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BigRedChief 12-16-2012 09:11 PM

I'm Adam Lanza's mother. It’s time for a meaningful conversation about mental illness
 
This is all over the internet and emailed back and forth. But, maybe you have missed it and its a must read.

Written by Liza Long, republished from The Blue Review

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While every family's story of mental illness is different, and we may never know the whole of the Lanza's story, tales like this one need to be heard -- and families who live them deserve our help.

Three days before 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.

“I can wear these pants,” he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.

“They are navy blue,” I told him. “Your school’s dress code says black or khaki pants only.”

“They told me I could wear these,” he insisted. “You’re a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!”

“You can’t wear whatever pants you want to,” I said, my tone affable, reasonable. “And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school.”

I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.

A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan -- they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.

That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room. The mental hospital didn’t have any beds that day, and Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home with a prescription for Zyprexa and a follow-up visit with a local pediatric psychiatrist.

We still don’t know what’s wrong with Michael. Autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder have all been tossed around at various meetings with probation officers and social workers and counselors and teachers and school administrators. He’s been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans. Nothing seems to work.

At the start of seventh grade, Michael was accepted to an accelerated program for highly gifted math and science students. His IQ is off the charts. When he’s in a good mood, he will gladly bend your ear on subjects ranging from Greek mythology to the differences between Einsteinian and Newtonian physics to Doctor Who. He’s in a good mood most of the time. But when he’s not, watch out. And it’s impossible to predict what will set him off.

Several weeks into his new junior high school, Michael began exhibiting increasingly odd and threatening behaviors at school. We decided to transfer him to the district’s most restrictive behavioral program, a contained school environment where children who can’t function in normal classrooms can access their right to free public babysitting from 7:30-1:50 Monday through Friday until they turn 18.

The morning of the pants incident, Michael continued to argue with me on the drive. He would occasionally apologize and seem remorseful. Right before we turned into his school parking lot, he said, “Look, Mom, I’m really sorry. Can I have video games back today?”

“No way,” I told him. “You cannot act the way you acted this morning and think you can get your electronic privileges back that quickly.”

His face turned cold, and his eyes were full of calculated rage. “Then I’m going to kill myself,” he said. “I’m going to jump out of this car right now and kill myself.”

That was it. After the knife incident, I told him that if he ever said those words again, I would take him straight to the mental hospital, no ifs, ands, or buts. I did not respond, except to pull the car into the opposite lane, turning left instead of right.
“Where are you taking me?” he said, suddenly worried. “Where are we going?”

“You know where we are going,” I replied.

“No! You can’t do that to me! You’re sending me to hell! You’re sending me straight to hell!”

I pulled up in front of the hospital, frantically waiving for one of the clinicians who happened to be standing outside. “Call the police,” I said. “Hurry.”

Michael was in a full-blown fit by then, screaming and hitting. I hugged him close so he couldn’t escape from the car. He bit me several times and repeatedly jabbed his elbows into my rib cage. I’m still stronger than he is, but I won’t be for much longer.
The police came quickly and carried my son screaming and kicking into the bowels of the hospital. I started to shake, and tears filled my eyes as I filled out the paperwork -- “Were there any difficulties with… at what age did your child… were there any problems with.. has your child ever experienced.. does your child have…”

At least we have health insurance now. I recently accepted a position with a local college, giving up my freelance career because when you have a kid like this, you need benefits. You’ll do anything for benefits. No individual insurance plan will cover this kind of thing.

For days, my son insisted that I was lying -- that I made the whole thing up so that I could get rid of him. The first day, when I called to check up on him, he said, “I hate you. And I’m going to get my revenge as soon as I get out of here.”

By day three, he was my calm, sweet boy again, all apologies and promises to get better. I’ve heard those promises for years. I don’t believe them anymore.

On the intake form, under the question, “What are your expectations for treatment?” I wrote, “I need help.”

And I do. This problem is too big for me to handle on my own. Sometimes there are no good options. So you just pray for grace and trust that in hindsight, it will all make sense.

I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

According to Mother Jones, since 1982, 61 mass murders involving firearms have occurred throughout the country. Of these, 43 of the killers were white males, and only one was a woman. Mother Jones focused on whether the killers obtained their guns legally (most did). But this highly visible sign of mental illness should lead us to consider how many people in the U.S. live in fear, like I do.

When I asked my son’s social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”

I don’t believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael’s sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn’t deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise -- in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population.

With state-run treatment centers and hospitals shuttered, prison is now the last resort for the mentally ill -- Rikers Island, the LA County Jail and Cook County Jail in Illinois housed the nation’s largest treatment centers in 2011.

No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options. Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, “Something must be done.”

I agree that something must be done. It’s time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That’s the only way our nation can ever truly heal.

God help me. God help Michael. God help us all
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DaFace 12-16-2012 09:12 PM

I like the content, but hated the title.

Reaper16 12-16-2012 09:14 PM

Q

Marcellus 12-16-2012 09:16 PM

I read this on FB. I have read like many people a lot of stuff about all this lately and I understand there is need for doing something more but I haven't put my finger on what that is yet.

Do we permanently lock up anyone with signs of mental illness for good? No we cant do that so how do you know who is going to snap? How do you differentiate between more likely to harm themselves and more likely to harm others when they snap?

BigRedChief 12-16-2012 09:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaFace (Post 9216310)
I like the content, but hated the title.

Tried to use her exact words but they didn't fit. Please feel free to change it if you like. I had no agenda. Pinky swear.

mikeyis4dcats. 12-16-2012 09:19 PM

the key is starting to TREAT it, not just ignoring it until it becomes criminal.

DaFace 12-16-2012 09:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigRedChief (Post 9216328)
Tried to use her exact words but they didn't fit.

No, I mean the original. I just don't like leading with "I'm (a person who was murdered)." I know what she's getting at, but that just doesn't sit with me for some reason.

crazycoffey 12-16-2012 09:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcellus (Post 9216321)
I read this on FB. I have read like many people a lot of stuff about all this lately and I understand there is need for doing something more but I haven't put my finger on what that is yet.

Do we permanently lock up anyone with signs of mental illness for good? No we cant do that so how do you know who is going to snap? How do you differentiate between more likely to harm themselves and more likely to harm others when they snap?


I thiink, if someone in my family has a mental disorder, buying a safe, or selling my guns is going on the priority list

Brock 12-16-2012 09:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeyis4dcats. (Post 9216329)
the key is starting to TREAT it, not just ignoring it until it becomes criminal.

hope you have insurance

BigRedChief 12-16-2012 09:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcellus (Post 9216321)
I read this on FB. I have read like many people a lot of stuff about all this lately and I understand there is need for doing something more but I haven't put my finger on what that is yet.

Do we permanently lock up anyone with signs of mental illness for good? No we cant do that so how do you know who is going to snap? How do you differentiate between more likely to harm themselves and more likely to harm others when they snap?

this ain't going to be easy. If it was easy, it would already be solved.

More research on why they are the way they are. Thats going to cost money.

More tolerance of mental illness from our society.

More recognition that we just don't need to lock them away.

More and better research on possible drugs that could make them more "normal".

baitism 12-16-2012 09:25 PM

Can't we just send them all to an island and film what goes on there as a reality tv show?

mikeyis4dcats. 12-16-2012 09:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brock (Post 9216342)
hope you have insurance

that's part of the failure of the system IMHO.....a lot of medical insurance barely addresses mental health, of at all.

just like a heart condition, it needs to be treated, not ignored.

crazycoffey 12-16-2012 09:28 PM

understand the illness may not be easy to understand, preplan and prepare for some worst case scenerios

Bugeater 12-16-2012 09:29 PM

Who's willing to pay more in taxes to (maybe) solve this problem? That's what it comes down to.

BigRedChief 12-16-2012 09:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Barney Stinson (Post 9216335)
I thiink, if someone in my family has a mental disorder, buying a safe, or selling my guns is going on the priority list

I think that is something that should be mandated by our society. Yes, you don't lose your 2nd amendment rights because you live with a mentally ill person. But, you must secure your guns so that they can't use them against society. But, if the mentally ill person does get the guns and commits crimes, you are also responsible for their acts?

BigRedChief 12-16-2012 09:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bugeater (Post 9216365)
Who's willing to pay more in taxes to (maybe) solve this problem? That's what it comes down to.

It's a ticking time bomb. You know its going off again. Do you just let it go off and kill more innocent people because we don't want to spend any money to be pro active?

Bugeater 12-16-2012 09:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigRedChief (Post 9216372)
It's a ticking time bomb. You know its going off again. Do you just let it go off and kill more innocent people because we don't want to spend any money to be pro active?

Ok, there's one. Who else is in?

And remember, there are no guarantees here.

dirk digler 12-16-2012 09:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bugeater (Post 9216365)
Who's willing to pay more in taxes to (maybe) solve this problem? That's what it comes down to.

I don't know if that would be required it is mostly about reevaluating our priories. When it is time to cut state's budget's mental health is always one of the first to get slashed.

BigRedChief 12-16-2012 09:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dirk digler (Post 9216386)
I don't know if that would be required it is mostly about reevaluating our priories. When it is time to cut state's budget's mental health is always one of the first to get slashed.

Yep, that's what always happens. Its always first.

The good thing is that probably 99% of people who need mental help don't have thoughts of hurting others. Does anyone know what the exact % is?

Deberg_1990 12-16-2012 09:41 PM

Who knows what sort of nonsense Mom was filling this kid with?

Shes been described as a survivalist, obsessed with guns.....had a beef with the school system...divorced......Her son has been described as an outcast, loner.




http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/16/ny...s.html?hp&_r=0

headsnap 12-16-2012 09:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigRedChief (Post 9216366)
I think that is something that should be mandated by our society. Yes, you don't lose your 2nd amendment rights because you live with a mentally ill person. But, you must secure your guns so that they can't use them against society. But, if the mentally ill person does get the guns and commits crimes, you are also responsible for their acts?



it's no longer 'guns don't kill people, people kill people', it's now 'guns don't kill people, it's mentally ill people who know people who own guns who kill people.'



the new narrative!

Brock 12-16-2012 09:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deberg_1990 (Post 9216430)
Who knows what sort of nonsense Mom was filling this kid with?

Shes been described as a survivalist, obsessed with guns.....had a beef with the school system...divorced......Her son has been described as an outcast, loner.




http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/16/ny...s.html?hp&_r=0

That article says nothing about her being a "survivalist" or "obsessed with guns".

Reaper16 12-16-2012 09:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bugeater (Post 9216379)
Ok, there's one. Who else is in?

And remember, there are no guarantees here.

*raises hand*

BigRedChief 12-16-2012 09:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by headsnap (Post 9216458)
it's no longer 'guns don't kill people, people kill people', it's now 'guns don't kill people, it's mentally ill people who know people who own guns who kill people.'



the new narrative!

Let's keep politics out of this thread. This isn't DC.

It's common sense. If you live with a mentally ill person, secure your guns from them. Same thing you should already be doing if you have kids in your house.

bishop_74 12-16-2012 09:48 PM

Every one of them has to be diagnosed on an individual basis. Only then can the correct treatment be administered. If these parents don't have the money and or insurance who pays for it? Is this something worth our tax dollar to perhaps alleviate these massacres from occurring?

headsnap 12-16-2012 09:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigRedChief (Post 9216469)
Let's keep politics out of this thread. This isn't DC.

It's common sense. If you live with a mentally ill person, secure your guns from them. Same thing you should already be doing if you have kids in your house.

gotcha Mr. Mandated by Our Society... ;)

BigRedChief 12-16-2012 09:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bishop_74 (Post 9216479)
Every one of them has to be diagnosed on an individual basis. Only then can the correct treatment be administered. If these parents don't have the money and or insurance who pays for it? Is this something worth our tax dollar to perhaps alleviate these massacres from occurring?

Thats going to be the question. I say yes.

There will be more of these tragedy's. and even if we decide as a society to take care of the mental illness of those in our society. It won't prevent another one from occurring ever again. But, just because there is barely any chance of a 100% avoidance of future issues, does that mean we don't even try?

mr. tegu 12-16-2012 10:11 PM

This is overly simplified but the difference between difficult and troubled kids that are simply struggling at school and making friends with negative behavior that is mostly controlled and those that end up in and out of clinics due to violent and threatening behavior and being excessively destructive is parenting/support systems.

bishop_74 12-16-2012 10:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigRedChief (Post 9216514)
Thats going to be the question. I say yes.

There will be more of these tragedy's. and even if we decide as a society to take care of the mental illness of those in our society. It won't prevent another one from occurring ever again. But, just because there is barely any chance of a 100% avoidance of future issues, does that mean we don't even try?

Agreed.

DaneMcCloud 12-16-2012 10:16 PM

JFC.

This mother should have had her children put in foster homes and the affected son put in a state facility.

I'm sorry, but if a child in my home is pulling knives and other shit, effectively putting my other children not only in harms way but deathly danger, that kid is out.

She acted irresponsibly.

BigRedChief 12-16-2012 10:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud (Post 9216583)
JFC.

This mother should have had her children put in foster homes and the affected son put in a state facility.

I'm sorry, but if a child in my home is pulling knives and other shit, effectively putting my other children not only in harms way but deathly danger, that kid is out.

She acted irresponsibly.

So at 13 years old due to the way he was born, he has to remain in jail for the rest of his life?

Chief_For_Life58 12-16-2012 10:20 PM

were just gonna have to put them all down

mr. tegu 12-16-2012 10:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigRedChief (Post 9216597)
So at 13 years old due to the way he was born, he has to remain in jail for the rest of his life?

What was he born with?

DaneMcCloud 12-16-2012 10:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigRedChief (Post 9216597)
So at 13 years old due to the way he was born, he has to remain in jail for the rest of his life?

Jail? No.

Mental ward, institution, whatever it takes? Yes.

You don't let a kid that pulls a knife on his mother in a public school, especially when he's mentally ill.

And mental illness goes far beyond chemical imbalances. It routinely feature missing chromosomes and until there's gene therapy available for those people, they'll always have problems.

BigRedChief 12-16-2012 10:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr. tegu (Post 9216632)
What was he born with?

mental illness?

mr. tegu 12-16-2012 10:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigRedChief (Post 9216676)
mental illness?

What was he born with specifically?

BigRedChief 12-16-2012 10:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr. tegu (Post 9216696)
What was he born with specifically?

WTF are you asking me?

mr. tegu 12-16-2012 10:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigRedChief (Post 9216717)
WTF are you asking me?

Just pointing out that people are not necessarily born with mental illness. In fact very few are diagnosed in childhood and those are the developmental disorders. (There are others but not the type that cause such serious behavior issues like we are speaking about). Therefore, to say someone is only locked up because of what they born with is wrong.

The conditions that warrant such drastic measures are not the ones a person is born with. They develop over time from psychosocial factors. But certainly some individuals are at greater risk than others due to genetic factors.

All that said, locking them up for anything of an extended period of time is absolutely the wrong thing to do.

BigRedChief 12-16-2012 10:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr. tegu (Post 9216826)
Just pointing out that people are not necessarily born with mental illness. In fact very few are diagnosed in childhood and those are the developmental disorders. Therefore, to say someone is only locked up because of what they born with is wrong.

The conditions that warrant such drastic measures are not the ones a person is born with. They develop over time from psychosocial factors. But certainly some individuals are at greater risk than others due to genetic factors.

All that said, locking them up for anything of an extended period of time is absolutely the wrong thing to do.

Whatever dude, you could have just posted that instead of making me answer two of your stupid questions.

The point is that its not any fault of their own.

alnorth 12-16-2012 10:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr. tegu (Post 9216568)
This is overly simplified but the difference between difficult and troubled kids that are simply struggling at school and making friends with negative behavior that is mostly controlled and those that end up in and out of clinics due to violent and threatening behavior and being excessively destructive is parenting/support systems.

Its not that simple. Sometimes, kids are simply born psychopaths, defective from the womb, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

The Columbine killers are actually a good example of this, the parents knew the kids were crazy, and they did every single thing you'd ever expect them to do. Treatment and attention early, lots and lots of therapy, etc.

Unfortunately, and no one knew this at the time, the kids were psychopaths. There was nothing wrong with how they were raised, they were just born that way. Born evil. The only thing they learned in therapy, was how to behave to make everyone believe they were well. They carefully kept up that facade until it was time to shoot up the joint. A lot of people condemned those Columbine parents, but after the investigation was over, the police and investigators were very sympathetic with their plight.

alnorth 12-16-2012 10:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigRedChief (Post 9216597)
So at 13 years old due to the way he was born, he has to remain in jail for the rest of his life?

depends on exactly what it is. If its something treatable, then no.

If he is a violent psychopath, then yes. You can't cure that.

mr. tegu 12-16-2012 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigRedChief (Post 9216851)
Whatever dude, you could have just posted that instead of making me answer two of your stupid questions.

The point is that its not any fault of their own.

I just didn't know if you differentiated between those that develop and those that they are born with. It is still wrong to say it's no fault of their own. Things are more difficult for these types of individuals but these troubled kids are still making matters worse by their own actions. Lots of kids grow up in tough circumstances but they don't all develop mental illness that is so secure as to be able to be diagnosed.

BigRedChief 12-16-2012 11:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alnorth (Post 9216855)
Its not that simple. Sometimes, kids are simply born psychopaths, defective from the womb, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

The Columbine killers are actually a good example of this, the parents knew the kids were crazy, and they did every single thing you'd ever expect them to do. Treatment and attention early, lots and lots of therapy, etc.

Unfortunately, and no one knew this at the time, the kids were psychopaths. There was nothing wrong with how they were raised, they were just born that way. Born evil. The only thing they learned in therapy, was how to behave to make everyone believe they were well. They carefully kept up that facade until it was time to shoot up the joint. A lot of people condemned those Columbine parents, but after the investigation was over, the police and investigators were very sympathetic with their plight.

sounds like the same situation the author finds herself in. How many more ticking human bomb's are out there?

And does it escalate in their minds? If killing kindergarteners was evil, could those ticking time bombs be thinking, what could be even more evil?

DaneMcCloud 12-16-2012 11:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigRedChief (Post 9216887)
sounds like the same situation the author finds herself in. How many more ticking human bomb's are out there?

No, it doesn't.

She knows her child is mentally ill but doctors haven't been able to confirm what he's suffering from, whether it autism, Asperger's, etc.

She KNOWS. That's far different from a psycho or sociopath.

BigRedChief 12-16-2012 11:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud (Post 9216899)
No, it doesn't.

She knows her child is mentally ill but doctors haven't been able to confirm what he's suffering from, whether it autism, Asperger's, etc.

She KNOWS. That's far different from a psycho or sociopath.

yes, everyone agress there is a big differnece from a sociopath and others. Sociopath's just need to be locked up forever. They can't be fixed and are a threat to others.

alnorth 12-16-2012 11:09 PM

Don't get me wrong, not every shooter is an evil psychopath. Someone who is depressed may be a suicide risk. In extreme cases, they may be a family murder-suicide risk, thinking they are doing them a favor taking them out of this cruel world. Someone like Jared Loughner, a schizophrenic, doesn't really know what they are doing. Someone who is prone to anger may lash out. All of that can sometimes be treated.

Psychopaths are not curable. They are intelligent and know exactly what they are doing, they simply lack a conscience and don't have the slightest bit of empathy for others. They can learn to be charming and fake empathy when its to their advantage, which can make identifying them tough until after the fact. Greedy psychopaths can be immoral white-collar SOB's like Madoff who try to steal money and don't care if they run charities into the ground. Lazy psychopaths make themselves look pathetic and can become extreme moochers, able-bodied but doing everything possible to live off other people's sympathy. Angry or violent psychopaths can become serial killers or spree killers.

mr. tegu 12-16-2012 11:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alnorth (Post 9216855)
Its not that simple. Sometimes, kids are simply born psychopaths, defective from the womb, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

The Columbine killers are actually a good example of this, the parents knew the kids were crazy, and they did every single thing you'd ever expect them to do. Treatment and attention early, lots and lots of therapy, etc.

Unfortunately, and no one knew this at the time, the kids were psychopaths. There was nothing wrong with how they were raised, they were just born that way. Born evil. The only thing they learned in therapy, was how to behave to make everyone believe they were well. They carefully kept up that facade until it was time to shoot up the joint. A lot of people condemned those Columbine parents, but after the investigation was over, the police and investigators were very sympathetic with their plight.

I don't know any specifics about them. But don't discount the importance of support systems as well. I imagine those kids didn't have good support systems outside of the home.

And it's never simple in mental health, hence my overly simplified qualifier. And lots and lots of therapy/treatment/attention is not always a good thing.

alnorth 12-16-2012 11:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud (Post 9216899)
No, it doesn't.

She knows her child is mentally ill but doctors haven't been able to confirm what he's suffering from, whether it autism, Asperger's, etc.

She KNOWS. That's far different from a psycho or sociopath.

He certainly could be a sociopath, not sure why you'd rule that out.

Ultra Peanut 12-16-2012 11:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaFace (Post 9216310)
I like the content, but hated the title.

Not that I love the title, but I doubt you'd be reading it otherwise.

DaneMcCloud 12-16-2012 11:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alnorth (Post 9216925)
He certainly could be a sociopath, not sure why you'd rule that out.

Because if he's autistic, has Asperger's, etc. he's missing chromosomes, which has priority over being sociopathic.

alnorth 12-16-2012 11:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud (Post 9216935)
Because if he's autistic, has Asperger's, etc. he's missing chromosomes, which has priority over being sociopathic.

Oh absolutely, if they can definitively diagnose him, great. If he's not on the autism spectrum though (or they incorrectly guess he is), this kid sounds like he could be a sociopath who is too young to have learned how to play the game of pretending he empathizes with people and convincing them he isn't an unfeeling monster.

O.city 12-16-2012 11:22 PM

So, not reading all the thread, but say he is a sociopath, then what do you do with him?


He damn sure shouldn't be allowed to reproduce.

Demonpenz 12-16-2012 11:22 PM

every sociopath is not a monster.

alnorth 12-16-2012 11:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by O.city (Post 9216951)
So, not reading all the thread, but say he is a sociopath, then what do you do with him?


He damn sure shouldn't be allowed to reproduce.

The problem is that its very, very difficult to tell if someone is a sociopath until they do something that obviously paints them as such.

mr. tegu 12-16-2012 11:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alnorth (Post 9216918)
Don't get me wrong, not every shooter is an evil psychopath. Someone who is depressed may be a suicide risk. In extreme cases, they may be a family murder-suicide risk, thinking they are doing them a favor taking them out of this cruel world. Someone like Jared Loughner, a schizophrenic, doesn't really know what they are doing. Someone who is prone to anger may lash out. All of that can sometimes be treated.

Psychopaths are not curable. They are intelligent and know exactly what they are doing, they simply lack a conscience and don't have the slightest bit of empathy for others. They can learn to be charming and fake empathy when its to their advantage, which can make identifying them tough until after the fact. Greedy psychopaths can be immoral white-collar SOB's like Madoff who try to steal money and don't care if they run charities into the ground. Lazy psychopaths make themselves look pathetic and can become extreme moochers, able-bodied but doing everything possible to live off other people's sympathy. Angry or violent psychopaths can become serial killers or spree killers.

There is no such thing as a psychopath in the sense the public uses the term. There is no diagnosis for it. People with the characteristics you describe are best classified as having personality disorders. Anti social being one of the more common which is characterized by the lack of empathy, care, and emotions towards others.

Personality disorders basically have a lifetime prevalence so in that since "psychopaths" are not curable but I still disagree people are born with them. Abuse, other traumatic experiences, poor parenting, inherent lack of social skills are all potential contributing factors as are the genetic predispositions people can have to them. Just like some people are more prone to being full blown alcoholics given the same circumstances as non alcoholics, the same happens in psychology. Perhaps in very rare cases they are just simply born that way though. There are never any absolutes which is what makes mental health so difficult.

alnorth 12-16-2012 11:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Demonpenz (Post 9216952)
every sociopath is not a monster.

Yeah, actually they are. Every sociopath, true, real, honest to god sociopaths, are monsters who should be avoided. Most are not violent, because that would be a severe roadblock to their goals. (most people don't want to go to jail, unless you have a fascination with killing people, and THAT is what makes you happy)

I'm not talking about people who have less empathy than others, or people with asperger's who are just socially awkward. I'm talking zero empathy. If you are a sociopath, then that means you view life as one great big grand game to win where every living creature and person is either an opponent or a pawn to defeat or exploit in your pursuit of whatever makes you happy, without regard to anyone's feelings. Unless making someone unhappy would make it more difficult to get what you want.

alnorth 12-16-2012 11:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr. tegu (Post 9216961)
There is no such thing as a psychopath in the sense the public uses the term. There is no diagnosis for it. People with the characteristics you describe are best classified as having personality disorders. Anti social being one of the more common which is characterized by the lack of empathy, care, and emotions towards others.

Personality disorders basically have a lifetime prevalence so in that since "psychopaths" are not curable but I still disagree people are born with them. Abuse, other traumatic experiences, poor parenting, inherent lack of social skills are all potential contributing factors as are the genetic predispositions people can have to them. Just like some people are more prone to being full blown alcoholics given the same circumstances as non alcoholics, the same happens in psychology. Perhaps in very rare cases they are just simply born that way though. There are never any absolutes which is what makes mental health so difficult.

Nurture CAN be a part of it (russian orphans), but its not all nurture.

People can be born with defective brains that lead to a sociopath.

mr. tegu 12-16-2012 11:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alnorth (Post 9216944)
Oh absolutely, if they can definitively diagnose him, great. If he's not on the autism spectrum though (or they incorrectly guess he is), this kid sounds like he could be a sociopath who is too young to have learned how to play the game of pretending he empathizes with people and convincing them he isn't an unfeeling monster.

If they can't diagnose him with those disorders, he probably doesn't have it. The criteria are pretty specific and established. But obviously the criteria are not perfect and are always changing. My guess is there are pieces there, just not enough to ever warrant the full diagnosis. Unfortunately the pieces that are present are more than capable of contributing to the development of other issues as he grows older.

And interesting enough starting in 2013 with the release of the new DSM, there will no longer be a separate diagnosis of Aspergers. It will all be rated on a scale of severity on the autism spectrum.

mr. tegu 12-16-2012 11:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alnorth (Post 9216972)
Nurture CAN be a part of it (russian orphans), but its not all nurture.

People can be born with defective brains that lead to a sociopath.

Can you define sociopath in a manner separate from antisocial personality disorder? Borderline personality disorder? Because i don't think so. You will be defining established personality disorders.

Also, I said a few times already it's not all nurture so I don't disagree with that. I think we agree but are just defining it differently. You say born with defective brains that lead to sociopath, I say genetic predisposition leading to anti social personality disorder.

J Diddy 12-17-2012 12:15 AM

A huge portion of the problem is the way the resources are squandered. The second is the focus of the medical field.

DaneMcCloud 12-17-2012 12:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J Diddy (Post 9217084)
A huge portion of the problem is the way the resources are squandered. The second is the focus of the medical field.

This discussion is a slippery slope that could easily end up in the D.C.

The bottom line is that there is a large segment of the population that believes that once an egg has been recognized as fertilized, that child must be born, regardless of defects identified early or even mid term.

Those same people don't believe that something bad could happen from the birth of an abnormal child.

Furthermore, gene therapy has not matured to the point of correcting people born with missing chromosomes or genetic defects.

Imon Yourside 12-17-2012 12:26 AM

The mind altering drugs not only make it worse but if misdiagnosed can cause these problems, I don't know why we can't see it.

jspchief 12-17-2012 12:27 AM

The sad things is that there is a bigger effort to protects the rights of the crazy people than protect the safety of those they put at risk.

DaneMcCloud 12-17-2012 12:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KILLER_CLOWN (Post 9217105)
The mind altering drugs not only make it worse but if misdiagnosed can cause these problems, I don't know why we can't see it.

Why not? Because medical science, especially psychological science, is young.

We've come a long way from the 50's and 60's time of lobotomies, although that would have been preferable in this particular case.

J Diddy 12-17-2012 12:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud (Post 9217102)
This discussion is a slippery slope that could easily end up in the D.C.

The bottom line is that there is a large segment of the population that believes that once an egg has been recognized as fertilized, that child must be born, regardless of defects identified early or even mid term.

Those same people don't believe that something bad could happen from the birth of an abnormal child.

I'm not focusing on that aspect. I'm focusing on what is in front of us. I have a child who has been diagnosed with Oppositional defiance disorder. At times it is rough but I keep moving forward looking for ways to motivate him. The resources that are available are largely nonexistent and if they are they are heavily priced with a less than stellar record. So what are the options available as traditional counseling may or may not be effective (either way delivering a heavy price tag)? I could attempt to medicate, but then there is the problem. What motivation does a company have to create a cure. The money is in the maintenance. (I'm not naive, I know some things can not be cured, however, I do believe an earnest attempt should be made to find one)

Ultra Peanut 12-17-2012 12:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alnorth (Post 9216969)
Yeah, actually they are. Every sociopath, true, real, honest to god sociopaths, are monsters who should be avoided. Most are not violent, because that would be a severe roadblock to their goals. (most people don't want to go to jail, unless you have a fascination with killing people, and THAT is what makes you happy)

I'm not talking about people who have less empathy than others, or people with asperger's who are just socially awkward. I'm talking zero empathy. If you are a sociopath, then that means you view life as one great big grand game to win where every living creature and person is either an opponent or a pawn to defeat or exploit in your pursuit of whatever makes you happy, without regard to anyone's feelings. Unless making someone unhappy would make it more difficult to get what you want.

Actual sociopaths may have deeply ingrained traits that make it way easier for them to do things that hurt others, but they aren't "monsters." Monsters are not real. Generalizations like that not only hurt one's understanding of mental illness but deeply hurt the people suffering from them in their pursuit of effective treatment.

Your posts are by no means the least reasonable things that have been posted in this thread, or anything. I just think it's really important that people don't perpetuate the "monster" thing (turning treatable illnesses into a Force of Nature). Or the "every ____ is ____." The same mental illness can exhibit wildly diverse symptoms and intensity in different people.

DaneMcCloud 12-17-2012 01:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J Diddy (Post 9217112)
I'm not focusing on that aspect. I'm focusing on what is in front of us. I have a child who has been diagnosed with Oppositional defiance disorder. At times it is rough but I keep moving forward looking for ways to motivate him. The resources that are available are largely nonexistent and if they are they are heavily priced with a less than stellar record. So what are the options available as traditional counseling may or may not be effective (either way delivering a heavy price tag)? I could attempt to medicate, but then there is the problem. What motivation does a company have to create a cure. The money is in the maintenance. (I'm not naive, I know some things can not be cured, however, I do believe an earnest attempt should be made to find one)

I'm sorry to hear that, Dude.

Best wishes.

J Diddy 12-17-2012 01:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ultra Peanut (Post 9217152)
Actual sociopaths may have deeply ingrained traits that make it way easier for them to do things that hurt others, but they aren't "monsters." Monsters are not real. Generalizations like that not only hurt one's understanding of mental illness but deeply hurt the people suffering from them in their pursuit of effective treatment.

Your posts are by no means the least reasonable things that have been posted in this thread, or anything. I just think it's really important that people don't perpetuate the "monster" thing (turning treatable illnesses into a Force of Nature). Or the "every ____ is ____." The same mental illness can exhibit wildly diverse symptoms and intensity in different people.

It depends entirely on your perspective.

Bump 12-17-2012 01:08 AM

honestly, weed would probably help those people a lot.

J Diddy 12-17-2012 01:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bump (Post 9217160)
honestly, weed would probably help those people a lot.

If you are serious provide some serious concrete evidence supporting facts. If you are not then you are coming across like a 17 year old who just smoked their first joint. The first option offers promise, the second makes me want to Ike you to my Tina.

B_Ambuehl 12-17-2012 02:22 AM

It would help a lot if these kids weren't continously coddled IMO. Send this kid to a farm out in the country with parents who will give him real chores and whip his ass when he pulls that bullshit and you'd see a lot less of this type of thing.

DaneMcCloud 12-17-2012 02:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by B_Ambuehl (Post 9217266)
It would help a lot if these kids weren't continously coddled IMO. Send this kid to a farm out in the country with parents who will give him real chores and whip his ass when he pulls that bullshit and you'd see a lot less of this type of thing.

Yeah, let's put all mentally disabled kids on a farm with heavy machinery.

Good plan.

I hope you've been neutered.

GoChargers 12-17-2012 02:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by B_Ambuehl (Post 9217266)
It would help a lot if these kids weren't continously coddled IMO. Send this kid to a farm out in the country with parents who will give him real chores and whip his ass when he pulls that bullshit and you'd see a lot less of this type of thing.

There are plenty of "coddled" children who aren't ****ed in the head.

Putting mentally disabled children out on a farm somewhere way out in the country does nothing but make it more difficult for them to get the help they need, and how the hell would parents who would whip their kid's ass encourage them to be less violent?

Maybe you should think your arguments through before going off on a generic "kids these days" rant.

memyselfI 12-17-2012 05:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Barney Stinson (Post 9216335)
I thiink, if someone in my family has a mental disorder, buying a safe, or selling my guns is going on the priority list

This times a million. And if Nancy Lanza taught her son to use weapons and encouraged the hobby (as has been reported) then she really has no one to blame but herself in this...that is if she were here to see the consequences of her actions in all of this.

memyselfI 12-17-2012 05:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GoChargers (Post 9217292)
There are plenty of "coddled" children who aren't ****ed in the head.

Putting mentally disabled children out on a farm somewhere way out in the country does nothing but make it more difficult for them to get the help they need, and how the hell would parents who would whip their kid's ass encourage them to be less violent?

Maybe you should think your arguments through before going off on a generic "kids these days" rant.

I wonder if Ms. Lanza was the Sheldon Cooper's mother prototype in that she was going to treat her son's 'uniqueness' with religion, guns, chicken fried steak, and telling him to 'man up.'


Wow, she may have been a 'survivalist' doomsdayer. Who didn't see that one coming a mile away. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...-disaster.html

Guess she was so busy preparing for the bad guys outside her four walls that she forgot about the one inside of them.

Deberg_1990 12-17-2012 07:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brock (Post 9216467)
That article says nothing about her being a "survivalist" or "obsessed with guns".

We are starting to hear more and more about "Mommy Dearest"



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-collapse.html

PhillyChiefFan 12-17-2012 07:41 AM

My wife works in this field and she has been saying this since she began working in it.

She said that some of the most dangerous people she has worked with, can simply say "I don't want to be here anymore" and they have to, BY LAW, release them. Even though they KNOW they are a danger to themselves, their family and society in general. It is way more difficult to commit someone against their will.

Personally, that scares the hell out of me. Even people that say "I need help, I can't go back out into society" are released because they haven't done anything dangerous. Only when they kill someone or threaten them with a knife are they taken seriously...

The gun debate is secondary to the root cause of this, IMO. Yes, the mother should have locked those guns up. Hell she shouldn't have even HAD them in her house with this kid, but these people are mentally insane they will find a way if the root problem is not addressed.

My wife has said long before this tragedy that how mental illnesses are treated in this country is a larger part of these tragedies than most people realize. Obviously no person of right mind would go in and shoot 5-10 year olds. Families begged her facility to keep people because they were scared, and they have to release them because they haven't been charged with anything.

It's terrible that hindsight seems to be the only method used to address situations like what happened. People blame guns, but there is a much deeper aspect that isn't as simple of a solution. Putting people with illnesses like Adam Lanza had back into society with a mental disturbance as pronounced as it seemed to have been, and those kids like the one in the OP's article, creates a situation where all the ingredents are present for a tragedy like Sandy Hook, Columbine, or VA Tech.

I just hope that gun control isn't the only thing addressed after this tragedy and we, as a nation, start to talk about the deeper issue with these school shootings, and not just the method in which they carry it out.

bevischief 12-17-2012 07:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by baitism (Post 9216353)
Can't we just send them all to an island and film what goes on there as a reality tv show?

Redneck island.

bevischief 12-17-2012 07:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bugeater (Post 9216365)
Who's willing to pay more in taxes to (maybe) solve this problem? That's what it comes down to.

Make pot legal and tax it and the government could do this and more.

jspchief 12-17-2012 07:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhillyChiefFan (Post 9217425)
My wife works in this field and she has been saying this since she began working in it.

She said that some of the most dangerous people she has worked with, can simply say "I don't want to be here anymore" and they have to, BY LAW, release them. Even though they KNOW they are a danger to themselves, their family and society in general. It is way more difficult to commit someone against their will.

Personally, that scares the hell out of me. Even people that say "I need help, I can't go back out into society" are released because they haven't done anything dangerous. Only when they kill someone or threaten them with a knife are they taken seriously...

The gun debate is secondary to the root cause of this, IMO. Yes, the mother should have locked those guns up. Hell she shouldn't have even HAD them in her house with this kid, but these people are mentally insane they will find a way if the root problem is not addressed.

My wife has said long before this tragedy that how mental illnesses are treated in this country is a larger part of these tragedies than most people realize. Obviously no person of right mind would go in and shoot 5-10 year olds. Families begged her facility to keep people because they were scared, and they have to release them because they haven't been charged with anything.

It's terrible that hindsight seems to be the only method used to address situations like what happened. People blame guns, but there is a much deeper aspect that isn't as simple of a solution. Putting people with illnesses like Adam Lanza had back into society with a mental disturbance as pronounced as it seemed to have been, and those kids like the one in the OP's article, creates a situation where all the ingredents are present for a tragedy like Sandy Hook, Columbine, or VA Tech.

I just hope that gun control isn't the only thing addressed after this tragedy and we, as a nation, start to talk about the deeper issue with these school shootings, and not just the method in which they carry it out.

This is exactly the type of thing I'm talking about when I say:

Quote:

Originally Posted by jspchief (Post 9217106)
The sad things is that there is a bigger effort to protects the rights of the crazy people than protect the safety of those they put at risk.

We need to start treating dangerous mentally ill people like they are dangerous first, and people second. Put the good of the many ahead of the good on the individual.

And maybe a positive side effect is it will put an end to all the punk ass behavioral disorder kids that think they can get away with acting like psychopaths.


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