questioning parents during times of tragedy

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-2006
questioning parents during times of tragedy
64
Mon, 07-23-2012 - 6:44pm

Sorry, I have to just go on a little bit of a rant here.

I'm sure by now everyone has heard about the tragedy that befell Aurora, Colorado at the movie theatre. Sad, sickening, revolting. Yet you know what I keep reading online? People questioning the judgement of the parents for taking little kids and babies to a late showing movie. Really?

I was incensed that people would look at this tragedy and begin pointing fingers at anyone but the shooter. What good does it do to question the parenting practices of those in the theater – the victims? It is akin to wondering why a rape victim was dressed scantily at a bar. It is disgusting.

There are people out there who abuse, neglect, and torture children. We're really taking THIS time of tragedy to pass judgement on something so benign? Really?? Like this couldn't have happened just as easily during the day?

How about the millions of other questions we should be asking? About gun control, security in public places, mental health evaluations, etc?

This just makes me very angry. I feel HEARTBROKEN for anyone who lost someone there, regardless of age. It's tragedies like this that makes me wish I hadn't brought kids into this messed up world to begin with!

Awhile back, I posted an article about a local, teenaged girl who was killed by her ex boyfriend. Her father is someone I've known for a long time. Basically, they had sex under a local bridge and that's when he killed her. His reasoning was because "she was doing drugs and I didn't like the changes in her". There have been comments in the local paper along the lines of "where were this girl's parents? She was doing drugs and having sex under bridges?" And let me tell you....she had wonderful, loving, parents who simply adored her. She was a bit wild, perhaps, but it's nothing that her parents did wrong.

Man, things like this just make me so damn angry!

Angie

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Sun, 07-29-2012 - 1:45pm
"As far as help being available (said by a previous member). Finding a good mental health provider can be a daunting task. Often times impossible, especially in a crisis situation."

I knew someone who had a child who was 13 or 14 who most likely is bi-polar. This kid was acting out, cutting school, smoking dope (at least. That's all the mother knew about anyway), was sometimes violent with her. He'd leave the house whenever he wanted and not come back or tell anyone. She tried getting the school system to help, but there was little they could do or could offer to do. She'd call the police who would just pick him up and bring him home. She took him to the children's hospital ER, but they'd usually send him home. He would be a different person in front of medical personnel. She contacted CPS, but they couldn't do much. She was at her wits end.

Finally, he acted out enough and she took him to the ER again. This time a security guard witnessed his threatening behavior towards his mother and they were finally able to get him admitted to a psych ward and last I heard, he was trying an inpatient program for youth in a rural part of the state.

It saddened me that this mother was trying so hard to get help for her child. But the medical community is very hesitant to diagnose kids that age with a mental illness. And unless they can witness the behavior, sometimes there hands are tied.

Whomever said "There is help out there" , doesn't seem to have much experience with the mental health community.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sun, 07-29-2012 - 1:37pm

Just to clarify, IMO, "garden variety" mental illness would include depression and anxiety.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Sun, 07-29-2012 - 9:16am

my foster sons father included, who are allowed top refuse treatment when they are so mentally I'll that they are unable to really understand that they need help.

I am answering in this with previous post in mind concerning garden variety mental illness vs depression/anxiety. Also, the idea that help is out there.

I agree with your post and further want to add, people with so called garden variety mental illness can bring harm to themselves and others. They also refuse to believe anything is truly wrong with them and they also get into a cycle of blaming others for what goes wrong in their lives. There is also this denial process going with some. Even immediately after doing something "wrong" they will often times deny it. There is also a stigma attached to the idea of having a mental health problem.

As far as help being available (said by a previous member). Finding a good mental health provider can be a daunting task. Often times impossible, especially in a crisis situation.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sat, 07-28-2012 - 8:21pm

Getting people into treatment and staying in treatment should be looked at more.

Absolutely!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
You make very good points about testing the mentally ill. I work in health care and over the years I've seen way too many people, my foster sons father included, who are allowed top refuse treatment when they are so mentally I'll that they are unable to really understand that they need help.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sat, 07-28-2012 - 6:37pm

What I mean is, our legal system bends over backwards to allow people to choose not to be treated.  In the case of garden variety mental illness, this makes sense. How often have you heard that "everyone is a little crazy". Way back when people were locked up because other people claimed that they "heard voices", were eccentric, or something similar. To prevent this from happening, the only way someone can have someone else evaluated without their permission is to prove that "they are a danger to themselves or others". This is a bad thing for people whose brains can no longer distinguish what is real from what is not real and who do not believe that they have a problem.

A must-read book:

I'm Not Sick, I Don't Need Help: Helping the Seriously Mentally Ill Accept Treatment by Xavier Amador

http://www.amazon.com/Not-Sick-Dont-Need-Help/dp/0967718902

A review of the book by an outspoken advocate for treatment, E. FULLER TORREY, M.D.

Of the myriad of problems presented by serious mental illness Dr. Amador has focused on the single most critical factor. Breakthroughs in treatment will not be effective unless we deal with medication noncompliance and the related issue of poor insight into illness. Dr. Amador takes this issue on in "I am Not Sick I Don't Need Help" and deals with it head-on, providing vital information and practical advice for both families and therapists of patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This book will be immensely helpful to anyone dealing with the problems of medication noncompliance and poor insight.

Anosognosia is a condition in which a person who suffers disability seems unaware of the existence

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anosognosia

http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/problem/anosognosia

The study reported in this paper involved over 400 patients from around the country and showed, unequivocally, that poor insight into illness is common in psychotic disorders while being rare in other psychiatric disorders. Large proportions of patients with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, psychotic mania and psychotic depression were generally unaware of having an illness. 

http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/resources/consequences-of-lack-of-treatment/anosognosia/1390

For the purposes of this thread I will refer to those people who have psychotic disorders and anosognosia as "seriously mentally ill" and or have SPMI, serious and persistent mental illness. Compared to the numbers of people with garden variety mental illness, 25-30% of the population, the numbers of people with serious mental illness are much smaller. However, serious mental illness is by no means "rare".

In my opinion, the balancing of the two values: autonomy and caring for others is skewed. Our laws give too much value to the autonomy of people who have no idea that they are ill.

A strongly worded link:

http://mentalillnesspolicy.org/media/bestmedia/uncivilliberties.html

 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Sat, 07-28-2012 - 4:55pm

Nothing is going to eliminate crime or homicide, but I see no reason to make it easier to kill people, which our lax gun laws do

I can't argue with that, but, personally, I would have to know what laws and restrictions would be put in place before I really had an opinion. kwim?

Ultimately, the guns are manufactured and sold legally, then purchased and used illegally. If the first purchaser was not able to get a hold of the gun, the criminal would not either.

From the article you posted:

Not far away in a violent patch of Chicago's South Side, Federal agents arrested a different man, a licensed gun dealer, on charges of selling weapons illegally to undercover officers in dark alleys and crumbling garages. Before he was caught, the authorities say, he sold hundreds of firearms to gang members and anyone else with fistfuls of dollars.

This is a licensed dealer, selling guns illegally. The articles I posted, I believe, stated most homicides are committed with illegally purchased guns. This is quite different from someone buying a gun legally and reselling it or having it stolen. This is a dealer selling guns illegally.

The black market is rather large. I am not sure I believe that a change in laws will prevent people from buying illegal guns ... if they truly want one. So, although I can't really comment on law changes, without a proposal sitting in front of me, I can comment on stats or assumption that with a law change, we will see dramatic decrease in crimes of this nature.

And as previously stated, I just think people with such serious mental illness that they go on a shooting spree, are not going to let that hinder their motives because they can't get a hold of a gun. JMO

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-27-2001
Sat, 07-28-2012 - 3:04pm

Ultimately, the guns are manufactured and sold legally, then purchased and used illegally.  If the first purchaser was not able to get a hold of the gun, the criminal would not either.  

http://www.nytimes.com/1992/03/11/us/how-criminals-get-guns-in-short-all-too-easily.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

Two years ago James M. Ryan was one of the 270,000 Americans with a Federal firearms license. The easy-to-obtain $30 license is good for three years and allows the person to buy and sell guns across state lines. The license holders are also subject to state and local laws, but some, like Mr. Ryan, use their Federal license to obtain weapons and then sell them illegally.

He had traveled the Midwest buying weapons from gun shops. He took them back to Chicago, where most handgun sales are illegal, and sold the guns in alleys and parking lots. He was tracked down after three pistols recovered in a gang shooting were traced to his home business in the Englewood section of the South Side, the neighborhood with the most homicides in the city last year. 600 Guns From One Man

Just before Thanksgiving two years ago, Mr. Ryan pleaded guilty in Federal court to selling guns illegally to undercover agents and was sentenced to four years in prison. The serial numbers on several guns he sold had been obliterated, and the required paper records were rarely filed. The authorities say that before Mr. Ryan came to their attention he sold as many as 600 guns to street gang members and others.

Nothing is going to eliminate crime or homicide, but I see no reason to make it easier to kill people, which our lax gun laws do.  (not saying you said this - just continuing a train of thought).

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-27-2001
Sat, 07-28-2012 - 3:00pm
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Sat, 07-28-2012 - 1:25pm

lol .. no, what is being said, is anti gun laws are not going to solve the problem when most obtain guns through illegal channels. It's unrealistic to compare stats or suggest a law will dramatically change the outcome in a country where most these guns are purchased illegally. As well as in a country with a higher rate of mental illness.

And, by all means, if now you want to speak strictly about deadly assault weapons. I don't think anyone argued with forming stricter laws. The disagreement seems to be whether or not this with have the same effect as suggested in other countries. Or, any real effect at all in the U.S. death rate by use of firearms.

If one wants to argue the law change will dramatically reduce the death rate ... that notion is where the disagreement lies.

Oh, one more disagreement would be that making something illegal means people won't have access to the item.  That just seems to be a naive belief ... IMO