Psychotic? Schizophrenic? Both?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I was reading some of the background info on the suspected gunman in today's tragic Arizona shooting. His thought processes seem terribly disorganized, paranoid and delusional.

    I wonder where is family is and if he was always this way... whenever I read about these difficult child's gone off the deep end, a little voice inside says "there but for the grace of God..."
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I used to watch experts on documentaries of stuff kiddo likes and think "That could be my kid one day." Now I see things like that and have the same thought.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    It's a shame so many people are quickly assuming this was politically motivated -- nothing in any of this kid's ramblings ever cited a political platform. He was paranoid and he was mainly worried about the government controlling language and money/currency. This really is an instance of mental illness at its worst, but I doubt there will be any discussion about how this could have been prevented. But I could be wrong. Maybe after all the fingerpointing stops people will start discussing the real reason this kid did what he did. He was sick.
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I agree, he is a deeply disturbed young man. And I can tell you that I've been upset for most of the day at the thought that a 9 year old child died in the shoot out. Tragic.

    I also must make the obligatory moderator reminded that we don't discuss religion or politics here on Please remember to stay on the topic of mental illness and difficult children.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree about the political refrain. It really seems as though that was his "outlet" of sorts to rant about but it just as well could have been anything. He could have thought that ufo's were watching and he needed to wear aluminum foil hats and line all his windows so his thoughts couldnt be read. I have heard of many cases where that is the case.

    When reality gets so distorted it is a horrible thing. You really cannot convince someone that what they believe is not real. Trust my, I lived through a very short period of time in that place and I have the utmost respect for people who have to live like that forever. I was so convinced I was pregnant. Now we all get a good laugh about it but I was really convinced. Seriously convinced. You wouldnt believe all the stuff I was convinced of that went along with that. There was also so many other things that I was delusional about. I thought Tony got arrested several times. I thought he was going out and getting drunk and getting in bar fights and getting locked up. He doesnt drink at all. The scratches on his hand were from work! Things were really bad at times.

    Thankfully mine got better but I cant imagine living that way for a long period of time. I cant imagine if you didnt know that what you were thinking and feeling wasnt reality. That has to be the scariest thing in the world.
  6. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    It seems obvious to us who deal with mental issues on a daily basis that this young man has big problems. However, I wonder how much of this will be covered in the press. So often when these things happen, we hear the political angle, we hear how the parents didn't do their job, we hear it is the food he ate, we hear that it is the easy availability of guns, we hear about all of these other things but we seldom hear that somebody like that was mentally deranged. I think society in general does not really want to admit that there are people with mental problems who go off the deep end and do things for which they are really not totally responsible. Time after time, the mental problems are played down and other factors are blamed. If society admits that people really do have problems this serious, then they will have to do something about it and at this point they don't really know what to do so they just keep ignoring the problem.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member are right. They say the sound bites of "Well of course he is crazy, look what he did! But that doesnt mean he shouldnt get the death penalty."

    There are the true sociopath's who kill for the sheer thrill of killing someone. There is true evil in this world. I do believe that and I believe that a very few people may deserve the death sentence. No where near as many as get it applied to them. I do not think it serves as a deterrent like it was supposedly put into law to do. In my mind, life in jail with no parole is far harsher.

    I dont believe in treating kids as adults either. Not when it is scientifically proven that the part of the brain that controls impulse control and realizing consequences of right from wrong behavior doesnt completely finish growing until a person is 25...and if they use drugs or alcohol, they can do permanent damage to that part of the brain? Oh yeah right...lets lock up a 10 or 12 year old as an adult who doesnt have the brain of an adult and may have already caused his brain to be damaged. That makes perfect sense to me.
  8. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I am hearing a lot of discussion about his mental state/stability, but not as much as I think there should be, no "Where did the system fail him?" type of things that I would hope to see them cover to wake people up to how difficult it is to get proper help and push along the changes that would help our kids more and faster.
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I've given a lot of thought about mentally ill young people lately because of my difficult child and looking ahead to her future. But I'm not sure there is a good solution. When my difficult child gets out on her own she will be non compliant with any medications she may be prescribed and she will not have us to keep pulling her back to reality. She will become homeless and take whatever drugs or mind altering substance that makes her feel better at the time and get hooked up with all the wrong people and no amount of social services will change that. She won't seek help and if she does she won't comply. So society is left with trying to figure out what to do with those people who can't function in our world but refuse help.

  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    As soon as the information began to be broadcast I thought "OMG that could be our 20 year old difficult child". He writes (and has for many years) opinions throwing in the names of books that he is only vaguely familiar with to make himself sound like an expert on a subject where he has no knowledge. He graduated from high school and is a nice looking clean cut young man with mental health issues that thankfully have not led to violence but it is fearful.

    I just read that the perpetrator wrote (at some time...not sure when) that he wished the college officials would tell his parents that he could not go to college now because he had mental illness and needed professional help. How totally sad is that?

    It brings back vivid memories of the young man from the upper middle class family who tried to kill Presidnet Reagan. His parents had tried and tried to get him mental health support and finally their therapist or psychiatrist said "let him go out on his own
    and find his own way". They did. I think he is still in a mental health facility and only recently got permission for short visits with his family.

    It will never happen but it sure would be wonderful if our politicians turned their focus on assuring support for the mentally ill. It would be cost effective. It would benefit society. It would be the right thing to do. It won't happen. DDD
  11. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree DDD. When they say the system failed him which system do they mean? The system that won't talk to parents about medical issues with their kids even if they are paying the bills or the only ones trying to help? Or the system that can't help mentally ill people unless they ask for it or are destitute enough? Or the system that has no more tax money to help those in need? Or the sytem that can't provide birth control with federally funded money wothout fear of violence? Or the system that refuses to cover mental health in their health benefits? There are a lot of issues here that can't be solved by blaming the system. We are the system and as long as society allows this to happen it will.

  12. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Nancy makes a very important point -- what do we do when someone refuses help? I heard this same questions repeatedly when I went to a NAMI support group meeting last year. Just about every family there had a loved one who 1. was mentally ill, 2. was in and out of homelessness, 3. refusing treatment, 4. making life very hard for the rest of the family because of their choices.

    I completely understand the laws being set up to respect the rights of the individual and freedom of choice... however, how can that be helpful in the case of someone who's mentally ill? Is it a necessary evil that we must wait until a crime is committed before they can be forced into treatment? Or is there another way to help without "infringing" on their rights? We can't force people to go to the doctor when they are physically sick either. I look at my own difficult child-dad who stubbornly made medical decisions he had no business doing, that likely contributed to his rapid demise -- and there wasn't a darned thing we could do about it except try to advise him appropriately until we were blue in the face.

    Prison is not the right place for the mentally ill homeless, either. But sadly that seems to be where most of them end up. I'd rather see my "crazy" relative in a psychiatric hospital than prison.
  13. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I have not heard one reporter yet question if or when the system failed him. Maybe they did on another channel, but I haven't seen it, and that alone upsets me. It's hard to get help for these kids when they're young, harder to get them good help, everyone here knows that, gets that. The rest of the world? Pfffft. They need to question this, not the political aspects, not if judges need more protection, not if the internet adds to the flames these kids already have, but how to help these kids when they're still young enough to prevent this stuff. Not after the fact.
  14. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    But the fact remains HaoZi how do we help these people that don't want help. We then get into the rights of the person and money that has to come out of our pockets to help them. Take my difficult child, we are so close to kicking her out on the street that it will probably happen very soon. She then becomes a problem of society instead of just our problem. Instead of helping us help her we are forced to kick her out and unleash her on society. This comes after years of us trying to help and spending our entire life savings on that help until we have exhausted that and unless we want to sell our house and have no money to live on ourselves, we can't do anymore. I am getting medical bills for her treatment while in rehab that I can;t pay. They are in her name so they will have to go after her. Our health insurance didn't cover anything. When she is on the street she will have no coverage at all. The free clinics or county hospitals will have to deal with her medical needs.

    We have to make some difficult decisions in order to tackle this problem. They come with a pricetag that we have all seen we are unwilling to accept.
    I have been telling people for years that our difficult child needs help. I have told my family that if anything happens to us that they should suspect difficult child. That's a a horrible thing to say but the truth. What do you do with someone that appears to have no empathy or conscience.

  15. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I have no idea about helping those that don't want it, but those that do or are still young enough that help is not their choice need more help than most of them ever get. I just wish in these cases we'd see more "How could we help more?" and a lot less finger pointing at the outlet (political, religious, bullying, whatever).
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    It will be interesting to see whether his parents make a statement. Clearly, this was going on for a long time.

    He seemed intelligent and well-read, but was connecting the dots in all the wrong ways. So sad.

    And so tragic about the 9-yr-old girl who was born on 9/11.

    You have posted an intriguing philosphical question: do the rights of the individual apply to the mentally ill when they are not capable of living in reality? Before they've hurt someone else, but do present a clear and present danger?
  17. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I thought in most (if not all) states presenting as a danger to self or others was grounds for involuntary commitment (at least for a few days if not longer). All the systems are strapped for money, though.
  18. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Whatever he is, the flames of his insanity were flamed rather than muted.
  19. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    That's why I included in my post that he was quoted as saying he wanted the college to tell his parents that he need mental health treatment not education. If that is true then he obviously knew he was a danger to himself or others. on the other hand. as Nancy said, some of us have spend all our savings and retirement funds trying to get treatment for our difficult child's. Once you have sacrificed everything you have...well, you hope for the best and stay prepared for the worst.

    The people who are blessed with easy child's honestly don't grasp how huge this problem is for the Country. Where we live it is really difficult to get support and early intervention for little children. The schools are not qualified or funded to provide the support that is so badly needed. The only children who get help are those who are way obviously ill and the children of
    Warrior Moms who know the laws and insist they be followed. Most of the kids who do not fit the mold are expelled at the earliest opportunity and literally walk the streets with nothing to do and no help. There is no public transportation and there is only one facility in the entire County that provides mental health services. The addiction treatment is outpatient and limited in size and qualified personnel. Yikes. What a sad sad situation! Even sadder perhaps is that once these ill kids are on the street they break the law and oila! there is money in the Judicial/Corretional systems to house them often for years at a cost of twenty grand a year or so. WTH!

    It makes me sad and mad. DDD
  20. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Me, too, D. "There but for the grace of God go I (with M)." I know that many of us here have these fears.