I’m sick and tired of hearing about the psychological issues in the aftermath of a horrendous massacre like this. Why isn’t something done before? Why is it gone unnoticed? Psychological issues leave many hints of problems, why aren’t they caught earlier? It’s not like one day this it is developed, and the next something goes awry. If I’m not mistaken (and correct me if I’m wrong), most are born with it!
I’m not saying that every mentally ill individual will be a mass murderer or do something insane like this, but the bottom line is there needs to be better regulations to prevent tragedies like this. It is always better to be safe than sorry. The sick individual deserves that, and so does the potential public that could be caused harm as a result.
On a side note, as I was watching news coverage earlier this morning today, it was pointed out that there is no evidence that this murderer even had a psychological problem (although it’s hard to fathom how a sane person can do something so horrendous…). He was known to have autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, but both of these are personality disorders – NOT a mental illness. It is quite important to distinguish between the two! I’m not sure where that puts this scenario.
I’ve always firmly disagreed that committing a horrendous crime shouldn’t automatically classify someone as mentally ill, because they can just be an evil individual with evil motives… but something like THIS — I don’t know if a sane person can be blamed.
I shared this terrifyingly honest blog post (see UPDATE on this post down below) by a mother of a mentally ill child on Facebook and Twitter earlier. If you haven’t read it, read it now. It gave me the chills and I don’t think I’ll be able to forget the words. If enough people read this, maybe that will be a catalyst for change. A change in the stigma of the mentally ill in this country. A change in the healthcare provided for these individuals. A change in the regulations to protect the families involved. It broke my heart that the aforementioned blog post notes that she was advised to press charges against her son and send him to jail as that was the only option she had to have them be taken seriously and get help.
We need to stop playing the blame game. We can’t afford to make any more excuses. We can’t just say in the aftermath that so and so had this mental illness that caused them to explode and do this and leave it at that. Why wasn’t this disease caught on earlier? Why wasn’t it treated? WHY wasn’t this tragedy prevented?
This time must be different. This time MUST be the time that we say ENOUGH.
Why is the stigma so different for mental illnesses in comparison to diseases like cancer? Each needs treatment, so why is one ignored and belittled? Especially considering how much damage mental illnesses can cause not only for the individual, but as a result to their family, and the larger public?!
If not now, when? We as a nation deserve better.
UPDATE: So my brother shared this link with me earlier that questions the validity of the first blog post. If it is indeed true that this mother is exploiting her child in such a sick manner, I don’t even know what to say about that. At the end of the day, I still do believe that the words written are still true for other families in this country, and should still highlight the changes we need in relation to mental illness (it’s stigma, regulations, etc).