By some sources, seven of the fifteen top most common illnesses are mental in nature. In no particular order these include: Antisocial Personality Disorder as the number four top illness. Attention Deficit Disorder, Anorexia, Avoidant Personality, Asperger disorder, and Autism round out the list. This also includes Alzheimer’s disease. If you include the number of individuals who have any of the above who are not diagnosed, one can conclude that mental illness is the number one most common illness in the human population. Anxiety is a top illness not listed here but is on other lists. Many mentally ill persons with personality disorders end up in the penal system and even there never get medical attention for a real psychiatric or psychological malady. With violence being a sequelae of some psychiatric illnesses it is apparent why there seems to be a never ending saga of mentally ill persons taking out their frustrations or delusions on society. With violent movies, video games and ample amounts of weapons it is clear to all that the ingredients for continued wanton violence will proceed unabated until we do some soul searching and self analysis to see where the real solutions to this “powder keg” condtion exist.
Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter, had all of the necessary ingredients in place to create for the tragic scenario we now sadly lament. What a terrble, terrible tragedy. A sick child, exposed to excessive violence via games and television…..increasing isolation with paranoia that is further aggravated by an isolated, paranoid and violent mother. Yes, Adam”s mother had real features of mental illness herself. She shared her paranoia with her son via training him how to be an expert gunman and shooter….literally making him able to go from the video game to the real deal in real life with frightening ease. She provided numerous trips to the shooting range and extensive experience with real live weapons.
So, where were we when this mother and child increased their isolation and paranoia? Were we good neighbors, friends, family or even community? Did they live in a real warm and friendly community? Apparently not.
It is in community where persons reveal themselves and their true feelings and inclinations. Adam only had his mother who was apparently ill herself. So in our attempts to prevent further tragedies, lets look at the real issues like grown, responsible adults who are really concerned about the loss of life; Or will we wait til it happens to our own children or neighborhood before we realize that perhaps we are cultivating an environment conducive to acts such as this one. We are calling on real men to take a stand and look in the mirror and recognize the “man in the mirror” as a possible contributor to this epidemic of violence. Controlling guns is like treating a symptom when the real disease is ignored or neglected. If we do not make the necessary changes then we bear some guilt or complicity in this problem. Your own children are at risk. Sandy Hook is a warning to all those who live in the “nice”, “safe” neighborhoods. Mental illness and violence know no nieghborhoods, classes or races.
Adam Lanza indeed was the perfect storm…… the perfect combinatiion of psychosis, explosive potential, high skills in precision shooting and gunmanship; a mother who provided the perfect environment for his increasing isolation….a mother who loved isolation and violence herself. Then there were violent video games and perhaps even movies… these all culminating and just waiting for the right time and conditiions to unleash this rath that seethed beneath the surface….all unseen to the very few who were in his inner circle. This was a perfect storm if I ever saw one.
Clearly, the boy had issues early on. It appears that he was not really classically autistic due to his ability to get to the secondary level of educatiion albeit with some difficulty. Autism appears to be primarily genetic in nature, meaning that it is actually present at birth. This is unlike schizophrenia which develops much later. However severe schizophrenia can begin really early so the lines of demarcation are blurred with severly psychotic children. Autism, actually should have the potential for a possible test to detect the genetic condition in utero. Autisitc children, moreover show little phenotype markers suggestive of the condition unlike those of schizophrenia or even Asperger’s for that matter. So Asperger’s should not be one of the Autism Spectrum Disorders as has been recently suggested. Perhaps a better case diagnosis is early onset Schizophrenia with extreme shyness as a complication. The phenotype analysis does indeed show ample pshychotic features along with heightened inhibitions in the company of others…..much like Asperger’s Syndrome. There is also present features of explosive personality disorder. His shyness and isolation could have prevented his violence potential from being easily discovered by others.
Many have rightfully and painfully agonized……. why the children? Why the babies? The answer lies in the psychopathology of the severely mentally ill. Psychotic persons by definition are terribly emotionally immature. They, themselves exist in a suspended state of infantile emotional development. Children, therefore are their equals emotionally to them. They want and need as much attention as them. Their lack of emotional development makes them unable to connect to their own feelings and hence the feelings of others. They hate themselves and have only hate for others, especially those of opposite sex. Mostly men are murderers or rapists and most often it is a woman that is the victim. Inflicting pain on themselves through suicide and onto others via mass murder is mere stimulation to their emotionally dead and unhappy existence. Emotional flatness or immaturity is the mode of the pedophile likewise. It is sex with an equal to them, in addition to the lack of empathy or feeling for the suffering of others. Inflicting pain is their joy. These are sick people who need intensive therapy or institutionalization since like schizophrenia, there is no cure. Psychotropics and medical castration are the only treatment for pedophiles besides permanent institutionalization.
I actually think the creator wants us to make some serious re-assessments of our culture and it’s proclivity for creating such violent incidences as witnessed at Sandy Hook and other sites. Life requires rebirth as a necessary ingredient for continued survival. Can we show our great intelligence and meet the challenge that is being presented? Are we “man” or “woman’ enough to admit what really needs to be done?
Dear God, for the sake of us all, I hope so.
It is after all, survival or demise, that is at stake.