Tuesday, December 18, 2012

3689 Reaction 4

Thursday, December 18, 2012

"Obama is not a brown-skinned anti-war socialist
who gives away free health care. You're thinking of Jesus."


There's a lot of talk now about how we can prevent mass murders by doing a better job of identifying dangerously mentally ill people, getting them the help they need, and tracking them to ensure they don't have access to the means to do harm.

Oh, please.

My thoughts are going a dozen different directions on this.


I remember back in the '60s and '70s, before touchy-feely hippie attitudes spread into educated society, when it was ok for women to see a counselor, but absolutely taboo for any man, for any reason.  I heard guys say that to admit any problem was unmanly.  A real man handled his problems himself!  There was enormous resistance to any admission of weakness.  Not to mention that obviously anyone who visited a psychiatrist was automatically crazy, "and I'm not crazy".

It took a long time for that attitude to relax a little, and now parents will get their kids into counseling to help them to realize their full potential.  But if any government entity is going to start tracking those visits, poking around in diagnoses, making lists, tracking, that's going to stop immediately.  You don't want to find yourself or your children on some government list that could limit your choices for the rest of your life.  We've all heard the horror stories of social agencies gone overboard.  Do we really want to attract their attention?

So instead of people getting the help they need, I can see people choosing no help at all.


You don't always know when someone is a danger to themselves or others until something happens, and then it's too late.  It's not predictable.  So the tendency would be to err on the side of caution.  How do we avoid labeling someone as dangerous when actually they're not?


What is "sane"?  A working definition is "able to function in society".  Throw in a few words like "reasonable", "sound judgement", "free of mental illness" if you like.

It is my opinion that there is not one single person on the entire planet who has any life experience whatsoever who is completely sane.  Everybody has some hangups.  Everybody has some bent and broken parts.  No one is completely "reasonable", or always "exercises sound judgement".   We are all sightly nuts in one way or another.  We get away with it, though, because society itself is insane.  War, anyone?


I've never understood the legal concept of the insanity defense.  They figure that if you knew it was wrong, and especially if you planned it, then you weren't insane.  Frankly, that's crazy thinking.  Makes no sense.

I am of the opinion that anyone who purposely murders anyone else is insane.  By definition.  Period. There's something very wrong in their heads. How can you consider them sane?


Not all mass murders had a history of mental illness, by the way.

The Texas Towers sniper was, by all accounts, a nice solid guy who loved his wife and mother, whom he shot first, on his way to the tower. He'd had headaches for a while, and felt "wrong".  It turned out he had a brain tumor.  Nothing predictable there.

Almost every adolescent has at one time or another had some emotional crisis and contemplated suicide.  "I'll kill myself, and then they'll be sorry!"  Usually that's as far as it goes.  But sometimes, "Um, no, they won't even notice I'm gone."  Great idea - "I'll take others with me!  Then they sure WILL notice!  Everyone will notice.  They'll be sorry they picked on me/broke up with me/ignored me!"  Not a lot of predictable mental illness there, either.  Just normal teen angst gone overboard.

Nope.  Many perpetrators give no advance warning of the brewing storm.  So even if we pay more attention to cries for help, which itself is a good thing, we're deluding ourselves if we think it will fix this specific problem.  And that's insane.


Becs said...

Yeah, this whole "watch out for the crazies!" theme has been bothering me, being officially crazy myself.

I know a few people who rail about how people with physical disabilities are treated and I think, but never say, try being mental. You just hold on for dear life, try to take your meds as best you can, and pray you can stay on your job to keep your health / pharmacy benefits. People know you have a physical disability, usually. You don't dare tell people if you have a mental disability.

rockygrace said...

It's my understanding that if you are in the military and seek mental help, it's noted in your career file.

Yep, there really *is* a "permanent record".