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Schizophrenia and mass killing

Paul Steinberg, a psychiatrist in private practice, explains schizophrenia and how it may have caused Adam Lanza to open fire in the Newtown, Connecticut school. An interesting point in the article is his discussion of the Goldwater Rule, an ethical standard of the American Psychiatric Association that prohibits members from discussing people they haven’t examined. Consequently, it prohibits the people who may understand what happened from explaining it.

Our failed approach to schizophrenia, on NYTimes.com.

Link supplied by a Lovefraud reader.

Posted in: Scientific research

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12 Comments on "Schizophrenia and mass killing"

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Wow, excellent article. Thank you Donna for linking to this insightful article.

EXCELLENT ARTICLE.

I think it is so important for us all to remember that these truly horrific mental illnesses do exist. There are causes of evil actions other than personality disorders.

Dear friends of ours have a 30 year old son who started showing symptoms of schizophrenia in his mid 20’s. He is brillant, a published author, a caring and kind young man. The schizophrenia has completely crippled him. In the early stages, before his parents became aware of the problem, he was convinced that he loved a well know movie star and that she loved him as well. His “voices” told him he must pursue her, that she indeed loved him and he needed to show her how much he loved her. He obtained a passport, flew to England and began stalking her. When he was arrested his parents had to face a harsh reality. For a long time, he would only listen to these “voices” who were dead poets, insisting they knew what was best for him.

All I could think about when I heard about Adam Lanza and what he had done was what if my friend’s son had been told to do something violent by his “voices”, would he have been capable?

It is so sad and tragic. Our friends have spent thousands of dollars and have gotten him the best mental help money can buy. He is on meds and is doing better, but is far from well.

wonderful article!

This is a horrible disorder and is caused by genetics, but until not long ago parents were blamed for this disorder for poor parenting! what a double whammy the parents got!

I’m glad that this man spoke up, and I do think the article is very good..I wish everyone could read and understand it, it might make some sense to our politicians who are trying to “fix” the mass murderers by “taking away their guns” (like in Mexico where gun laws are VERY strict) the bad guys don’t have machine guns? In fact, the BAD guys are the ONLY ones who have guns. The good law abiding people are defenseless.

Many people with this disorder become homeless, or self medicate with street drugs or alcohol and it spirals down from there. There was a time these people would have been kept in institutions, but now that is not legal to do so, so I am not sure which is worse, “violating their civil rights” to live on the street or not taking care of them, even against their wills. There is not any simple answer, or any cheap answer.

I don’t even know if Adam Lanza had this condition, apparently his mom knew something was wrong with him much earlier than this one usually appears, but maybe there was something that seemed like Aspergers early on, but wasn’t really Aspergers, as they are usually not violent, but there is no saying he couldn’t have had more than one diagnosis, it is common for people to have more than one diagnosis. Whatever it was, I think his mom tried to help him and obviously failed to do an adequate job of it.

There have been several posters here who had sons and daughters with oppositional defiance disorder or bi polar, and were at their wits end at trying to get school help or other help, and ended up having to just “let go” of the child who became an adult intent on self-destruction. Milo is raising her grandson, son of her self destructive daughter. Witsend, who no longer posts here much, had to let go of her bi polar son…the school and medical people kept saying to her “just MAKE HIM take his medications” DUH? Are they going to send 3 goons over 3 x a day to force them down his throat? Like she can MAKE HIM take them???

Some people with this diagnosis with help and support from family do pretty well, others hear “command voices” and are not able to resist them and become dangerous, but most just self neglect. Unfortunately, many end up in prison which is definitely not equipped to handle it effectively.

The whole situation as the article points out is SAD.

Donna, thank you for posting this article, and it’s so vital for society to abandon the stigma and start looking at mental illnesses with a pragmatic eye.

And, OxD’s points are so farking VALID that a parent cannot force their adult children into treatment or to take their medications, properly. THIS is one of the failures in our current system of treatment.

Brightest blessings

Truthspeak, iin most cases a parent can’t force a TEENAGER to take their medication or cooperate with treatment. That’s the problem entirely.

OxD, when my eldest son turned 18, he outright refused to take prescribed medication. He simply refused to take it. WORSE, he procured a prescription for Viagra from our family physician and, because he was a “legal adult,” I was never informed of this outrageous Rx written for a teenager!

HIPPA laws need revision, the Goldwater Rule needs to be abolished, and mental illness needs to be recognized as an epidemic that isn’t being addressed.

After reading the previous article about the revised DSM-V (?), I really wonder who these “professionals” are, how they arrive at their preposterous definitions (grieving = disorder), and who approves these changes.

Brightest blessings

Truthspeak, it is a COMMITTEE…and you know my late husband’s quote about a committee and how they work don’t you?

A CAMEL IS A HORSE DESIGNED BY A COMMITTEE…everyone has to put their own hump on it.

Plus the committee is made up of PhDs who all have egos the size of small houses, so I don’t need to go on with what I think about the DSM-V committee cause I think you are smart enough to get my drift. LOL

OxD………..ohforshitsake. A committee of Ph.D’s also created the Platypus from leftover bits.

LMAO!!!!!!!!! You BET I get your drift, and I think it would be an interesting project to have laypeople come up with their OWN DSM, don’t you? I can see it, now.

All personality disorders would be abandoned and lumped into a diagnosis of “A.T.P.” ATP would be: Avoid These Predators. The prognosis for ATP’s would be void – nil – zip – unrecoverable. Treatment would involve relocating all ATP’s to a remote and inaccessable island 1400 miles south of Australia.

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Psychistrists are totally exposed as frauds in our day and age. Lanza was a Satanist with a related web page dedicated to such worship.

link please!
😆

Finally, the voice of reason, and authority.

I wondered why there was this eerie silence in the wake of these various mass murders, and why weren’t we hearing from the experts in the field of psychiatry explaining why people become mass murderers. So, the silence is due to a a rule prohibiting psychiatrists from discussing mental illnesses with the public, that’s why. Holy freaking cow.

I agree with this brave psychiatrist totally; its time to re-evaluate our laws and practices regarding severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia. There has to be more of a balance between individual civil rights and the public’s rights to safety.

More public education is needed, and more funding is needed for training teachers, counselors, school psychologists, parents, etc, and others who deal with teens and young adults RE recognizing the symptoms of severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia.

-Babs

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