass killers have had some form of mental illness.

This is true. However, they are rare and the number of people killed in mass murders is only a scratch compared to the homicides that are committed in the US. They are sensational, but rare and are overexposed.

Yes mass shootings could be severely decreased by treating mental illness. But there is so much more problems with violent crime and homicides that are not accounted for.

Not only that, but those mass shootings are committed by a very small small amount of mentally ill people! Constantly going after mental illness is only going to hurt the people who go through it.

In fact! People with mental illness are 2.7 times more likely to be the victims of violent crime than the rest of the population. If anything, we need to spend time protecting the mentally ill from the non-mentally ill.

But seriously. The media needs to cut this out as well as many people who clamor over the solution to this violence being treating mental illness.

Again let me state.

We do need a better mental health system! We should be pushing for that all the time. But the reason should not violent crime. Perpetuating the fear against the mentally ill will only further push them into hiding and only further make sure people don't want help.

This is further infuriating when you have groups like the NRA trying to make people with mental illness to be on a registry! The myths about mental illness are so strong that groups want to treat them like sex offenders. It makes it so much worse because then strangers can know if you have mental illness. Employers can know. Leasers can know.

That will only create extreme discrimination against people who are both not much more dangerous than the general population and who are already going through a tough time already.

So stop using mental illness as a scapegoat. It is hurtful to those who go through it and it is untrue.

image

Bravo, but expect a couple of people round here to be all over you when they see this, us "lunatics" have to be stopped, dontcha know.

Great post, I have bipolar myself, but thats fairly accepted and ive never recieved that much crap for it from others. My thoughts now are that the only difference between the sane and the insane are that the sane can have the insane locked up.

Having said that...
to kill 20 innocent kids is so perverted and twisted that to anyone else the only explanation is going to be insanity. This is a bit of a cop out, but how do you go about explaining something like that?

adamsaccount:
Great post, I have bipolar myself, but thats fairly accepted and ive never recieved that much crap for it. My thoughts now are that the only difference between the sane and the insane is that the sane can have the insane locked up.

Having said that...
to kill 20 innocent kids is so perverted and twisted that to anyone else the only explanation is going to be insanity. This is a bit of a cop out, but how do you go about explaining something like that?

Again, mass killings are very rare and account for only a minor part. Those who have mental illness who commit those mass killings only make up for a few individuals out of the millions who have a severe mental illness.

But we also have to consider the atrocities done by soldiers and corrupt politicians. There are genocides all across history where people without mental illness have slaughtered innocents. But those incidents don't make good headlines.

One of the major problems is that people with strong enough of a cause will do terrible things. Unfortuantly, you have some people with mental illness who happen to have reality skewed and think they have no choice but to do horrible things.

Considering that there has only been 31 major mass killings in the past 10 years, not all of them had mental illness.

Lets assume they all did. Lets assume they all had schizophrenia.

There are about 2.2 million people in USA with schizophrenia. That would be 0.00140909% of people with schizophrenia go on for mass murder.

Even if we say that the mass killing has been at this level for the past 100 years, then that would be 310. Which would be .0140909% of people with schizophrenia go on to mass murder.

That is hardly enough to be scared of

taciturnCandid:
This is further infuriating when you have groups like the NRA trying to make people with mental illness to be on a registry! The myths about mental illness are so strong that groups want to treat them like sex offenders.

hang on aren't something like 60% of Americans now technically "mentally ill" ? (ie they are prescribed and/or take mental health medication for ailments that are recognised as mental health conditions).

anyway ye there is a thick vein of politics that tries to work through the list of societal undesirables (given half a chance) until only the purest of the pure are left...which ofc includes them...

nothing new there.

Thats all true. I think that the NRA and other likeminded people are trying to divert the blame, and see us as an easy target.

At the end of the day though there doesnt really need to be any blame.

Sure if guns were harder to come by and if the US had better mental health systems then this may not have happened but as many have said people have been killing for as long as there have been people and animals have been killing as long as there have been animals.

Now I dont know much about schizophrenia except that it is probably the illness with the largest amount of fear and stigma asssociated with it, and that is wrong.

Fear seems like an excuse to forego understanding, and i wholeheartedly agree that politicians are the biggest mass muderers.

edit: i dont understand why people cant just say, this happened and its fucking terrible without having to attack some group for it. At the end of the day we all have freewill for better or for worse and we cannot do anything to completely guarentee our safety short of locking up everyone or hooking us up to something like the matrix

Sleekit:

taciturnCandid:
This is further infuriating when you have groups like the NRA trying to make people with mental illness to be on a registry! The myths about mental illness are so strong that groups want to treat them like sex offenders.

hang on aren't something like 60% of Americans now technically "mentally ill" ? (ie they are prescribed and/or take mental health medication for ailments that are recognised as mental health conditions).

That is the silly part, but I think they are referring mostly toward serious mental illness. (major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder)

Which is still just really frustrating when you have one of those or multiple ones.

Saw this video today of Penn Jillette on a Oprah-Clone show. There's a thread right here in this forum about it so I won't repost it. But one of the panel contributors stated that since the killer had Asperger Syndrome and playing Call of Duty that since he had no conscience and no empathy that it would be easy for him to suddenly think that killing was socially acceptable.

Penn jumped right on her pointing out there is no evidence that Asperger Syndrome ever creates violence and that she was spreading lies right there on television and scaring people to make political points. And pointing out that she was wrong about those with Asperger having no empathy or conscience.

And I agree. While it is true that there is now a stigma about having mental illness and getting help for serious problems has gotten harder in the United States. To suddenly start fearing those with mental illness is the wrong method. As is lumping all mental illness together as being equal.

My mother worked in the steno pool of a mental health hospital my entire childhood. For most of my life I lived across the street from that same hospital. It was closed and turned into a prison. That was in 1995. Here's a link to it's history Willard Psychiatric Centre

Since it closed, I've noted that the US is sort of afraid of sending someone to a hospital for the reasons of mental illness. And yes, I know it hasn't always been good for the mental ill in this country. But I think I'd rather people be able to get help easily rather than have to jump through tons of hoops just to prove there was something wrong. Or worse, being poorly diagnosed and just given drugs to "fix it."

Damn, okay I wrote a lot more than I meant to, and went sort of all over. Sooo... I'll just say this, taciturnCandid is entirely right. A scapegoat is a scapegoat: no matter if it's guns, the mentally ill, video games, movies, comic books, religion, etc. Just a way to feel better and think "It's not my fault" not a way to actually solve problems.

If you've seen one flew over the cuckoos nest i think youd understand why so many were closed. Maybe some people do need them, but previously the response to someone not fitting into society was to lock them up, and once you start thinking like that youve allready lost.

Some may benefit, and physciatric wards still exist for this reason.

DeimosMasque:

Since it closed, I've noted that the US is sort of afraid of sending someone to a hospital for the reasons of mental illness. And yes, I know it hasn't always been good for the mental ill in this country. But I think I'd rather people be able to get help easily rather than have to jump through tons of hoops just to prove there was something wrong. Or worse, being poorly diagnosed and just given drugs to "fix it."

The question you've got to ask yourself is: Do these people really need closed psychiatric care in a locked hospital ward or is there other ways to help these people cope with their illness? I brought this up in the "Political Correctness"-thread, because I work in a psychiatric ward focused on affective disorders (depression, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective syndrome and eating disorders mainly, but we also work with personality disorders and autism spectrum disorders) and I can honestly say that most of our patients wouldn't have to be admitted in the first place if we had a functional system for outpatient treatment of psychiatric disorders.

The thing is that my patients are people like you and me mostly, with similar dreams an ambitions but with some form of psychiatric disorder which impairs their ability to live a normal life to varying degrees. By admitting them to a psychiatric ward and keeping them there for prolonged periods of time, we are basically just making them sicker by depriving them of their own sense of agency and ability to take care of themselves. There are, obviously, times when being admitted to and treated at a psychiatric ward is necessary, but in a majority of cases that's when the person in question stopped taking their medication or when really special circumstances (loss of family, disaster etc.) put a heavy strain on their mental health.

It would be far better if society would actually make an effort to improve the quality of life for people with disabling psychiatric disorders, instead of pushing for more admittance to psychiatric wards. That way we'd actually give many of these people a chance at living a life they want to live instead of being shuttled around various institutions while being treated as some kind of pariah by the rest of society. The way we, as a society, treat many of our psychically ill today (particularly those with psychosis problems) breaks my heart. But I don't think the solution is to re-establish the mental asylums, rather we should give them a chance to actually become a part of society instead of living on its' fringes.

Wow, have you missed the point. Just... Wow. Anyway...

>implying that treating mental illness pushes the mentally ill further to the fringes of society.
>implying that increasing awareness of the mentally ill increases fear against them.
>implying that violent crime cannot awaken people to the idea that such crimes are caused by fear and anger directed towards the mentally ill.
>implying that all who are pushing for better mental health after Sandy Hook are necessarily pushing for fear of the mentally ill.
>implying that there is only one message one can take from the idea that mental illnesses was mostly responsible for the Sandy Hook shooting.
>implying that saying mental illness was responsible for Sandy Hook = condemning the mentally ill.

Gethsemani:
The question you've got to ask yourself is: Do these people really need closed psychiatric care in a locked hospital ward or is there other ways to help these people cope with their illness? I brought this up in the "Political Correctness"-thread, because I work in a psychiatric ward focused on affective disorders (depression, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective syndrome and eating disorders mainly, but we also work with personality disorders and autism spectrum disorders) and I can honestly say that most of our patients wouldn't have to be admitted in the first place if we had a functional system for outpatient treatment of psychiatric disorders.

The thing is that my patients are people like you and me mostly, with similar dreams an ambitions but with some form of psychiatric disorder which impairs their ability to live a normal life to varying degrees. By admitting them to a psychiatric ward and keeping them there for prolonged periods of time, we are basically just making them sicker by depriving them of their own sense of agency and ability to take care of themselves. There are, obviously, times when being admitted to and treated at a psychiatric ward is necessary, but in a majority of cases that's when the person in question stopped taking their medication or when really special circumstances (loss of family, disaster etc.) put a heavy strain on their mental health.

It would be far better if society would actually make an effort to improve the quality of life for people with disabling psychiatric disorders, instead of pushing for more admittance to psychiatric wards. That way we'd actually give many of these people a chance at living a life they want to live instead of being shuttled around various institutions while being treated as some kind of pariah by the rest of society. The way we, as a society, treat many of our psychically ill today (particularly those with psychosis problems) breaks my heart. But I don't think the solution is to re-establish the mental asylums, rather we should give them a chance to actually become a part of society instead of living on its' fringes.

I actually see your point, but I will say this about Willard, most of the people there had extreme cases and were either invalid or unable to cope in society. When it closed those people went to nursing homes and some were given back to their families that had no ability to care for them.

I agree, some people need help. Some need to stay in a hospital, some need out-patient care instead. But they all need care. And with the stigma of being mental ill, in a way means try to avoid help or they'll lock you away, I worry that for those patients that you relate with and probably appreciate your help.... there are probably 5 people out there being untreated because their parents or they themselves don't want to admit their problem. Preferring rather to "suck it up" and deal with it. And for those who can... congrats! I mean that, you have proven your willpower is great and probably even better than majority of humanity.

For those who can't... Okay this is more personal than I wanted to get into but I'm on my fourth glass of wine and truth mode has hit. One of my youngest cousins is what used to be called a "problem child."

He's incredibly intelligent, has a near eidetic memory and is socially manipulative to the point that I'd almost call him a con-man if I didn't know the rest of his story. I'm not going to get into the specifics for his sake but his dad committed suicide, his mom abandoned him to one of my other Aunts and then reclaimed him a few years later to get his financial stipend granted by his father's will.

He and his mother have never gotten along and as he's gotten older he went from just not listening... to crime. He's stolen the credit card numbers of my grandmother, three of my aunts and one of his friends just by memorizing the numbers when they used their cards for him. He has now had 3 social workers and 4 psychiatrists. He was given prescriptions to help... and he sold them to buy other stuff.

This year, because his mother had taken everything from them, even closing her own bank accounts and credit card numbers and giving all her money to a fourth aunt to pay her bills by proxy, my grandmother took pity on him and bought him an xbox360 and gave it to him early... he had sold it for drugs within the hour he got it.

His mother wanted to have him committed for a week, observation. She was told by his social worker... let him get arrested and don't bail him out or help him. Because apparently after the police have the records she can use that to get him committed.

It's sad that it got this far, and it's sad that no one in my family can even consider he may have problems (bad parenting being one of them.) I personally haven't seen him in two years (he's in NY state I'm in Florida.) And when he and I were together he spoke for hours about science, math, art, movies, etc. He's not even a bad kid. But no one will help him. And instead I look at him and think "one day he'll just be another cautionary tale for others. And I can't help because everyone including the government issued social worker has given up on him."

Gethsemani:
Sure if guns were harder to come by and if the US had better mental health systems then this may not have happened but as many have said people have been killing for as long as there have been people and animals have been killing as long as there have been animals

It's pretty easy to identify which of the two is the enabler for school shootings though; There's people who aren't right in the head everywhere. Violent ones even. Yet they don't end up shooting up schools.

Only difference between them and spree shooters; They don't have guns.

Voila, cause identified. Mental illness is not the enabler of a shooting, gun ownership is. In addition, many spree shootings were perpetrated by people who were quite clearheaded anyway.

Blablahb:

Gethsemani:
Sure if guns were harder to come by and if the US had better mental health systems then this may not have happened but as many have said people have been killing for as long as there have been people and animals have been killing as long as there have been animals

It's pretty easy to identify which of the two is the enabler for school shootings though; There's people who aren't right in the head everywhere. Violent ones even. Yet they don't end up shooting up schools.

Only difference between them and spree shooters; They don't have guns.

Voila, cause identified. Mental illness is not the enabler of a shooting, gun ownership is. In addition, many spree shootings were perpetrated by people who were quite clearheaded anyway.

Eh? The quote isn't from this thread and isn't even from me. A case of misquotation?

I said that in this thread, it was a misquote; but id rather not get into that debate, instead just make it clear that not all people living with mental sickness are mass shooting waiting to happen, its a tiny tiny minority as pointed out by the op.

adamsaccount:
If you've seen one flew over the cuckoos nest i think youd understand why so many were closed. Maybe some people do need them, but previously the response to someone not fitting into society was to lock them up, and once you start thinking like that youve allready lost.

Some may benefit, and physciatric wards still exist for this reason.

Eh, wasn't that based in the sixties?
We have come a long way since then. Healthcare has come a long way since then.

Thats very true, I know from firsthand in the uk which has really good healthcare, but the concepts of the book havent changed. People with various illnesses have a lot to offer society. One (unlikely) reaction to the shooting could be to start locking people up and fearing them which would be wrong

Blablahb:
It's pretty easy to identify which of the two is the enabler for school shootings though; There's people who aren't right in the head everywhere. Violent ones even. Yet they don't end up shooting up schools.

Only difference between them and spree shooters; They don't have guns.

Voila, cause identified. Mental illness is not the enabler of a shooting, gun ownership is. In addition, many spree shootings were perpetrated by people who were quite clearheaded anyway.

I hate to do this in a different thread because I have agreed with you in the past....

Those with mental illness are an infinitesimal percentage when it comes to those who commit violent crime in the United States.

And LEGAL owners of guns are infinitesimal percentage of those who commit gun crimes in the United States.

Nothing is solved by focusing on either.

DeimosMasque:
Those with mental illness are an infinitesimal percentage when it comes to those who commit violent crime in the United States.
And LEGAL owners of guns are infinitesimal percentage of those who commit gun crimes in the United States.

There is a difference though.

Of all spree shootings, only a part is perpetrated by people with mental problems, and often not of a nature that could've been identified and treated before it went wrong.

Of all spree shootings, 100% of them is perpetrated by people who had guns.

And on the curative side (meaning: the part of fixing it) one has to conclude that you can't do much about mental problems or illnesses. You quickly get stuck on personal freedom; can't just forcibly admit everyone who acts funny to a mental hospital. So you can't do much to prevent people with a mental disorder turning violent and perpetrating a spree shooting.

One can however institute a gun ban, which takes away the weapons and prevents all spree shootings, because the enabling factor is gone. As a bonus you also stop all cases of murder with firearms perpetrated by people who are sane according to a medical definition.


So not only is the cause found overwhelmingly more often in guns than in mental problems, but by adressing guns, you can actually prevent spree shootings. What's left will be only very occasional someone who takes up a knife, but experience in other countries has shown that stabbings are far less deadly than shootings.

I'm not even blaming you honestly...I'm blaming the fact that ones who aren't strong enough to deal/get past with the illness aren't getting the mental medical care they need...

Blablahb:

DeimosMasque:
Those with mental illness are an infinitesimal percentage when it comes to those who commit violent crime in the United States.
And LEGAL owners of guns are infinitesimal percentage of those who commit gun crimes in the United States.

There is a difference though.

Of all spree shootings, only a part is perpetrated by people with mental problems, and often not of a nature that could've been identified and treated before it went wrong.

Of all spree shootings, 100% of them is perpetrated by people who had guns.
.

And all stabbings were done with sharp pointy objects.

Not the gun's fault - it's the persons.

Technically though, I went on a killing spree in Halo 4 with melee attacks only. Since the game is an fps...this should be a spree shooting...

Considering people with mental health problems are much more likely to to be the victim of a violent assault than commit one, because of their illness this media focus and scaremongering is pretty offensive.

First they sensationalize and profit from the misery caused by these shootings they then turn around and focus it on people who suffer from mental health problems. The sooner old school TV news and media finishes its dying the better.

Angelblaze:
And all stabbings were done with sharp pointy objects.
Not the gun's fault - it's the persons.
Technically though, I went on a killing spree in Halo 4 with melee attacks only. Since the game is an fps...this should be a spree shooting...

Please read my post again. I quite clearly wrote that guns are the cause because they're the enabler. Or in other words: You can't shoot people with your bare hands, you need guns for that.

Thus, no more guns, no more shootings, simple as that. And it's a point that will stand rock-solid untill the gun lobby shows us a way to shoot people while unarmed.

Sorry, fixing the healthcare system costs a lot of money. And mental health issues are often long-term, even life-long chronic sometimes, so helping people and continually treating them is even more costly than a lot of other health-related problems. It's cheaper to use you as scapegoats and argue to create a national database to condemn you than to help you.

Blablahb:

Angelblaze:
And all stabbings were done with sharp pointy objects.
Not the gun's fault - it's the persons.
Technically though, I went on a killing spree in Halo 4 with melee attacks only. Since the game is an fps...this should be a spree shooting...

Please read my post again. I quite clearly wrote that guns are the cause because they're the enabler. Or in other words: You can't shoot people with your bare hands, you need guns for that.

Thus, no more guns, no more shootings, simple as that. And it's a point that will stand rock-solid untill the gun lobby shows us a way to shoot people while unarmed.

Yes, no more shootings. Instead people will look to other methods of killing. Bombings, perhaps. Once we get rid of bombs and the ingredients that are needed to make bombs, people will go to stabbings. And once we outlaw knives then people will move on to something else. If someone really wants to kill someone else, or other people, they will find a way. Of course, that's only under the amazingly simplistic view that simply banning guns will make it impossible to get guns. Which it won't. Criminals, for instance, won't be bothered by a legal ban on guns, they get their illegally anyway.

We shouldn't be trying to 'fix' the tools, we should look to fix the people that hold them.

...but I'm an animal lover friend who always fondle pet goats when I see them.[1]

OT: The kinds of mental health issues which do contribute to such tragedies need to be discussed by the general public, and it's not feasible that all members of it make all kinds of reservations and qualifications, which aren't all that relevant to the problem at hand: Little kids being shot up.

Complain about public discourse all you want, but never get in its way. Absolutely everyone must be able to let their voices be heard on any issue, and if they can't cater to your delicate sensibilities, pack those away.

[1] In memorandum.

TKretts3:
Yes, no more shootings. Instead people will look to other methods of killing. Bombings, perhaps.

I refer back to my earlier posts where I showed that explosives are already banned for anyone who can't demonstrate a professional need for them, and where I talk of spree stabbings turning out much less harmfull than spree shooting.

Thus, a gun ban prevents spree killing, and saves thousands of lives.

TKretts3:
We shouldn't be trying to 'fix' the tools, we should look to fix the people that hold them.

Except, you can't, unless you're willing to create a situation so draconic North Korea gets jealous, where you lock up everyone who acts a bit strangely or emotionally.

And you'd still be stuck with concious murders perpetrated by gun owners who believe they're doing to right thing by killing other people without a good reason. That one especially has been done to tears now, where emotional gun owners argue they 'have' to murder people who want to steal a few bucks worth of stuff from them, or who look at them funny and come across as threatening.

Ban guns however, and none of that is a problem anymore, because people can't do damage anymore.

Imperator_DK:
...but I'm an animal lover friend who always fondle pet goats when I see them.[1]

Fucking. Awesome.

[1] In memorandum.

TKretts3:

Yes, no more shootings. Instead people will look to other methods of killing. Bombings, perhaps. Once we get rid of bombs and the ingredients that are needed to make bombs, people will go to stabbings. And once we outlaw knives then people will move on to something else. If someone really wants to kill someone else, or other people, they will find a way. Of course, that's only under the amazingly simplistic view that simply banning guns will make it impossible to get guns. Which it won't. Criminals, for instance, won't be bothered by a legal ban on guns, they get their illegally anyway.

We shouldn't be trying to 'fix' the tools, we should look to fix the people that hold them.

By your logic let's give everyone a nuke. How easy it is to replicate the amount of killing that can be done is totally immaterial! Once we get rid of nukes people will just go to other bombs, and if not those people will just go ahead and stab entire cities to death.

Or you can be honest stop with that crap about how people will always find another way since it's pretty clear that some ways to kill people are easier than others so it's simply disingenuous to pretend that it doesn't matter what weapon people have.

BreakfastMan:
Wow, have you missed the point. Just... Wow. Anyway...

>implying that treating mental illness pushes the mentally ill further to the fringes of society.
>implying that increasing awareness of the mentally ill increases fear against them.
>implying that violent crime cannot awaken people to the idea that such crimes are caused by fear and anger directed towards the mentally ill.
>implying that all who are pushing for better mental health after Sandy Hook are necessarily pushing for fear of the mentally ill.
>implying that there is only one message one can take from the idea that mental illnesses was mostly responsible for the Sandy Hook shooting.
>implying that saying mental illness was responsible for Sandy Hook = condemning the mentally ill.

earlier source from ncbi:
In a series of surveys spanning several real-life events in Germany, Angermeyer and Matschinger (8) showed that the public's desire to maintain social distance from the mentally ill increased markedly after each publicized attack, never returning to initial values. Further, these incidents corresponded with increases in public perceptions of the mentally ill as unpredictable and dangerous.

A few problems. Forcing mental health treatment is a way to make people less want to have it. When you do something against a person's will, then they will abandon maintenance of the treatment after they get released. Not only that, but people will hide things so as not to have to go to some hospital ward.

I've been in a locked hospital ward and it is something that is to be avoided at all costs. I personally would rather hide symptoms and wait for them to pass than go back into one of those wings. I have medication and I know coping skills.

Using fear of violent behavior as a motivator to get better mental health will increase public perception of people with mental illness being dangerous. This does cause people to avoid treatment because they do not to be associated as a violent person. Especially with schizophrenia. Again this is from both personal experience and from my conversations with quite a few friends and acquaintances and also is a subject of a support group I go to.

The main problem I am having is that all over the news when there is discussion about how to cut down on violent and gun crime, it quickly becomes a thing about how we need to treat the mental illness to stop gun crime. Watch most of the media or even look at discussions on forums. Especially on the issue of gun control. When someone implies that guns might be the problem to all the gun crime, people are quick to bring up how we need more mental health treatment. As if that is the main cause behind gun crime.

And especially responses by people like the NRA. When confronted about the issue of gun crime, it turns into blame the mentally ill.

Angelblaze:
I'm not even blaming you honestly...I'm blaming the fact that ones who aren't strong enough to deal/get past with the illness aren't getting the mental medical care they need...

I am more of using us as a placeholder for people with mental illness. I belong to that category, so it irks me when people talk about other people with mental illness like that.

It would be a great thing if there were better options for people who are struggling to get help and it is a shame.

Imperator_DK:
...but I'm an animal lover friend who always fondle pet goats when I see them.[1]

OT: The kinds of mental health issues which do contribute to such tragedies need to be discussed by the general public, and it's not feasible that all members of it make all kinds of reservations and qualifications, which aren't all that relevant to the problem at hand: Little kids being shot up.

Complain about public discourse all you want, but never get in its way. Absolutely everyone must be able to let their voices be heard on any issue, and if they can't cater to your delicate sensibilities, pack those away.

I'm addressing the issue of gun crime as a whole, not just sandy hook. Which is why I made little mention of it.

I have no problem with people wanting better care, but I do have a problem when I face the stigma of mental illness. It directly impacts my life.

I mainly have this problem all about how whenever there is some discussion on gun violence, not just mass killing, the response is usually that we need to deal with mental illness. As if they are the cause for all this violent crime and gun violence. That is what I am trying to address by presenting research and personal experience.

I'm all for better choices for mental health care. I would love for that to be honestly discussed. But my problem is with that every time gun control is brought up, it is always turned to mental health. The more people use the excuse, the more it gets associated that the mentally ill are dangerous.

Research shows that the problem with gun violence is not going to be solved even if mental illness is cured. I'm tired of discussions about fixing it becoming a blame game on mental illness.

[1] In memorandum.

First of all, while yes the use of "mentally ill people" in this context may be unfortunate because it puts a lot of people in the same sack. And as we all know there are all kinds of mental illnesses and they also come at varying degrees of severity.

HOWEVER: most spree shootings/murders are committed by people who're either desperate or nuts. I mean we had one who claimed voices in his head told him to stab those infants. Doesn't matter how you twist it but that's nuts. Than there was one who killed his entire family and some psychiatrists agreed he was nuts and the only reason why the official verdict didn't say he was nuts is because they wanted him locked up in prison.

Now off course, most violence is caused by "sane" people but than again usually when people bring up the "insane" it's in the context of mass murders, not just any kind of violence.

Secondly: What people want to achieve by sensibilizing people to this problem is to have better care for the mentally ill. It's a win-win, really. The mentally ill being checked upon more is good for them (you won't get cured without therapy or pills, well sometimes you may but for the more severe illnesses you won't) and it is also good for the general public. There is literally no good that can come from ignoring the mental health of insane people.

I think a clarification is needed. Though spree killing is mentioned, this is involving violent and gun crime as a whole. Yes a lot of spree killings would not have happened if both the person was willing to receive help, was able to receive it, and then maintained their treatment.

But I am trying to bring up how whenever there is a discussion about violence and especially gun violence, it quickly turns into blaming the mentally ill. As if pretending that all killers and criminals are mentally ill.

J Tyran:
Considering people with mental health problems are much more likely to to be the victim of a violent assault than commit one, because of their illness this media focus and scaremongering is pretty offensive.

First they sensationalize and profit from the misery caused by these shootings they then turn around and focus it on people who suffer from mental health problems. The sooner old school TV news and media finishes its dying the better.

Exactly my point.

generals3:
First of all, while yes the use of "mentally ill people" in this context may be unfortunate because it puts a lot of people in the same sack. And as we all know there are all kinds of mental illnesses and they also come at varying degrees of severity.

HOWEVER: most spree shootings/murders are committed by people who're either desperate or nuts. I mean we had one who claimed voices in his head told him to stab those infants. Doesn't matter how you twist it but that's nuts. Than there was one who killed his entire family and some psychiatrists agreed he was nuts and the only reason why the official verdict didn't say he was nuts is because they wanted him locked up in prison.

Now off course, most violence is caused by "sane" people but than again usually when people bring up the "insane" it's in the context of mass murders, not just any kind of violence.

Secondly: What people want to achieve by sensibilizing people to this problem is to have better care for the mentally ill. It's a win-win, really. The mentally ill being checked upon more is good for them (you won't get cured without therapy or pills, well sometimes you may but for the more severe illnesses you won't) and it is also good for the general public. There is literally no good that can come from ignoring the mental health of insane people.

Again, mass killings are rare and when discussing violent crime in this country, people with mental illness are often blamed.

Yes in the context of mass murders, but almost any discussions about the role of guns usually turns into blame the mentally ill.

Onto your second thing, it is really getting off topic, but the goal is to create options and to lessen the stigma. Forcing people into treatment and then taking away their own responsibility to take care and make decisions about their own health is losing their dignity. That is the kind of thing that leads to people hiding things. Rather it should be that there should be education, awareness, and easy and affordable access to health care and the follow up treatments (including therapy and medications).

Also to note, calling people with mental illness insane people is really really offensive.

BreakfastMan:
Wow, have you missed the point. Just... Wow. Anyway...

>implying that treating mental illness pushes the mentally ill further to the fringes of society.
>implying that increasing awareness of the mentally ill increases fear against them.
>implying that violent crime cannot awaken people to the idea that such crimes are caused by fear and anger directed towards the mentally ill.
>implying that all who are pushing for better mental health after Sandy Hook are necessarily pushing for fear of the mentally ill.
>implying that there is only one message one can take from the idea that mental illnesses was mostly responsible for the Sandy Hook shooting.
>implying that saying mental illness was responsible for Sandy Hook = condemning the mentally ill.

The problem is that, Sandy Hook really was partially caused by the fact that a troubled person with a mental illness didn't get the help he needed. So cases like that need to be addressed.

What becomes a difficulty is that people don't and often can't differ between different types of mental illnesses.

Magichead:
image

Bravo, but expect a couple of people round here to be all over you when they see this, us "lunatics" have to be stopped, dontcha know.

I get mad when I hear things like "We should rehabilitate people, except psychotic people, who we should leave in ye olde style oubliette dungeons until they die". Often as a 'compromise' between punishment based law systems and rehabilitation based law systems.

If anything, that seems like, if anything, THE specific time where rehabilitation should be done first.

Dijkstra:

TKretts3:

Yes, no more shootings. Instead people will look to other methods of killing. Bombings, perhaps. Once we get rid of bombs and the ingredients that are needed to make bombs, people will go to stabbings. And once we outlaw knives then people will move on to something else. If someone really wants to kill someone else, or other people, they will find a way. Of course, that's only under the amazingly simplistic view that simply banning guns will make it impossible to get guns. Which it won't. Criminals, for instance, won't be bothered by a legal ban on guns, they get their illegally anyway.

We shouldn't be trying to 'fix' the tools, we should look to fix the people that hold them.

By your logic let's give everyone a nuke. How easy it is to replicate the amount of killing that can be done is totally immaterial! Once we get rid of nukes people will just go to other bombs, and if not those people will just go ahead and stab entire cities to death.

Or you can be honest stop with that crap about how people will always find another way since it's pretty clear that some ways to kill people are easier than others so it's simply disingenuous to pretend that it doesn't matter what weapon people have.

Ugh, I hate the argument that, if we make it harder for people to kill dozens or hundreds of their peers in the twinkling of the eye it's not worth it because somebody somewhere will be wily enough to kill people with large stones or something. It completely misses the point. Your metaphor is very apt here.

Yes, even without nukes or assault rifles or even handguns some people are going to find a way to kill other people. That's not a valid reason to not make it difficult for somebody to just snap and in a rash 30 second decision grab an assault rifle and gun down a school.

That's like saying that we shouldn't bother making murder illegal because some people are going to still do it and get away with it. It's self defeating and doesn't even attempt to address the problem in favor of being lazy.

taciturnCandid:

BreakfastMan:
Wow, have you missed the point. Just... Wow. Anyway...

>implying that treating mental illness pushes the mentally ill further to the fringes of society.
>implying that increasing awareness of the mentally ill increases fear against them.
>implying that violent crime cannot awaken people to the idea that such crimes are caused by fear and anger directed towards the mentally ill.
>implying that all who are pushing for better mental health after Sandy Hook are necessarily pushing for fear of the mentally ill.
>implying that there is only one message one can take from the idea that mental illnesses was mostly responsible for the Sandy Hook shooting.
>implying that saying mental illness was responsible for Sandy Hook = condemning the mentally ill.

earlier source from ncbi:
In a series of surveys spanning several real-life events in Germany, Angermeyer and Matschinger (8) showed that the public's desire to maintain social distance from the mentally ill increased markedly after each publicized attack, never returning to initial values. Further, these incidents corresponded with increases in public perceptions of the mentally ill as unpredictable and dangerous.

A few problems. Forcing mental health treatment is a way to make people less want to have it. When you do something against a person's will, then they will abandon maintenance of the treatment after they get released. Not only that, but people will hide things so as not to have to go to some hospital ward.

I've been in a locked hospital ward and it is something that is to be avoided at all costs. I personally would rather hide symptoms and wait for them to pass than go back into one of those wings. I have medication and I know coping skills.

I'm not pushing for the incarceration of persons who are not dangerous, but if somebody is completely detached from reality to the point where they can't realistically evaluate their need for help, then sometimes you can't wait till they come to you.

Yes, there are a lot of people who are stupidly calling for anybody with anything ever to go to a locked hospital ward, and that bothers me, but the opposite hands off approach isn't always going to work out either.

taciturnCandid:
Using fear of violent behavior as a motivator to get better mental health will increase public perception of people with mental illness being dangerous. This does cause people to avoid treatment because they do not to be associated as a violent person. Especially with schizophrenia. Again this is from both personal experience and from my conversations with quite a few friends and acquaintances and also is a subject of a support group I go to.

The main problem I am having is that all over the news when there is discussion about how to cut down on violent and gun crime, it quickly becomes a thing about how we need to treat the mental illness to stop gun crime. Watch most of the media or even look at discussions on forums. Especially on the issue of gun control. When someone implies that guns might be the problem to all the gun crime, people are quick to bring up how we need more mental health treatment. As if that is the main cause behind gun crime.

I've seen that the people who want mental illness health treatment, and I mean actual treatment not just you locked up in a sanitarium, tend to also want less guns (or at least more control on who can own what type of gun, or less assault rifles, etc.). The people who tend to want no gun control tend to blame any and everything except guns on these events and you're just caught in that crossfire, so to speak.

taciturnCandid:
And especially responses by people like the NRA. When confronted about the issue of gun crime, it turns into blame the mentally ill.

Like I said, because they blame any and everything but guns or gun owners. Also blamed for Sandy Hook by the NRA and right wing: Single mothers, gays, lack of guns, Obama, video games, social media, hurricanes, sports stadiums, music, foreign aid, movies.

Saying "We're gonna lock evildoers and crazy people in a vault" is an easy way to propose to solve a complex problem, so that's what they'll say. That way they don't actually have to do anything.

taciturnCandid:

Angelblaze:
I'm not even blaming you honestly...I'm blaming the fact that ones who aren't strong enough to deal/get past with the illness aren't getting the mental medical care they need...

I am more of using us as a placeholder for people with mental illness. I belong to that category, so it irks me when people talk about other people with mental illness like that.

It would be a great thing if there were better options for people who are struggling to get help and it is a shame.

Yeah, but don't lump people who say that people who are mentally ill should be able to get help in with people lazily saying that we should just form a giant mass grave and put anybody we don't like inside it as long as it doesn't force us to deal with our pro-violent culture and lifestyle.

taciturnCandid:

Imperator_DK:
...but I'm an animal lover friend who always fondle pet goats when I see them.

OT: The kinds of mental health issues which do contribute to such tragedies need to be discussed by the general public, and it's not feasible that all members of it make all kinds of reservations and qualifications, which aren't all that relevant to the problem at hand: Little kids being shot up.

Complain about public discourse all you want, but never get in its way. Absolutely everyone must be able to let their voices be heard on any issue, and if they can't cater to your delicate sensibilities, pack those away.

I'm addressing the issue of gun crime as a whole, not just sandy hook. Which is why I made little mention of it.

I have no problem with people wanting better care, but I do have a problem when I face the stigma of mental illness. It directly impacts my life.

Yeah, but the way to reduce that impact is by getting people a better medical understanding of mental illnesses, rather than seeing you as 'crazy'. Asking for a cessation of conversation isn't really doing that.

taciturnCandid:
I mainly have this problem all about how whenever there is some discussion on gun violence, not just mass killing, the response is usually that we need to deal with mental illness. As if they are the cause for all this violent crime and gun violence. That is what I am trying to address by presenting research and personal experience.

Depending on who you talk to, ANY human being willing to kill another human being for little to no reason is mentally ill, or at the very least in severe need of therapy.

taciturnCandid:
I'm all for better choices for mental health care. I would love for that to be honestly discussed. But my problem is with that every time gun control is brought up, it is always turned to mental health. The more people use the excuse, the more it gets associated that the mentally ill are dangerous.

Research shows that the problem with gun violence is not going to be solved even if mental illness is cured. I'm tired of discussions about fixing it becoming a blame game on mental illness.

Again, there are two camps at work here that you've mashed together. It's true that building a giant vault to throw anybody in that you perceive as ill isn't going to help, but not everybody who brings up mental health is thinking that way.

taciturnCandid:

Also to note, calling people with mental illness insane people is really really offensive.

Actually i think that in this context it doesn't. Usually people refer to people with really bad mental issues in this context and the word insane is quite appropriate to describe such people. I don't think people really care whether someone with a mild depression is being checked upon. If anything the unfortunate thing is that people use the word "Mentally Ill" because that means a lot, while "insane" usually narrows things down for people. (like i implied: someone with a depression will not be considered "insane", neither someone with mild asperger. Someone with big paranoid issues or schizophrenia however...)

Dijkstra:

TKretts3:

Yes, no more shootings. Instead people will look to other methods of killing. Bombings, perhaps. Once we get rid of bombs and the ingredients that are needed to make bombs, people will go to stabbings. And once we outlaw knives then people will move on to something else. If someone really wants to kill someone else, or other people, they will find a way. Of course, that's only under the amazingly simplistic view that simply banning guns will make it impossible to get guns. Which it won't. Criminals, for instance, won't be bothered by a legal ban on guns, they get their illegally anyway.

We shouldn't be trying to 'fix' the tools, we should look to fix the people that hold them.

By your logic let's give everyone a nuke. How easy it is to replicate the amount of killing that can be done is totally immaterial! Once we get rid of nukes people will just go to other bombs, and if not those people will just go ahead and stab entire cities to death.

Or you can be honest stop with that crap about how people will always find another way since it's pretty clear that some ways to kill people are easier than others so it's simply disingenuous to pretend that it doesn't matter what weapon people have.

If we got it to the point where no one would even think of harming another human being, then I would gladly start dispensing nukes in public. However, I know very much that we will never get to that point. I also know that you misunderstood me, I was not speaking against restrictions on guns, those need to be in effect. What I was speaking out against was an all out ban on guns.

TKretts3:

Dijkstra:

TKretts3:

Yes, no more shootings. Instead people will look to other methods of killing. Bombings, perhaps. Once we get rid of bombs and the ingredients that are needed to make bombs, people will go to stabbings. And once we outlaw knives then people will move on to something else. If someone really wants to kill someone else, or other people, they will find a way. Of course, that's only under the amazingly simplistic view that simply banning guns will make it impossible to get guns. Which it won't. Criminals, for instance, won't be bothered by a legal ban on guns, they get their illegally anyway.

We shouldn't be trying to 'fix' the tools, we should look to fix the people that hold them.

By your logic let's give everyone a nuke. How easy it is to replicate the amount of killing that can be done is totally immaterial! Once we get rid of nukes people will just go to other bombs, and if not those people will just go ahead and stab entire cities to death.

Or you can be honest stop with that crap about how people will always find another way since it's pretty clear that some ways to kill people are easier than others so it's simply disingenuous to pretend that it doesn't matter what weapon people have.

If we got it to the point where no one would even think of harming another human being, then I would gladly start dispensing nukes in public. However, I know very much that we will never get to that point. I also know that you misunderstood me, I was not speaking against restrictions on guns, those need to be in effect. What I was speaking out against was an all out ban on guns.

It doesn't matter whether it was restriction or ban, the argument itself was bad for the reason I stated. The idea that people will just find another way to kill one another is worthless as an argument because people aren't claiming it will end murder. The idea is to make it harder for people to kill each other. Saying people will go to stabbings or something is a terrible argument because the idea isn't to end all murder, it's to make it harder to kill multiple people at once. Killing multiple people with a gun versus with a knife is hardly the same difficulty.

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