So, if we're looking to jump to a conclusion on the gun violence issue, why not jump to depression?

This is a proven link between a lot of gun crimes. So let's take up our torches to burn down depression.

It's a lot easier to blame anything other than guns because it's politically sensitive due to a stupid amendment. And also I don't think the majority of people have a good understanding of what mental illness actually is or how to improve its treatment.

Esotera:
It's a lot easier to blame anything other than guns because it's politically sensitive due to a stupid amendment. And also I don't think the majority of people have a good understanding of what mental illness actually is or how to improve its treatment.

She has a point, though. The USA is notorious for how poorly it deals with mental illness while simultaneously creating just the right social environments to cause it. Pills can only cheer you up so much.

I'd say it'd be a good idea to burn down depression independent of gun crime.

Danny Ocean:

Esotera:
It's a lot easier to blame anything other than guns because it's politically sensitive due to a stupid amendment. And also I don't think the majority of people have a good understanding of what mental illness actually is or how to improve its treatment.

She has a point, though. The USA is notorious for how poorly it deals with mental illness while simultaneously creating just the right social environments to cause it. Pills can only cheer you up so much.

I'd say it'd be a good idea to burn down depression independent of gun crime.

The "pills" most commonly prescribed to treat depression aren't even any more effective than sugar pills anyway http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050045). They only exist so big pharma can make money, not so people with depression receive effective treatment. Burn down the shitty exploitative approach to healthcare if you want to burn down anything.

Yup, the way mental illnesses are treated in the US (and pretty much the rest of the western world) is joke. Even anti-psychotics do little to treat the problem at hand rather than just cover it up. Treatment is entirely geared toward money-making, long-term healthcare be damned.

RatherDull:
This is a proven link between a lot of gun crimes. So let's take up our torches to burn down depression.

Because no matter the reason a person becomes violent / homicidal / suicidal, they are able to kill and injure more people with a firearm than with any other hand held weapon (cutting, bashing, etc).

Danny Ocean:

Esotera:
It's a lot easier to blame anything other than guns because it's politically sensitive due to a stupid amendment. And also I don't think the majority of people have a good understanding of what mental illness actually is or how to improve its treatment.

She has a point, though. The USA is notorious for how poorly it deals with mental illness while simultaneously creating just the right social environments to cause it. Pills can only cheer you up so much.

I'd say it'd be a good idea to burn down depression independent of gun crime.

While I agree with this in theory, mental health being an area which deserves a lot more attention, in practice I'm a bit wary.

Nobody seems to care about mental illness until there's a high profile crime by someone who may or may not be mentally ill. People who are mentally ill are more likely to be the victims, rather than the perpetrators of crimes. Saying society has to do something about the mentally ill to protect it from them, rather than them from it, tends to be counter effective.

thaluikhain:

While I agree with this in theory, mental health being an area which deserves a lot more attention, in practice I'm a bit wary.

Nobody seems to care about mental illness until there's a high profile crime by someone who may or may not be mentally ill. People who are mentally ill are more likely to be the victims, rather than the perpetrators of crimes. Saying society has to do something about the mentally ill to protect it from them, rather than them from it, tends to be counter effective.

If the approach of stigmatising mental health led to a big increase in funding & resources for its healthcare, I think most patients and professionals would be absolutely for it. Society's perception of mental illness is fucking awful at the minute and can't get much worse unless they go down the route of 'burn the witch', so I'd rather they did the right thing for the wrong reasons.

thaluikhain:
People who are mentally ill are more likely to be the victims, rather than the perpetrators of crimes.

They can't be both?

RatherDull:

thaluikhain:
People who are mentally ill are more likely to be the victims, rather than the perpetrators of crimes.

They can't be both?

Of course they can. That's why he said "more likely to be" rather than just "are".

Shpongled:

The "pills" most commonly prescribed to treat depression aren't even any more effective than sugar pills anyway http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050045). They only exist so big pharma can make money, not so people with depression receive effective treatment. Burn down the shitty exploitative approach to healthcare if you want to burn down anything.

Yup, the way mental illnesses are treated in the US (and pretty much the rest of the western world) is joke. Even anti-psychotics do little to treat the problem at hand rather than just cover it up. Treatment is entirely geared toward money-making, long-term healthcare be damned.

That's a cool article, have you actually read it? Relevant quote: "weighted mean improvement was 9.60 points on the HRSD in the drug groups and 7.80 in the placebo groups, yielding a mean drug-placebo difference of 1.80 on HRSD improvement scores. Although the difference between these means easily attained statistical significance, it does not meet the three-point drug-placebo criterion for clinical significance used by NICE."
Or, if you will, they are basically saying that anti-depressants are more effective then placebo, they just aren't effective enough to live up to the NICE-standard.

Also, model 2 in that study suggests that anti-depressant effectiveness is highly dependent on the initial severity of the depression, with more severe depressions responding better to anti-depressants then less severe. Figure 3 tells us the same thing while figure 4 neatly summarizes it by showing us that with an initial severity of 26 baseline HRSD the difference between placebo and anti-depressant effectiveness becomes statistically significant.

I am always a little distraught when laymen try to talk about the things I do for a living as if they had some deeper understanding of psychiatry then psychiatrists and psychiatric nursing staff does. If we wanted to have this discussion for real, why don't we examine the possible reasons why patients react similarly to anti-depressants (more specifically SSRI) and placebo in mild and moderate depressions? Or maybe other suggestions about how we should treat severe depressions?

The simple truth is that medication is one of the tools we have available to treat severe depressions, especially if patients do not feel like going trough Electro-convulsive therapy. The notion that SSRI would be a cash-cow for "big pharma" is also pretty laughable, considering that most SSRI medication is cheaper then even medication for high blood pressure and needs to be taken about as frequently. And far fewer people use SSRI then use blood pressure medication.

Gethsemani:

Shpongled:

The "pills" most commonly prescribed to treat depression aren't even any more effective than sugar pills anyway http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050045). They only exist so big pharma can make money, not so people with depression receive effective treatment. Burn down the shitty exploitative approach to healthcare if you want to burn down anything.

Yup, the way mental illnesses are treated in the US (and pretty much the rest of the western world) is joke. Even anti-psychotics do little to treat the problem at hand rather than just cover it up. Treatment is entirely geared toward money-making, long-term healthcare be damned.

Or, if you will, they are basically saying that anti-depressants are more effective then placebo, they just aren't effective enough to live up to the NICE-standard.

You don't think that's bad? Congrat's, you're right and i'm wrong, SSRI's are ever so slightly more effective, not enough to be relevant to a prominent health organisation, which for me is the more relevant part, but what the hey, it's ok to subject patients as a first line defence to the plethora of side-effects offered by SSRI's since they are a little bit more effective than a lump of sugar. Maybe we just haven't got a more effective yet simple form of treatment than SSRI's yet, but at least someones making piles of cash in the meantime i guess.

Either way, however you spin it it's pretty damning of SSRI's.

I am always a little distraught when laymen try to talk about the things I do for a living as if they had some deeper understanding of psychiatry then psychiatrists and psychiatric nursing staff does....

The simple truth is that medication is one of the tools we have available to treat severe depressions, especially if patients do not feel like going trough Electro-convulsive therapy. The notion that SSRI would be a cash-cow for "big pharma" is also pretty laughable, considering that most SSRI medication is cheaper then even medication for high blood pressure and needs to be taken about as frequently. And far fewer people use SSRI then use blood pressure medication.

I'm sorry, at what point did i pretend to have a deeper understanding of psychiatry than anyone? I'm expressing doubt that the main incentives for large industries based around helping people aren't money making over effective treatment. I've no doubt the people on the ground know their stuff, i just don't trust corporations to spend their lobbying power and capital more on what really helps people vs what makes them more money.

All i know is SSRI's were a goddawful treatment for myself and most people i've spoken to about it. I may as well have been smoking weed, different side effects but i'd prefer the side-effects of a little less motivation than the side-effects of feeling numb and lifeless, never getting an erection, perpetual gurning and the removal of anything vaguely resembling a healthy sleeping pattern.

On top of that, doctors were utterly, 100% useless(Edit: In retrospect, this was admittedly this was overly harsh). Diagnosis came down to giving me a 20-question questionnaire so they can tell me something i already know (what's that? You think about suicide more than twice a week, hmmm, you might be depressed), then prescribe me some pills and send me on my way. The way doctors treated my mental problems they literally could have just been replaced a computer to do the same job. Sure, it's anecdote but i haven't met anyone whose had issues with similar sorts of mood-disorders that have particularly good things to say about the way their issues were treated by their GP's. (Note: i'm not criticizing the professionals themselves, more what seems to be the standard procedure for handling depressive patients. I had one doctor who was good, but out of the 7 i saw 6 were more concerned with getting questionnaires filled out than listening to my own words). In the end it was therapy based treatments that did the job.

Maybe it has nothing to do with money, but i can't help but suspect that if there were far more focus on therapy-based treatments than pills, the pharmaceutical industry probably wouldn't be making as much money as they are now, a big part of me suspects that probably isn't something they want.

TechNoFear:

RatherDull:
This is a proven link between a lot of gun crimes. So let's take up our torches to burn down depression.

Because no matter the reason a person becomes violent / homicidal / suicidal, they are able to kill and injure more people with a firearm than with any other hand held weapon (cutting, bashing, etc).

yes and no

That only makes a significant difference for mass murderers, who compose an extremely tiny subset of cases. Serial killers, and people who just snap one day and kill someone, are largely unaffected by weapon options. In fact, in most cases, they are significantly more likely to get away with killing someone if they use absolutely anything other than a firearm. Bullets are easily traceable, a 5 dollar kitchen knife from walmart... not so much.

We're better off focusing on the reasons people choose to kill in the first place, rather than settling for lowering the "gun inflicted deaths" category while trying to ignore the rising "knife inflicted deaths" category.

Heronblade:
Bullets are easily traceable, a 5 dollar kitchen knife from walmart... not so much.

Thanks to legal firearms sales, which ensures a steady supply on untraceable weapons that are either stolen, bought in the name of a fall guy or sold under the counter, that shouldn't be a problem to anyone with ambitions of becoming a serial killer.

Also, during the whole gun debate, there was never any proof that other types of crime show the same increase that firearms crime decreases. Not just that, but several examples used showed that other types of crime, or deaths, do not show the same rise as they show a drop in firearms-caused problems. For instance the Belgian suicide statistics I refered to a few times.

Esotera:

thaluikhain:

While I agree with this in theory, mental health being an area which deserves a lot more attention, in practice I'm a bit wary.

Nobody seems to care about mental illness until there's a high profile crime by someone who may or may not be mentally ill. People who are mentally ill are more likely to be the victims, rather than the perpetrators of crimes. Saying society has to do something about the mentally ill to protect it from them, rather than them from it, tends to be counter effective.

If the approach of stigmatising mental health led to a big increase in funding & resources for its healthcare, I think most patients and professionals would be absolutely for it. Society's perception of mental illness is fucking awful at the minute and can't get much worse unless they go down the route of 'burn the witch', so I'd rather they did the right thing for the wrong reasons.

I'd disagree, even if more resources were spent, they'd likely not be done so on anything productive. There was talk of a national US register of mental ill people, for example. That sort of thing would really be a step in the wrong direction

thaluikhain:

I'd disagree, even if more resources were spent, they'd likely not be done so on anything productive. There was talk of a national US register of mental ill people, for example. That sort of thing would really be a step in the wrong direction

Spending it on something like community outreach and preventative services would probably be the best option in the long-term, along with increasing the availability of online services, which are cheap and effective.

The amount actually spent on mental health in most countries doesn't remotely cover the number of people who are actually ill, so increasing funds wouldn't necessarily be a waste.

Esotera:

thaluikhain:

I'd disagree, even if more resources were spent, they'd likely not be done so on anything productive. There was talk of a national US register of mental ill people, for example. That sort of thing would really be a step in the wrong direction

Spending it on something like community outreach and preventative services would probably be the best option in the long-term, along with increasing the availability of online services, which are cheap and effective.

The amount actually spent on mental health in most countries doesn't remotely cover the number of people who are actually ill, so increasing funds wouldn't necessarily be a waste.

Certainly, provided the funds went towards things making things better. I don't see that as a given, myself.

Heronblade:
Serial killers, and people who just snap one day and kill someone, are largely unaffected by weapon options.

Citation required! The technical term you are looking for is 'weapon subsitution'.

Statistics show firearms are MUCH more deadlier than any other weapon type in all homicides and assaults.

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/1993/10/05/knives-00000/

Firearms are used in ~68% of homicides, ~41% of robberies, ~50% of suicides and ~21% of aggravated assaults. [FBI UCR 2011, CDC 2010].

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-offense-data

Heronblade:
We're better off focusing on the reasons people choose to kill in the first place,

People will always have acute crisis points where they consider homicide or suicide.

Attempting to remove every single one of these crisis points from everybodies lives is impossible.

The only feasable solution is to restrict the means (used to commit the homicide or suicide).

As the vast majority of homicides and 50% of suicides are with firearms, firearms would appear to be a logical place to start.

Heronblade:
rather than settling for lowering the "gun inflicted deaths" category while trying to ignore the rising "knife inflicted deaths" category.

According to the FBI UCR 2011 67.7% of all homicides were by firearm, while 13.4% were with cutting weapons (inc knives) (that is 5 times more guns than knives).

Put another way; more people in the US are murdered with a firearm than by all other methods combined, so it is a reasonable first course of action to examine means to reduce the most common form of homicide (being shot).

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-8

TechNoFear:

Heronblade:
We're better off focusing on the reasons people choose to kill in the first place,

People will always have acute crisis points where they consider homicide or suicide.

Attempting to remove every single one of these crisis points from everybodies lives is impossible.

The only feasable solution is to restrict the means (used to commit the homicide or suicide).

As the vast majority of homicides and 50% of suicides are with firearms, firearms would appear to be a logical place to start.

False dichotomy there, no reason why you can't try both.

Shpongled:

I'm sorry, at what point did i pretend to have a deeper understanding of psychiatry than anyone? I'm expressing doubt that the main incentives for large industries based around helping people aren't money making over effective treatment. I've no doubt the people on the ground know their stuff, i just don't trust corporations to spend their lobbying power and capital more on what really helps people vs what makes them more money.

All i know is SSRI's were a goddawful treatment for myself and most people i've spoken to about it. I may as well have been smoking weed, different side effects but i'd prefer the side-effects of a little less motivation than the side-effects of feeling numb and lifeless, never getting an erection, perpetual gurning and the removal of anything vaguely resembling a healthy sleeping pattern.

This isn't really a fault of the pharmaceutical companies, you even get to the core of the issue in your next paragraph. If side-effects are too harsh, any doctor worth their title and wage will change your medication or try alternatives.

Shpongled:

On top of that, doctors were utterly, 100% useless(Edit: In retrospect, this was admittedly this was overly harsh). Diagnosis came down to giving me a 20-question questionnaire so they can tell me something i already know (what's that? You think about suicide more than twice a week, hmmm, you might be depressed), then prescribe me some pills and send me on my way. The way doctors treated my mental problems they literally could have just been replaced a computer to do the same job. Sure, it's anecdote but i haven't met anyone whose had issues with similar sorts of mood-disorders that have particularly good things to say about the way their issues were treated by their GP's. (Note: i'm not criticizing the professionals themselves, more what seems to be the standard procedure for handling depressive patients. I had one doctor who was good, but out of the 7 i saw 6 were more concerned with getting questionnaires filled out than listening to my own words). In the end it was therapy based treatments that did the job.

Maybe it has nothing to do with money, but i can't help but suspect that if there were far more focus on therapy-based treatments than pills, the pharmaceutical industry probably wouldn't be making as much money as they are now, a big part of me suspects that probably isn't something they want.

To me this sounds like a problem with the healthcare system, namely that instead of directing you to a specialist in the field (a psychiatrist) you were treated by a general practitioner. It is sadly an all too common problem with depression, that GP's attempt to treat them with SSRI's (which, as the studies show, are only effective against severe depressions)instead of sending the patient to a specialist, which is either a psychiatrist or a psychologist or counselor.

It is kind of telling that when I went to a GP for my (light) depression and anxiety he would hold off on medication only because I, as a RN in an affective psychiatric ward, was hesitant to accept SSRI's and suggested I'd be better off with CBT. You can't really blame the big pharmaceutical corporations for this however. The problem is two-fold in most western nations today: A) A majority of GP's aren't properly educated and don't have enough experience to handle psychiatric problems and B) there aren't enough cognitive or behavioral therapists available to keep up with the increasing demands for those kinds of treatments.

Think of it like this: You wouldn't want your GP to perform your coronary by-pass operation, so why do we accept that they treat complex and crippling psychiatric problems?
Also, I'd like to apologize if I came off as unduly harsh in my first post. Whenever psychiatry is mentioned I tend to get a tad defensive.

TechNoFear:
snip

Every single source you just posted is rather worthless in this particular context. They do not address the point of weapon substitution, and only show data taken in an environment where guns are and always will be easy to acquire regardless of any gun laws we put in place here. My point was that in regions where guns are in low supply, but the underlying reasons behind murder/suicide are not addressed, murder/suicide by use of other weapons almost makes up the difference. Hell, sitting at my desk, I have a dozen or so items within reach that can easily be used to kill myself or others(even discounting the pocket knives) The only effective way to prevent such problems solely by limiting access to weaponry requires locking the subject in a padded cell.

A couple of things to chew on here:
-Gun ownership is currently on the rise in the US and has been for quite some time. Violent crime in all categories is also declining in the US, and has been for quite some time. I refuse to give voice to the opinion that the former caused the latter, but the relationship appears to be different than you imagine.
-In the meantime, in the UK, one of the most gun free nations in the world, stabbing related deaths have doubled over the last 30 years. Their crime rates are low overall largely, at least from my understanding, because of the social measures taken there.
-Also in the category of nations with a good handle on the underlying causes of crime is Japan. Among the most crime free nations on Earth, very limited access to guns, and boasting one of the most effective police forces on Earth, their violent crime rates involving knives and other non firearm weapons are nevertheless currently rising.
-Then there's our lovely neighbor to the south. Mexico has a very poor grip on the social and economical reasons behind crime. The citizens also have relatively low access to guns. The result? They registered over 27,000 murders in 2011 for a whopping 21.5 per 100,000 people (and both the government and populous are notorious for underreporting crimes), most of which were committed using bladed weapons.

To put it another way, murder and suicide both are primarily economic and social issues. Trying stop it solely by taking guns away is a bit like slapping a simple bandage on an arterial puncture wound, the action may slow things down, but with little to no effect in the long run. You are correct to say that we cannot possibly chase down all of the reasons people kill, but we can certainly address the most common of those, and by so doing, have a far greater effect.

Heronblade:

TechNoFear:
snip

Every single source you just posted is rather worthless in this particular context.

You failed to comprehend my post....

You stated that weapon substitution made little to no difference;

Heronblade:
Serial killers, and people who just snap one day and kill someone, are largely unaffected by weapon options.

I asked YOU to back that up with data.

My sources in that post show that firearms are more deadly and used more frequently in homicide, when they are available.

Please show evidence to support your opinion that when firearms are not available there will be the same rate of homicides, and this is due to weapon subsitution.

Heronblade:
To put it another way, murder and suicide both are primarily economic and social issues.

Sure.

So what socio-economic difference causes the US to have a homicide rate 5 times that of most other 'first world' countries?

Heronblade:
Trying stop it solely by taking guns away is a bit like slapping a simple bandage on an arterial puncture wound, the action may slow things down, but with little to no effect in the long run.

Citation required!

This study says otherwise;

http://people.anu.edu.au/andrew.leigh/pdf/GunBuyback_Panel.pdf

Heronblade:
You are correct to say that we cannot possibly chase down all of the reasons people kill, but we can certainly address the most common of those, and by so doing, have a far greater effect.

Citation required!

SO you have the percentage of (or rate at which) prepetrators of homicide in the US that suffer from mental illness?

NOTE: The difference in our opinions is that I favour BOTH improved mental care AND firearm controls, while you favour ONLY improved mental health care.

But lets quantify the amount of preventable homicides (total, not just mass and sprees) due to mental health issues, to ensure it is actually tha big a deal.

TechNoFear:
snip

Apparently we're both champs of misunderstanding, because you just did it again.

I don't seem to recall mentioning mental health care anywhere in my posts *checks* nope, not even once.

Generally speaking, I actually discount mental care for this topic, at least in the sense you and most others seem to use the term. Short of mandating periodic psychological tests for the public, there isn't much we can do in this field that will prevent more than a handful of murder cases. Few of those committing murder due to psychological illness display noticeable symptoms before hand (or to perhaps be more accurate, the symptoms they do display are usually not distinguishable from the standard stress and/or depression nearly everyone exhibits from time to time)

This is not to say that I am against improved mental health care, far from it, our current system is woefully inadequate, it just won't help noticeably for these particular problems.

What we CAN do is social engineering, I suppose you could call it mental health care for the public at large rather than individuals. Domestic disputes, money, revenge, and intoxication, in that order, are the biggest motives for murder. Find a means to solve most of the economic issues, especially on the lower end, and a large chunk of yearly murders disappear. Deal with the gang culture in many communities, and another chunk disappears, etc.

Regardless, my original point was that gun access seems to have a negligible effect on crime and murder rates on its own, I've already mentioned several examples of nations from both ends of the spectrum. I don't know if you have noticed this trend, but nearly all of the nations held up as examples by the anti gun crowd had noticeably more stable communities and lower murder rates well before they made that particular switch. Take Australia for instance. Their murder rate was never particularly high, and is going down, but the overall trend appears to be at least nearly identical before and after the gun recall in '96. (although it seems to be more chaotic afterwards for some weird reason.)

image

Heronblade:
Take Australia for instance. Their murder rate was never particularly high, and is going down, but the overall trend appears to be at least nearly identical before and after the gun recall in '96. (although it seems to be more chaotic afterwards for some weird reason.)

You are using raw data.

Please read the latest study into the Australian Gun Buy Back, which I previously linked.

Do Gun Buy Backs Save Lives?:
In 1997, Australia implemented a gun buyback program that reduced the stock of firearms by around one-fifth.

Using differences across states in the number of firearms withdrawn, we test whether the reduction in firearms availability affected firearm homicide and suicide rates.

We find that the buyback led to a drop in the firearm suicide rates of almost 80 per cent, with no statistically significant effect on non-firearm death rates. The estimated effect on firearm homicides is of similar magnitude, but is less precise.

The results are robust to a variety of specification checks, and to instrumenting the state-level buyback rate.

http://people.anu.edu.au/andrew.leigh/pdf/GunBuyback_Panel.pdf

PS The topic of this thread is about mental health as an influence on firearm violence....

The USA would rather pump people full of useless pills and blame "violent video games" than actually remove their bullshit gun law from the whatever Amendment and focus on helping their people, rather than sitting back on their greed without a sliver of empathy for anyone but their rich buddies. And what's worse, there are still too many people indoctrinated into this belief that I don't see things changing any time soon.

 

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked