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NIU Shooter One of Us


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apparently the young man who killed seven people and himself at NIU on valentine's day had a mental illness. the news yesterday was saying he'd recently stopped taking his (unspecified) meds and was acting erratically. the news today says he spent time in a psych hospital.

this makes me so sad. what torture he must've been going through, that probably could've been treated. what a tragedy for all the families involved (he shot many more people than he killed).

and too, what ammunition it provides for ignorant people who already think we're all ticking time bombs. it's so hard to think and talk about this, because i know many of us, when in crisis, have been unpredictable and acted in dangerous ways, and some mentally ill people, like this guy, do commit horrible crimes. but at the same time, most of us have never hurt anyone but ourselves, if that. it seems like i've seen reliable stats that mentally ill people don't commit crimes any more often than "mentally healthy" people (right, like who really fits that category), though i can't put a finger on where right now.

i think i'm really sensitive to it because i work in an agency that serves people with co-occuring disorders, where nearly everyone but me is trained in substance abuse, not mental health. so i hear a lot of horrifying stereotypes and misinformation from coworkers who should know better. i correct it when i can, of course, but i think to myself, if people working with mentally ill people are this ignorant and ill-informed, what about the general public?

i'm not glossing over what he did, and i know our dealing with increased stigma is nothing compared to the suffering of the people killed and wounded. i just had to vent.

anyone have thoughts on this?

bean

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no thoughts, just a nod (reflection of my mental state more than the topic).

it makes me really sad. for everybody who has to be scared now, and everyone who will judge us too, and especially for him and his family.

;)

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I wrote a lot and decided to scrap it. When I heard he went off his meds, all I could think was, here we go again...we'll never why he didn't or couldn't take his meds or what demons were plaguing him...but it makes me sad for everyone involved.

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Your thoughts are right on. Not only is this a human tradegy, but it will further stigmatize mentall illness, unfortunately. As has been said before, the vast majority of us are only a danger to ourselves and would not harm others.

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Some people I work with were discussing BP. Someone asked what it is. duh. anyway. The trainer, who is a mental health person, said that it is someone who gets all psychotic and breaks with reality. and i'm sitting there biting my tongue. if only they knew. everyone thinks i'm low key and laid back. yeah, cause i'm on meds, med compliant, and in therapy once a week. i'm not crazy or out of control. most of the time. and i've never wanted to hurt anyone other than myself. if people knew about me, i would be out of a job in a sec. sad, but, alas, true.

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We're all correct... He was one of us.

He was human.

A human who took meds for mental illness and made some very stupid choices with regards to his health, perhaps. But at the core, a human. Even the media is playing up that part.

I am getting more and more worried by the day that incidents like these, and moreover, the publicity of incidents like these, are going to lead to legislation 'protecting' society from those diagnosed as mentally ill being able to purchase weapons.

My parents never let me get evaluated for MI since culturally they were afraid of the stigma a diagnosis brought. I would hate to think how they (or rather, their contemporaries) are starting to think about getting MI diagnosed in their children. Mr. Cho, the VATech shooter, had major mental issues that were ignored by his parents, and I don't want to see another MI-pleading-for-help individual taking his own life as well as the lives of innocent others, followed by the inevitable anti-MI backlash... just because of fear that there are/will be laws that prevent those diagnosed from being mentally ill from purchasing weapons.

There's a vicious cycle somewhere in their to be found.

In any event, if half the people in the world have been diagnosed with MI at some point or another, the other half are MI as well, but just haven't been diagnosed (yet, at least).

I know the above didn't make all that much sense, but that's what happens when I go ranting about a topic I feel so strongly about first thing in the morning. My ICP/head pressure hasn't leveled out quite yet so you'll have to excuse the syntactic incoherence.

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thank you all for your feedback. makes me feel less alone in my brooding and worrying. cb is so great that way...just wanna remind you all how wonderful you are, and thank you for being here.

i think you have a good point, herr - as stigma increases, people are likelier to avoid being diagnosed and therefore treated, for all kinds of reasons (gun ownership among others), and it does create a vicious cycle.

cnn did a special report last night they called something like "special investigation: criminally insane" that talked a lot about what they called the difference between people who are mentally ill and people who are psychopaths. they said the columbine shooters were psychopaths, who knew the difference between right and wrong but didn't care, and mr. cho was mentally ill to the point that he didn't know the difference between right and wrong. they also covered the story of a young man who was released from inpatient, over his parents' strong objections, only to kill his mother, and the "memphis model" of community policing where some officers get intensive training in dealing with folks with mental illness in the hopes of reducing both police and civilian casualties. i saw a speaker at the NAMI conference here last year talking about the memphis model, which is being used in ithaca, ny, and it sounded like a very good idea and very effective.

anyway...don't know if the program will be repeated or not...it was pretty sensationalistic, and seemed to have a strong bias toward forced treatment, i thought, by focusing on really extreme, rare cases.

so it begins...sigh...

bean

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http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/02/20/shoote...iend/index.html

He was on: xanax ambien and prozac.

OH this pissed me off:

Jessica Baty said Tuesday that her boyfriend of two years had been taking Xanax, used to treat anxiety, and Ambien, a sleep agent, as well as the antidepressant Prozac.

Baty said the psychiatrist prescribed the medications, a fact that made her so "nervous" that she tried to persuade Kazmierczak to stop taking one of the drugs.

VERY supportive...

Aside from her...a nice article, from an "explaining the meds" standpoint.

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[link=http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/02/20/shooter.girlfriend/index.html" target="_blank]http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/02/20/shoote...iend/index.html[/link]

He was on: xanax ambien and prozac.

OH this pissed me off:

Jessica Baty said Tuesday that her boyfriend of two years had been taking Xanax, used to treat anxiety, and Ambien, a sleep agent, as well as the antidepressant Prozac.

Baty said the psychiatrist prescribed the medications, a fact that made her so "nervous" that she tried to persuade Kazmierczak to stop taking one of the drugs.

VERY supportive...

Aside from her...a nice article, from an "explaining the meds" standpoint.

/bitch slaps Baty

the more shit changes, the more it stays the same sometimes ;)

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OH this pissed me off:

Jessica Baty said Tuesday that her boyfriend of two years had been taking Xanax, used to treat anxiety, and Ambien, a sleep agent, as well as the antidepressant Prozac.

Baty said the psychiatrist prescribed the medications, a fact that made her so "nervous" that she tried to persuade Kazmierczak to stop taking one of the drugs.

VERY supportive...

holy shit! i hadn't seen that before, cns.

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