The Arizona Shooter - not the Aurora shooter

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
The Arizona Shooter - not the Aurora shooter
11
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 8:13pm

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ilSDUoDg_cI33YEitIdb69dDl1kQ?docId=457cdcc8d4ef4e3f8a6e074c04be5bca

Early reports on the Aurora, Colorado shooting leads me to believe that a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia is involved.

Previously, in the Arizona shooting, the one Gabby Giffords was shot in, the shooter also appears to have schizophrenia.

Sadly, recent news reports that after a year of forced medication against his will the Arizona shooter is now thinking clearly enough to be deamed "competent to stand trial". Fortunately, he is now well enough to plead guilty in order to avoid the death penalty.

It is a sad commentary on our society that people who have brain disorders which prevent them from trusting others and/or knowing anything is wrong, can only be treated toward normalcy if they commit a violent act. Then, of course, they are held as accountable as any free thinking person, and punished accordingly. We are willing to treat and medicate them so that they can be fully aware of the prison life. We are not willing to treat medicate them so that they can be fully aware of freedom without illness symptoms or even to treat them in order to reduce the risk of violent behavior. Horribly sad.

Given the choice between having a loved one of mine shot like Gabby Giffords or stricken with schizophrenia like the shooters, I'm not sure which I would pick. In many ways, I think being shot is the easier sentence. Neither is easy and/or fathomable.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Thu, 08-09-2012 - 10:47am

"In the late 1980′s, my brother Ted Kaczynski, then living in an isolated cabin in Montana, sought mental health treatment. He didn't know that he had schizophrenia, but he knew that he couldn't sleep and that he felt incredibly anxious around people. He requested help in a letter to the county mental health service.

"He was informed by return letter that he had to appear in person at the clinic 60 miles away and that he had to find a way to pay for treatment. Since Ted had no money, and since his paranoia and deep shame made it overwhelmingly difficult for him to apply for welfare benefits, he never received any treatment."

http://treatmentadvocacycenter.org/about-us/our-blog/69-no-state/2136-unabombers-brother-on-violence-and-treating-mental-health

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-30-2002
Fri, 08-10-2012 - 3:06pm

You are preaching to the choir here. As a person who has watched someone they love become psychotic, called behavioral health services and law enforcement for help because they were obviously "gravely disabled," only to finally be assaulted by them so I had to press charges in order to have them arrested, thrown into a state mental hospital to be medicated into cognition, then I had to go to court and request that part of their probation include medication and counseling for a full year under the discretion of a probation officer, I know how crappy the system is in this regard.

The law is actually "a danger to themselves or others OR GRAVELY DISABLED." Our society has a tendency to ignore the gravely disabled part until tragedy strikes and the only way people get help is after they become criminals.



iVillage Member
Registered: 08-30-2002
Fri, 08-10-2012 - 3:08pm

and part of me has often thought that Reagan changed the laws about the mentally ill because he knew he was already drifting into dementia and feared being "locked up" for being sick.



iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Fri, 08-10-2012 - 3:10pm

I think I was actually hoping the the combination of the two shootings would lead to change, but its not looking hopeful after all. SAMHSA announced this week that Paolo Del Vecchio will be the director of its Center for Mental Health Services.

http://www.samhsa.gov/about/bio_delvecchio.aspx

"Del Veccio is known for his very public stand against mandated treatment for the very few and very ill it is designed to help, going so far as to compare court-ordered treatment to a “personal Holocaust.” This week, SAMHSA announced his appointment as director of its Center for Mental Health Services.

We have to question what types of services Del Vecchio will promote for those who are unable to voluntarily seek them.

We also question why SAMHSA remains nearly silent on severe mental illness.

While SAMHSA’s mission is to “reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities” and increase access to treatment services, its strategic plan is vague about addressing the most serious disorders. Two of those psychiatric illnesses—schizophrenia and bipolar disorder—are not even mentioned in the 41,000-word plan. ....

SAMHSA is not reducing the impact of mental illness on our communities. Turning one of its divisions over to someone who is openly opposed to the court-ordered treatment that individuals with the most severe mental illnesses often need to get on the road to recovery is worrisome."

http://treatmentadvocacycenter.org/about-us/our-blog/69-no-state/2137-samhsas-lack-of-focus-on-serious-mental-illness-is-concerning

Back to the shadows.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Fri, 08-10-2012 - 3:12pm

Hot, I thought you might find this post interesting. Now that we do not have a Families and Mental Illness board, it's tricky to post in the right place.

Nisu

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sat, 08-11-2012 - 4:42pm

a person who has watched someone they love become psychotic, called behavioral health services and law enforcement for help because they were obviously "gravely disabled," only to finally be assaulted by them so I had to press charges in order to have them arrested, thrown into a state mental hospital to be medicated into cognition,

BTDT

then I had to go to court and request that part of their probation include medication and counseling

In our case, we were told we had no right to know whether medication and counseling were occuring.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sat, 08-11-2012 - 4:43pm

part of me has often thought that Reagan changed the laws about the mentally ill because he knew he was already drifting into dementia and feared being "locked up" for being sick.

That is an interesting observation. I hadn't thought of that before.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-30-2002
Sun, 08-12-2012 - 11:32am

Fortunately our county has a Mental Health Court and as a victim I asked that this person be put into that court. It gives them a year's probation with treatment, weekly checkins and drug tests and after a year, if they comply, their record is expunged or somehow hidden. I didn't necessarily have a "right to know" but if they didn't follow Mental Health Court guidelines, then they were in violation of probation.



iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sun, 08-12-2012 - 1:39pm

And that's one reason why Mental Health Courts are a good thing!