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AstralSpirit
2007-Apr-19, 06:46 PM
There is so much news concerning the incident at Virginia Tech. So much sadness, so much anger, so much finger pointing. I feel such great sadness for all those who who died, including Cho Seung-Hui, as well as for those who will be haunted by that day for the rest of their lives.

My hope tho, is that this incident will finally bring mental illness out of the closet and the mental health field out of the dark ages. My hope is that we will finally begin to treat such illnesses before things go so terribly wrong.

Let this be our promise to the dead, let this be our promise to those who will be haunted for hears to come, let this be our path forward to rekindle the light of hope in such a dark moment.

Fazor
2007-Apr-19, 07:55 PM
I agree, although I don't know if things could have been different. They say the "warning signs" were there. But what are the warning signs someone is going to kill 32 innocent people before taking their own life? They say he stalked two women. In hindsight that might be a warning sign, but how at the time could they have gone from "hey, he's desperate for these women's attention." to "that means he's going to go kill everyone in sight"? He was an introvert, but so are lots of people. He was being treated for depression. So are lots of people.

It's sad...horribly terribly sad. But I'm not sure they could have seen this coming.

NEOWatcher
2007-Apr-19, 07:57 PM
...
My hope tho, is that this incident will finally bring mental illness out of the closet and the mental health field out of the dark ages. My hope is that we will finally begin to treat such illnesses before things go so terribly wrong...
I think that we are going in the opposite direction. In the past, mental illness was dealt with (many times unfairly though) without that person first causing harm.
Now; it is not politically correct to say someone needs help unless that person has first caused harm.

The mental health field has gone a long way...unfortunately, only those who seek help are the ones that benefit.

They are either innocent or guilty, and never do we infringe on the innocent. (at least that's where society seems to be going)

I for one, wish there were some level between guilty and innocent where a problem can be dealt with so we can keep the innocent innocent.

Unfortunately; it also becomes a money probem. We don't even seem to be able to deal with the guilty.

LurchGS
2007-Apr-19, 08:17 PM
Now; it is not politically correct to say someone needs help unless that person has first caused harm.


nope - maybe in the mainstream press or some other la-la land - but we still put people away for varying lengths of time - without them ever having hurt anybody. Just ask anybody in the Emergency Medical System here in the states.



The mental health field has gone a long way...unfortunately, only those who seek help are the ones that benefit.


They are either innocent or guilty, and never do we infringe on the innocent. (at least that's where society seems to be going)

I for one, wish there were some level between guilty and innocent where a problem can be dealt with so we can keep the innocent innocent.


see above. The courts do this daily. The good news is, MOST of these people are helped.

While the sentiment in that last line, about keeping the innocent innocent, is nice and furry-feeling, I believe very strongly that it's the wrong approach. In fact, it may well contribute to a person's problem. If you teach your children that the world is a nursery and everybody in it is a nanny, when they finally leave home, they're going to have a very difficult time adjusting to the fact that the world is full of reality and most people are complete jerks.

Gillianren
2007-Apr-20, 06:09 AM
I think that we are going in the opposite direction. In the past, mental illness was dealt with (many times unfairly though) without that person first causing harm.

Oh, dear Gods. Do you want to be dealt with the way mental illness used to be treated? It's gotten so much better. I mean, if I end up institutionalized, I won't be sprayed by fire hoses or drugged into insensibility

pizzaguy
2007-Apr-20, 01:40 PM
I, Pizzaguy, have now written my own "Manifesto". Please forgive the poor grammer, bad spelling, and overall lousy writing skills - I wrote this in a hurry after a comment was made on "ChristChat" earlier today.

These are my own words, my own story, forgive me if I sound like a know-it-all, but I REALLY DO think I know the answer here. When I saw parts of that video, my blood ran cold ... and I will explain in the text below.

------


No one has effectively answered the question, "WHY"? Would anyone care if I provide the answer?
It's not that I am a know-it-all, it's just that I DO know why this happened: the mental health system failed him and us, and it failed because of the rules we force it to work under. Even so, oddly enough, I do NOT believe the mental health system is at fault here! I believe we BOTH underfund them AND allow certain organizations to micro-manage them.

You see...
When I watched that video, I "saw" someone I know, I "heard" his voice. It was my youngest son, and my blood ran cold.

Over at Christ Chat, someone said that airing the video was wrong, and that most "don't want to see it."
I think I have another view. "It seems that most people are too weak to face reality". What I mean by that, is that the ONLY way we can get something done to fix our mental health system is to FORCE a 'fix'. That video could be the key to HOW we force a 'fix'.

Consider...
If you follow the story, you will find that many professors and students around him were waiting for him to act; they knew this guy was suffering from mental problems. (And it isn't THAT hard to understand, when you are around the psychotic, at first, you aren't sure what's up. But given a bit of time, you DO know that the person is ill. And then you act, but HOW do you act when that person is an adult?)

How do I think I know so much? And what do I mean, "How do you act when they are an adult?" Easy. My youngest son is paranoid schizophrenic, he has been suicidal and exhibited violent tendencies towards others.

Fortunately, he was underage when this first came up, so putting him in a mental hospital was easy. Once that was done, a record was established that he had problems, and that he had threatened himself and others.

But had he been diagnosed after age 18 or 21, things could have been different. After a person reaches adulthood, they can be hospitalized ONLY voluntarily - unless there is an obvious or blatant threat to self or others - and even then, there are often time limits on how long they can be "locked up".

The problem here is NOT Virginia gun laws, (because he should have been unable to buy a gun, but the mental health community didn't classify him as such), the university's response (because they have no legal right to 'respond' to a mental case); no, the problem here is the mental health system and our messed-up laws that 'protect' these people. Because our system doesn't really protect these people any more than it protects us FROM them. No, the system is broken 'cause we have over-protected the rights of the mentally ill - all the way to the point that, if this guy had been incarcerated by the system against his will, not only would the innocent be alive today, but he would be as well.

I am so glad that the mental health community in Michigan helped my son so effectively, and I am happy that IF he had to have this condition, he was diagnosed early enough to have lost some of his "rights" so as to protect him.

I hope I haven't come across as a know-it-all, but when I saw and heard pieces of that video, I 'saw' Bryan's face and heard his voice. BELEIVE ME, those around him KNEW he was dangerous, and the rest of us would have known it, too. It's just that our laws which "Protect the dignity" of such individuals, do not, in fact, protect them or us.

One more thing, my son will forever live with me, his mother or in an institutional setting - we, the family, even while going thru a divorce, have seen to that.

... I would like to add that I probably have more compassion for this killer than anyone I know. And compassion for criminals comes hard to me - but this guy was mentally ill, and our $*%(%(%($($ 'system' failed him.

Yea, I'm angry, but just tell me, what difference does it make if we just 'heal and move on'? We must NOT 'heal and move on', NO! We must learn from this and change. We'v got to change our mental health system, we'v got to tell the ACLU and other such groups to USE COMMON SENSE and NOT to view these people as you would the average person, THEY ARE NOT AN AVERAGE PERSON. Any "advocate" group that contains people other than family members or mental health professionals should be IGNORED. Let the mental health profession do it's own work - I have found them to be very competent, until some 'do-gooders' get involved and start messing things up (like the ACLU.)

The story must be told, and the 'system' must be improved. We have many more of these guys walking the street - fact is, our mental hospitals should be FULL of these people.

-----

Putting these people in mental hospitals isn't cruelty. And I don't think they should be there for their whole lives, in most instances. But I DO think we MUST take the "handcuffs" off the mental health community. Something should be made of the fact that this guy was allowed to buy a gun; and this leaves us with a question:

Was he able to buy a gun 'cause the background check system failed, OR because the mental health system didn't label him properly in the system? I have no answer to that question, but I also know that the mental health system lives in CONSTANT fear of being sued over what they do.

Roy Batty
2007-Apr-20, 02:09 PM
The latest Skeptic's Dictionary newletter makes some interesting points regarding violence & the mentally ill:
Current Newsletter 77 (http://www.skepdic.com/news/newsletter77.html#13)
(yes, I know it also makes a side political point but let's not go there ok).

Doodler
2007-Apr-20, 02:10 PM
There is so much news concerning the incident at Virginia Tech. So much sadness, so much anger, so much finger pointing. I feel such great sadness for all those who who died, including Cho Seung-Hui, as well as for those who will be haunted by that day for the rest of their lives.

My hope tho, is that this incident will finally bring mental illness out of the closet and the mental health field out of the dark ages. My hope is that we will finally begin to treat such illnesses before things go so terribly wrong.

Let this be our promise to the dead, let this be our promise to those who will be haunted for hears to come, let this be our path forward to rekindle the light of hope in such a dark moment.

Ok, here I come with the sledge hammer of reality.

1) Mental illness, like any other illness, is the responsibility of the individual suffering to treat effectively before it becomes society's problem. That goes as much for psychosis as it does for typhoid or AIDS. You don't get effective treatment, and you become a problem to society, you'll be dealt with. When treatment fails, isolation and quarantine become necessary evils.

2) Why don't you tell us how to effectively treat mental illnesses? Right now, mental illness treatment is a game of darts played blindfolded in the dark, hanging from a ceiling throwing backwards over your shoulder. Got any bright ideas to make it more effective? While you're at it, cure AIDS and cancer, too.

3) The only worthwhile promise made to the deceased is that we'll work to identify those who would represent likely threats and take more proactive steps in treating them to the best of whatever abilities we have, and to act on any instinct or evidence that such individuals may represent an actual threat to the world around them. This punk had red flags waving all over him, and nothing was done to take aggressive action to get him serious and intense help when it was needed. Mental illness is a time bomb in the head of a human being, and we need to be more willing to accept that until we understand better how to defuse those bombs, that the best place for them is a place to stay where the damage caused when they go off is contained.

pizzaguy
2007-Apr-20, 02:21 PM
Ok, here I come with the sledge hammer of reality.

1) Mental illness, like any other illness, is the responsibility of the individual suffering to treat effectively before it becomes society's problem.

To some extent I agree, but a truly psychotic person is not in control. So, sorry, but while I usually agree with your posts, this time, I have to disagree.


This punk had red flags waving all over him, and nothing was done to take aggressive action to get him serious and intense help when it was needed. Mental illness is a time bomb in the head of a human being, and we need to be more willing to accept that until we understand better how to defuse those bombs, that the best place for them is a place to stay where the damage caused when they go off is contained.
My GOD YES! Now HERE you are dead-on target. And if you read my (poorly written) posts above, you will see that I took about 500 words to say what you just said in about 25 words.

Doodler
2007-Apr-20, 02:31 PM
To some extent I agree, but a truly psychotic person is not in control. So, sorry, but while I usually agree with your posts, this time, I have to disagree.

The scary part is, people knew this. Unless some leeway is given to at least temporarily hold someone believed to be that close to the edge for medical review and possible treatment, we're going to have to live with periodic episodes like this with a serious body count as a result.

I don't want to make it sound like a crime for being mentally ill, but damn, people, crimes are committed by mentally ill people that could be prevented if we would act on the evidence sitting RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR FACE.


[/b]
My GOD YES! Now HERE you are dead-on target. And if you read my (poorly written) posts above, you will see that I took about 500 words to say what you just said in about 25 words.

I try not to be oblique about what I say in an effort not to miss the point. Sometimes, the truth hurts, and for the best interests of us all, the pain has to be experienced to make the lesson stick.

pizzaguy
2007-Apr-20, 02:43 PM
The scary part is, people knew this. Unless some leeway is given to at least temporarily hold someone believed to be that close to the edge for medical review and possible treatment, we're going to have to live with periodic episodes like this with a serious body count as a result.

I don't want to make it sound like a crime for being mentally ill, but damn, people, crimes are committed by mentally ill people that could be prevented if we would act on the evidence sitting RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR FACE.


No argument there.

NEOWatcher
2007-Apr-20, 05:28 PM
but we still put people away for varying lengths of time - without them ever having hurt anybody. Just ask anybody in the Emergency Medical System here in the states.
Doesn't that imply they've hurt themself?

see above. The courts do this daily. The good news is, MOST of these people are helped.
Would there have been a crime if the courts are involved? Maybe you are refering to something that I've had no exposure to. Can you explain this?

While the sentiment in that last line, about keeping the innocent innocent, is nice and furry-feeling, I believe very strongly that it's the wrong approach.
Whoa, slow down. I don't mean we need to convert everyone into a blissful happy life.
My comments do not involve mental illness as a lump sum. I know people with mental issues that lead very normal, non-invasive lives; although, they are percieved as a "little off".
My concern is those that are heading toward that cliff, the loners, the ones in denial. I don't even know if the science is there to properly recognize those other than going by some statistically telltale signs.

suntrack2
2007-Apr-20, 05:46 PM
I have read in the Indian newspaper here about this incident, in which the mumbai base student is one of the victims of this incident, and even it is said that one lecturer was also victim of this incident. it was a sad incident especially in the field of education. Do you think that metal detector or arm detector machines are necessary on the main gates of the entry level into the educational premises, so that such incidents may be restrict? all over the world!

MAPNUT
2007-Apr-20, 06:15 PM
all over the world!

Just Suntrack's last phrase prompts a question. Some above have implied that when a person reaches a state as severe as Cho, violence is inevitable. But doesn't this seem to be a particularly American disease? (meaning U.S.A.)

Schizophrenia must occur in similar forms all over the world. Why have there been so many fatal shootings in the U.S. compared to other countries? Or do they occur in other countries (apart from killings with religious or political motives) and we just don't hear about them? Does our violent culture incite the desperately unhappy to kill? Is it the ease of getting guns? Does the frenzy of media coverage inspire copycat crime? (Clearly Cho was a copycat.) A person with a violent mental illness might be expected to lash out at some point. But why has it happened so many times now, that he prepares a plan, gets a gun or a lot of guns, sometimes even prepares a statement, and sets out to kill as many people as possible?

Sorry, only questions, no answers.

NEOWatcher
2007-Apr-20, 06:22 PM
Sorry, only questions, no answers.
Short answer: Yes;
Long answer: All of the above (to some degree), and a whole lot more thrown in.

Demigrog
2007-Apr-20, 06:25 PM
I have read in the Indian newspaper here about this incident, in which the mumbai base student is one of the victims of this incident, and even it is said that one lecturer was also victim of this incident. it was a sad incident especially in the field of education. Do you think that metal detector or arm detector machines are necessary on the main gates of the entry level into the educational premises, so that such incidents may be restrict? all over the world!

In the case of Virginia Tech, that would have required an incredible number of metal detectors and staff to run them. Further, assuming they had them, this guy would simply have found some other easier targets.

The same goes for his gun purchase; I think he was determined enough to have found a gun illegally had he needed to. It still angers me though, that one little bureaucratic decision—outpatient versus inpatient treatment—kept his name off of a list that would have kept him from getting a gun legally.

cbacba
2007-Apr-20, 07:03 PM
In the case of Virginia Tech, that would have required an incredible number of metal detectors and staff to run them. Further, assuming they had them, this guy would simply have found some other easier targets.

The same goes for his gun purchase; I think he was determined enough to have found a gun illegally had he needed to. It still angers me though, that one little bureaucratic decision—outpatient versus inpatient treatment—kept his name off of a list that would have kept him from getting a gun legally.

There is one problem I'm having with all this. That is, this guy is not some babbling vegetable talking to himself in the corner living in his own reality. For whatever reasons, some in society almost locked him up for being nuts - but they didn't. What's more, it seems the fellow did know what he was doing and planning to do which probably suffices for sanity in the criminal legal system. It looks more like this guy was seeking fame (in the form of infamy)and to make a 'name' for himself.

It's well understood that the vast majority of suicides/attempts are a cry for help - a last attempt to reach out to others somehow. This didn't look like any 'cry for help' nor did the comments put out by those who knew him actually support any notion of a willingness on his part to socialize with others around him.

It did look like some real life effort to mimick some movie character or role playing game character (laura croft tomb raider comes to mind - although my knowledge of such things is quite limited) out to kill off all the 'zombies' or 'living dead' in the game. It's hard to say if he was insane enough to think that he'd be back as soon as someone hit the master reset button - but I sort of doubt that. I am afraid that I think it's about wanting fame and his willingness to do so over the dead bodies of as many people as he could trap and kill.

We cloak that mentality in the notion of mental illness or insanity and look for reasons why. Some would simply categorize it as pure evil. Perhaps there are cases of both where some is mental illness while other cases are actual evil incarnate. There are cases of people willing to do anything to achieve their immediate goals - prisons are full of them. The one thing they have in common is their lack of recognition of the basic rights of others (for instance the right to live). There is no room in society for those who refuse to do that.

HenrikOlsen
2007-Apr-20, 07:39 PM
It did look like some real life effort to mimick some movie character or role playing game character (laura croft tomb raider comes to mind - although my knowledge of such things is quite limited) out to kill off all the 'zombies' or 'living dead' in the game.
More precisely a character from the South Korean movie Oldboy (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0364569/), based on poses he took in the video he made.

Gillianren
2007-Apr-20, 09:25 PM
Do you all know how hard it is to get treatment for mental illness in this country, especially if your health insurance is inadequate/nonexistant?

Let's look at this in perspective. Let's start with something that could happen to all of us. Say you break your arm. That's not life-threatening by any stretch, but it is something that required immediate medical attention. Emergency rooms will treat you for it even if you can't show proof of insurance. You'll be hounded by their billing department until the end of time, but you'll get treatement.

But if you're crazy, you should call a hotline staffed by people with a bare minimum of training, who are really only trained to deal with suicide threats until such point as the help they summon arrives. That's your emergency treatment.

So okay. Say it's closer to diabetes, a long-lasting, manageable condition that might kill you eventually but not immediately. (We're leaving out the ones where you'll kill other people for now; I'll get to 'em.) So you want to get treatment for your condition.

First off, you're going to have to get a referral to see someone. This, in fact, is pretty much true regardless of your insurance status. I have a diagnosis and have since the '90s, but that's not the point. I was trying to see a new doctor here, so I had to go get a physical. Which I did. The doctor referred me to a therapist.

Now, that therapist can only see patients for about half an hour for about four sessions. That's all the system currently permits her. She's supposed to give you instructions on how to cope and let you go--though she does have the power to decide that you merit referral to a nurse practitioner, who can prescribe you drugs. I don't see a psychiatrist; they can't keep one on staff. I see a nurse practitioner. Who's very nice and all, but she says she's the only person on the entire west coast who'll prescribe drugs to you if you don't have insurance.

And, of course, mentally ill people tend to have a harder time trying to hold down a job. For some reason.

So okay. Let's assume you're a danger to others. You still have to go through the same process most of the time. The system's overloaded. Because the system's overloaded, people are discouraged from becoming doctors within it. This means that, as doctors get old/die/burnout and leave, the system just gets more overloaded.

Van Rijn
2007-Apr-20, 09:42 PM
So okay. Let's assume you're a danger to others. You still have to go through the same process most of the time. The system's overloaded. Because the system's overloaded, people are discouraged from becoming doctors within it. This means that, as doctors get old/die/burnout and leave, the system just gets more overloaded.

And that's nothing compared to the legal system. Because of the number of people killed in one incident, the way they were killed, and given his repeatedly aired video statement, this has received a lot of notoriety, but this type of event is rare. Compare that to the many technically "sane" but dangerous people that are not kept in prison and where there is no real chance of treatment. Compare (my own drum to beat) drunk drivers that are given a slap on the wrist and go out and kill. Yes, fine, this was horrible. But there are pleny of "we oughta do somethings" out there that seem a lot more obvious, but still difficult to resolve, than this.

mugaliens
2007-Apr-20, 09:51 PM
There is so much news concerning the incident at Virginia Tech. So much sadness, so much anger, so much finger pointing. I feel such great sadness for all those who who died, including Cho Seung-Hui, as well as for those who will be haunted by that day for the rest of their lives.

My hope tho, is that this incident will finally bring mental illness out of the closet...

I hope so, too.


...and the mental health field out of the dark ages.

I wouldn't count on it, for several reasons.

First, this event has already been highly politicized. Despite the odds of it happening to your child are roughly 1,000,000 to 1, I'm sure billions will be spent on efforts to "prevent" it from ever happening again.

Second, it plays to people's fears, and since people vote, you can bet that for the next ten years you'll hear it mentioned during every campaign at all levels.

Third, a simple modification of the mental health-care diagnostic criteria and reporting system can, with the right safeguards, help (not totally) prevent future incidents like this.

[quote]My hope is that we will finally begin to treat such illnesses before things go so terribly wrong.

Currently, neither medical nor mental patients can be forced into treatment against their own will unless they pose a clear and present danger to either themselves or those around them. The differential diagnosis performed shortly before the event at VT wasn't sufficient to reach such a conclusion, and any wide-spread attempt to tighten the noose, so to speak, will almost undoubtedly net a lot of people who're merely troubled, who really don't pose such a danger, and who would sue to have their rights restored under Constitutional Law (which certainly supports their freedoms, particularly given the radically small statistical liklihood that this sort of thing would happen in the first place).


Let this be our promise to the dead, let this be our promise to those who will be haunted for hears to come, let this be our path forward to rekindle the light of hope in such a dark moment.

Let this be a time to stop, carefully consider all the facts, and strenuously avoid very ill-advised emotional arguements or pleas, the results of nearly all of which will cost millions, if not billions, without having any statistically significant effect on either the outcome of this event or future events.

If they meet certain qualifications, and maintain a certain level of responsibility, allowing teachers, students, and school administrators to purchase and carry state-approved tasers for use against certain hostile acts, if deemed necessary, would be far less costly than many of the ill-advised, very costly, and totally insignificant recommendations I've seen thus far.

AstralSpirit
2007-Apr-20, 11:10 PM
One of my great concerns is, "How do we diagnose mental illness in advance?" It seems to me that it can be easy to diagnose in retrospect. Many professionals and lay people can point to symptoms and behaviors that should have been a warning. I wonder, tho, how easy it would be ahead of time to properly diagnose such cases.

When Robert Louis Stevenson, wrote "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: And Other Tales of Terror", his wife is said to have burned his first draft because it was so violent. Should we have forced him to be institutionalized? Stephen King has written stories that contain some very graphic and bloody violence. Should we force him to seek psychiatric care? Edgar Allan Poe is considered, by some today, to have been a classic example of someone who was suffering from deep, chronic depression. If he were alive today, should we force him to seek help? How many people are walking around right now others see as odd, a bit too angry, a bit scary but who will, if left to themselves, never commit any sort of violent act?

How does one distinguish between someone who is angry, frustranted, unhappy, but not necessarily a danger to themselves or others and someone who is truly dangerous. Personally, I don't trust the current diagnostic abilities of mental health professionals to accurately determine in advance who will become violent and who will not. So, as a result, I have concerns about taking away the rights of people who are not sick or dangerous. I want to feel safe from violent, disturbed people, but I also want to feel safe from being wrongly accused of being a violent, disturbed person.

cbacba
2007-Apr-20, 11:49 PM
One of my great concerns is, "How do we diagnose mental illness in advance?" It seems to me that it can be easy to diagnose in retrospect. Many professionals and lay people can point to symptoms and behaviors that should have been a warning. I wonder, tho, how easy it would be ahead of time to properly diagnose such cases.

When Robert Louis Stevenson, wrote "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: And Other Tales of Terror", his wife is said to have burned his first draft because it was so violent. Should we have forced him to be institutionalized? Stephen King has written stories that contain some very graphic and bloody violence. Should we force him to seek psychiatric care? Edgar Allan Poe is considered, by some today, to have been a classic example of someone who was suffering from deep, chronic depression. If he were alive today, should we force him to seek help? How many people are walking around right now others see as odd, a bit too angry, a bit scary but who will, if left to themselves, never commit any sort of violent act?

How does one distinguish between someone who is angry, frustranted, unhappy, but not necessarily a danger to themselves or others and someone who is truly dangerous. Personally, I don't trust the current diagnostic abilities of mental health professionals to accurately determine in advance who will become violent and who will not. So, as a result, I have concerns about taking away the rights of people who are not sick or dangerous. I want to feel safe from violent, disturbed people, but I also want to feel safe from being wrongly accused of being a violent, disturbed person.

I don't think you're going to. Wasn't it the bkt killer that was found out after 20 years of serial killing just a year or so ago. Turned out to be some fat balding middle aging family guy with wife and kid(s) and job - established in his community? Besides, I've worked with at least one guy over the years who was somewhat reminiscent of the character norman bates to most of his coworkers - most of whom felt a bit uneasy around him for years - despite absolutely no apparent reason for it. It took years for people to become fairly comfotable and hang out with him at lunch and the like.

With variations like this - how is it going to be possible to distinguish the bad from the good - especially if the bad isn't really insane but rather (ithink the term is) a sociopath willing to kill to achieve his desired ends?

Doodler
2007-Apr-21, 01:30 AM
I don't think you're going to. Wasn't it the bkt killer that was found out after 20 years of serial killing just a year or so ago. Turned out to be some fat balding middle aging family guy with wife and kid(s) and job - established in his community? Besides, I've worked with at least one guy over the years who was somewhat reminiscent of the character norman bates to most of his coworkers - most of whom felt a bit uneasy around him for years - despite absolutely no apparent reason for it. It took years for people to become fairly comfotable and hang out with him at lunch and the like.

With variations like this - how is it going to be possible to distinguish the bad from the good - especially if the bad isn't really insane but rather (ithink the term is) a sociopath willing to kill to achieve his desired ends?

BTK. Plus there was that chucklehead America's Most Wanted nabbed after 25 years or so after he offed his family and vanished.

BigDon
2007-Apr-21, 02:14 AM
And let's not forget. Which nobody here has mentioned, evil. Some people are neither sociopath's or mentally ill. Just pure fricken evil. Or is that an "obsolete" concept?

Gillianren
2007-Apr-21, 04:51 AM
It does get called sociopathology instead of evil. However, the concept that some people cannot be helped and will continue to do horrible things is far from obsolete.

There is no cure for sociopathology, and a pure sociopath doesn't want one anyway. Why bother with a conscience when you don't have to worry about anything you've done wrong now? A pure sociopath will not be able to be medicated away; there is no medication for it. Heck, a substantial proportion of people for whose conditions there is medicine don't respond to it in the first place. (I'm not showing improvement from mine yet, but I'm not up to a full dosage yet.)

We need to encourage people to go into the relevant fields. As it stands, they're horrible and thankless, and nobody wants to--and I can't blame them, even though that lack is making my own life harder. The hoops you have to go through in order to help people are little short of ridiculous, both for you and for the people you're trying to help. There's pressure from the outside to just magically have it work, too, with no conception of how broken the system is.

I want it fixed as much as or more than anyone else. I can promise you that. But not all conditions have medication that'll fix them. Not all people with conditions that do have medication for them will respond to the medication. And not all people who would respond to the medication can get it.

Pinemarten
2007-Apr-21, 05:45 AM
I feel there should be more effort in protection as opposed to prevention. There will always be cases slipping through the cracks.
Simple solutions could be taser training as mention as well as metal lined doors that lock automatically unless the fire alarm is pulled etc.

Elevators are wired so that if there is a fire they got to the bottom floor, unless there is a fire detected there, in which case they go to the second, or 3rd and so on. I laugh in the movies when the good guys are chasing the bad guy, he goes up the elevator, and they take the stairs instead of just pulling a fire alarm.

It would be easy to tie in an automatic lock-down system that would act when anyone pulls a fire alarm.

HenrikOlsen
2007-Apr-21, 07:16 AM
Simple solutions could be taser training as mention as well as metal lined doors that lock automatically unless the fire alarm is pulled etc.
Taser training is useless against a killer with a rifle.
So the gunman starts the firealarm and shoots people as they exit.
Yet another simple solution that won't work.

How about this one:

A mandatory gun license, with the twist that at introduction the license is automatic for gun owners who can show 4 years of owner ship.
With a mandatory medical review, ie. if you can't see well enough to drive a car, you can see well enough to hit what you aim and the gun is therefore a danger to everyone.
With a federally funded no questions asked buyback of all weapons (at less than store price), you can just fund it by exporting the assault rifles:)
Then wait 50 years.

Pinemarten
2007-Apr-21, 09:02 AM
I can see tasers having much more effect than no taser.

The fire alarm system is feasible. It can be wired to keycard switches for lock-down and open. The switches could be in many places and the keycards programmed so as to make any of them useless when in the wrong hands.

We tried rifle registry in Canada for a few years and now we are scrapping it. I think it was costing over $1000 per rifle and climbing. It didn't lower the incident level and I think the RCMP didn't even like it. It was basically out-voted by a non-violent country where less than 5% of us were even concerned about the issue.
This is not a gun control thread.
I think we should avoid going there as it has shut down other threads.
I am just making the point that more focus should be put on protection as opposed to prevention. Prevention still has too many cracks to slip/fall through.



I don't like to bring up cost when people put so much value on human life, the cost of protection is more politically viable than prevention. It is cheaper to plug the few holes around you than the many holes around the 3,000,000 others. It therefore has a better chance of succeeding politically.

suntrack2
2007-Apr-21, 09:23 AM
a. lack of respect
b. lack of social attachment
c. lack of sentiments
d. lack of proper family nurturing
e. immitation of movie shots
f. selfishness
g. only living in "me" ness, and not caring nature for others
h. lack of meditation
i. lack of sportive nature
j. habitual of narcotics,other drugs, alone character, not mix up with others, kind of reserve
k. accute mental syndrome

so which alphabet will be applicable to that "mad" person,or youth.

I think since the childhood the "familier attachment,familier sensitivity,familier with the social and overall "acting" responsible fellow will not do this thing, and this is very important, and we know everyone tries to do so, but few are exception in this world like that mad person.

Doodler
2007-Apr-21, 01:35 PM
And let's not forget. Which nobody here has mentioned, evil. Some people are neither sociopath's or mentally ill. Just pure fricken evil. Or is that an "obsolete" concept?

Its not PC, anyway, but its real. People want to think of simple evil as something that can be cured or prevented.

They're hopelessly naive.

Pinemarten
2007-Apr-21, 02:42 PM
Off topic:

Has evil ever been codified by science or is it an archaic term for someone with mental health problems?

Doodler
2007-Apr-21, 02:54 PM
Off topic:

Has evil ever been codified by science or is it an archaic term for someone with mental health problems?

I've personally never heard either the term "good" or "evil" expressed empirically. Given that they're subjective terms, empirical definitions might not be possible.

cbacba
2007-Apr-21, 04:21 PM
Off topic:

Has evil ever been codified by science or is it an archaic term for someone with mental health problems?

One can create a new syndrome for whatever fits your fancy. I guess that's the scientific version of the charismatic movement gone wild - "the name it and claim it" clique.

One can be 'evil' simply by refusing to acknowledge basic rights of others and acting on that. One might be able make a syndrome (simplistic term referring to a mental illness in this case) out of the fact the perp might enjoy it or get a thrill out of it - but I'm not sure you really could even do that if the perp were just getting rid of witnesses to a crime - like swatting flies. Actually, very late term abortions aren't really much if any different from that and look how many ostensibly normal people support it.

Different cultures also can define good and evil in different ways. Under Nazis Germany rule, I've no doubt it was considered evil to harbor fugitives from the state - like Jews. It was also considered humane to eliminate 'special needs' people and children. I've also no doubt that the radical islam types consider it evil to allow infidels to continue living as well as considering infidels to be evil. They also evidently believe it is good to strap a bomb on some neighbor's kid and send him off to blow up as many infidels as possible and too bad for any devout muslims who might get in the way.

Whether good and evil are defined by culture and religion (or religious heritage) or even exist on their own is a good question. Personally, I don't think they do exist on their own but must be defined by religion (and culture). Being relative in that regard, I doubt you can quantify them. Both Jews and Christians along with even the radical Muslims would agree that morality and the definitions of good and evil come from God although it doesn't necessarily like like from the same God.

HenrikOlsen
2007-Apr-21, 06:09 PM
Evil is seeing people as things.
Everything else follows from that.

Gillianren
2007-Apr-21, 06:29 PM
I'd classify "evil" and "pure sociopathology" as being the same condition, and I think the psychiatric community would back me up on that.

BigDon
2007-Apr-21, 06:43 PM
What I'd really like to see is come from this is not reform in gun control, but reform in the media. Scott Peterson was tried and convicted long before the trial even began. And the ghouls at the local news stations had a positively gluttonous time at the feeding frenzy over these killings, especially when weiniehead's videos came out. I was much more offended than usual. AND the news anchor even said, "Some people object to what appears to be glorifying the killer by showing this" like saying that absolved them of any responsibility.

In all my years I've only twice seen newscaster's object on camera to the tone of a particular story. And it's been a long time since. (I believe it was the news team of Van Amberg and Jerry Jensen. Both long retired now)

BigDon
2007-Apr-21, 06:44 PM
I'd classify "evil" and "pure sociopathology" as being the same condition, and I think the psychiatric community would back me up on that.


Yeah, I bet they would.

LurchGS
2007-Apr-21, 07:05 PM
I'm not terribly interested in any of these stories, in and of themselves. Yes, they are horrifying, traumatic, and generally bad for the digestion.

The thing to keep in mind is that, for all intents and purposes, nothing has changed.

Cho took out 32 people. So did John Wayne Gacey. If you look, all the way back to prehistory you find this sort of action. Sometimes by individuals, sometimes by groups...

How many still glorify Frank and Jesse James, Wyatt Earp, and William Bonney?

Ergo - to repeat myself - I'm not terribly interested in the news stories. I AM interested in the cold details, with a look towards protecting me and mine.

I also like to pay attention to the overall statistics - and all kinds of violent crime have been on the decrease nationally over the past 20 years or so. Of course, some locations have experienced an increase, but over all, it's been a steady decline.

Pinemarten
2007-Apr-21, 08:01 PM
What I'd really like to see is come from this is not reform in gun control, but reform in the media.


First book burning, then freedom of speech???

The US media has the right to spew anything they want, as long as they can prove it to be true when challenged.
Isn't there an amendment to that effect, or did I miss the memo that they repealed it?

On a serious note:

The problem is not the media. It is the masses that feed it.
Simple control may be contacting any sponsor that has an ad during the offencive story.

No, that would be 'moral majority' pressure; and I think many remember that ugly war. Or is it still going on?

TV news is the worst way to get it.
BAUT is the best way.
Send money so we can hire some journalists, buy a camera, a jet, and a politically correct anchor.

Actually I am lost here.
Where can we put the pressure without sacrificing freedoms?




Evil is seeing people as things.
Everything else follows from that.

I like this answer.
Good, straight-to-the-point, and a person like me can understand it.

BigDon
2007-Apr-21, 08:10 PM
Mr. Martin, since the end of the cold war the news services have degenerated into a ratings grabbing entertainment as opposed to an organ of free speech.

BigDon
2007-Apr-21, 08:11 PM
Oh, and reform isn't oppression.

mugaliens
2007-Apr-21, 08:13 PM
Off topic:

Has evil ever been codified by science or is it an archaic term for someone with mental health problems?

Science has documented brain structural differences among those who appear to perfectly sane except for their lacking any conscience which prevents them from killing other humans. These folks do not kill indiscriminantly, however, and are as much members of various gangs, adhering to the rules as any other gang member. It's just that they appear to never have remorse about their actions.

Pure evil? As evil as it gets, without falling into some category of mental illness (although I'd be willing to bet the DSM-IV contains something that fits them, like sociopath with narcisistic, etc.).

Pinemarten
2007-Apr-21, 09:00 PM
Oh, and reform isn't oppression.

I think the media would differ in opinion.
I can see the headline now:

'Government Quashes Media Under the Guise of Reform!'

Doesn't the first amendment say something like, "infringe the freedom of the press", as well as 'freedom of speech'?

Infringe definition contains: 'violates the rights of another'

Violate definition contains: 'to fail to show proper respect for'

This case would make many lawyers rich, the government more in debt, and it is a lose-lose situation.

Imagine trying to get back in power after 'reforming' a free media.
How can you spin without them?

Pinemarten
2007-Apr-21, 09:07 PM
The ratings war you can blame on astronomy.

Telescopes got us satellites.
Satellites gave us global news broadcasts.
Local news couldn't compete, so they went 'tabloid'.
Global news couldn't compete, so they had to go 'tabloid'.

End the Cold War, start the Tabloid Wars.

AstralSpirit
2007-Apr-21, 10:54 PM
Mr. Martin, since the end of the cold war the news services have degenerated into a ratings grabbing entertainment as opposed to an organ of free speech.
If you look back to the first 100 years or so of the media in this country, you'll will see much the same sort of thing.

AstralSpirit
2007-Apr-21, 11:20 PM
I also don't believe in "evil".

I think that people can get hurt, broken, or distorted. This can lead to chemical imbalances in the brain. I also think that some people are born with flaws from the most visible to the most invisible. A hand with a finger missing is visible, but a chemical imbalance may or may not be visible.

When such things happen, the results can be catastrophic if not detected or if detected but not properly treated. We see the result as "evil" but I think the mechanism is medical.

Doodler
2007-Apr-21, 11:33 PM
I also don't believe in "evil".

I do believe in evil. Willful deliberate malicious intent, callous disregard for others.

Sadism isn't a sickness, jealousy isn't a disease, rage isn't a virus.

The fact that actions are taken without regard for the consequences does not excuse the impulse that spurred from motivation.

Evil exists, its real. Its hard as heck to nail down, but you know it when you see it.

AstralSpirit
2007-Apr-21, 11:53 PM
I do believe in evil. Willful deliberate malicious intent, callous disregard for others.

Sadism isn't a sickness, jealousy isn't a disease, rage isn't a virus.

The fact that actions are taken without regard for the consequences does not excuse the impulse that spurred from motivation.

Evil exists, its real. Its hard as heck to nail down, but you know it when you see it.
I see, and what is your scientific evidence in support of this conclusion?

cbacba
2007-Apr-22, 02:27 AM
I see, and what is your scientific evidence in support of this conclusion?

How do you determine the illness/recovery of someone who is fully sane and just plain evil?

Some people feel better inventing illnesses and ascribing them to something that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Besides, as I provided examples earlier, how do you determine whether we as infidels are evil (or rather derranged with an illness) as viewed by radical islamics or that they are evil (or mentally ill) just because they think it's the right thing to do to send their neighbor's kids out to blow up a few infidels and maybe a few unfortunate muslims in the wrong place at the wrong time?

How can a mental illness be relative to one's culture?

Sorry, your view seems to fall short of reality there.

At least BigD can call someone evil, even if it's only relative. One must progress to religion to establish an absolute on that but then that appears to be relative to that religion. Intellegence and knowledge and modern civilization are devoid of morality where in lies the notions of good and evil. Intellegence and knowledge only permit the existance of intellegent and knowledgeable evil.

mugaliens
2007-Apr-22, 02:39 AM
I also don't believe in "evil".

I think that people can get hurt, broken, or distorted. This can lead to chemical imbalances in the brain. I also think that some people are born with flaws from the most visible to the most invisible. A hand with a finger missing is visible, but a chemical imbalance may or may not be visible.

When such things happen, the results can be catastrophic if not detected or if detected but not properly treated. We see the result as "evil" but I think the mechanism is medical.

The hard fact is, Astral, that there are measured physical (not just chemical) changes in the brains of certain types of criminal minds, namely, those who experience no remorse.

Jens
2007-Apr-22, 07:37 AM
And let's not forget. Which nobody here has mentioned, evil. Some people are neither sociopath's or mentally ill. Just pure fricken evil. Or is that an "obsolete" concept?

Well, sharks are evil. So are lions and tigers. And surely human beings have an evil streak in us, though for most of us socialization makes us behave more kindly toward our own kind. The key being "most". But the problem isn't so much the question of whether evil exists; it's who should be given the right to make a judgment on it. We have seen so many instances in history: many Hutus found the Tutsis evil. The Nazis found the Jews to be evil. The Soviets saw the bourgeoisie as evil. So many of us will choose to be leery of the claim "I know it when I see it". Maybe you're a good objective person and lacks biases, but the same can't be said as a general statement. Perhaps evil exists, but perhaps misjudgment exists as well.

Maksutov
2007-Apr-22, 08:44 AM
Zap 'em, I say!

Zap 'em with as much electricity as they can stand, until they're either better or dead.

Let [the deity of your choice] sort 'em out!

Note: Such procedures make the jobs of psychiatric doctors a lot easier and allow them to bury their mistakes without question. After all, what's more important here, the well-being of someone whose brain is apparently screwed up beyond repair, or the livelihood and career of a physician?

The choice is obvious.

Maksutov
2007-Apr-22, 08:45 AM
The hard fact is, Astral, that there are measured physical (not just chemical) changes in the brains of certain types of criminal minds, namely, those who experience no remorse.Ah, neo-phrenology.

Examples, please?

torque of the town
2007-Apr-22, 08:49 AM
Mr. Martin, since the end of the cold war the news services have degenerated into a ratings grabbing entertainment as opposed to an organ of free speech.



You ain't wrong there dude.

David

mugaliens
2007-Apr-22, 01:33 PM
Ah, neo-phrenology.

Examples, please?

Neo-phrenology, Maksutov?

Phrenology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrenology), the mistaken early 1800's belief that character, personality traits, and criminality can be determined by the shape of one's head, stands in sharp contrast to the modern techniques such as Computed Tomography (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_aided_tomography), commonly referred to as a CT or CAT scan, and Positron Emission Tomography (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positron_emission_tomography), which, along with Magnetic Resonance Imaging, form the cornerstone of modern nuclear medicine imaging technologies.

Quote from Wiki on PET: "Studies have been performed examining the state of these receptors in patients compared to healthy controls in schizophrenia, substance abuse, mood disorders and other psychiatric conditions."

Reference 1 (http://bmb.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/43/3/599)

Reference 2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positron_emission_tomography#More_detailed_applica tions_list)

Reference 3 (http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/234/4783/1558)

Reference 4 (http://clinicalstudies.info.nih.gov/detail/A_2001-M-0232.html)

Reference 5 (http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v18/n1/full/1395073a.html)

Reference 6 (http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/226/4681/1393)

I could go on, Maksutov, but there's more than 91,000 Google hits on this, so if you're really interested in techniques other than phrenology, you might want to start Googling.

Doodler
2007-Apr-22, 01:52 PM
I see, and what is your scientific evidence in support of this conclusion?

Evidence? Rapists. Explain to me the mental condition required to trigger someone to violently seek sexual satisfaction at someone else's expense.

Perversion is not a disease. Nor is anger. Those are not dysfunctions of the brain, those are conditioned behavioral responses. You don't cure someone through medical treatment, you reprogram them through various forms of negative reinforcement and retraining.

HenrikOlsen
2007-Apr-22, 06:26 PM
Ah, neo-phrenology.

Examples, please?
I like that expression, it sums up my impression of the state of the art for a large part of the physical brain sciences.

The lumps on the skull have been replaced with tops on EEG's and shadows on CAT scans, but it's still mostly a matter of trying to find patters in data, without any idea how the stuff is actually connected.

There's still nothing in the measurements that can say what your personality is or whether you're capable of evil or not.

Gillianren
2007-Apr-22, 09:27 PM
Put me on the side of the medical condition. It gives me hope, too--at least I can envision a day when sociopathology can be cured.

BigDon
2007-Apr-22, 09:31 PM
Yeah, Gillian. And I can envision a day when everybody is medicated. Ala THX1138. (You are hereby under arrest for drug evasion.)

AstralSpirit
2007-Apr-22, 09:37 PM
How do you determine the illness/recovery of someone who is fully sane and just plain evil?

How do we determine that someone is "fully sane". Does medical science understand mental health to well enough to determine if someone is fully sane? Does medical science understand mental health well enough to measure recovery and understand the mechanism by which recovery was achieved?

It seems that there is always evil just beyond the boundaries of scientific understanding. Whether it is the causes of disease, what is in the sky, or the nature of physical laws.

AstralSpirit
2007-Apr-22, 09:46 PM
The hard fact is, Astral, that there are measured physical (not just chemical) changes in the brains of certain types of criminal minds, namely, those who experience no remorse.
The real question is whether these people can be effetively treated. If the brain has been physically changed, we should examine whether we can effect repair like in the case of heart defects. If the brain has a chemical imbalance, we should examine whether the imbalance can be set right like in the cae of diabetes.

I don't think it's possible now, but many defects, both chemical and physical, have been researched, understood, and can now be set right. I think the brain and the mind could be next if we do the necessary research.

AstralSpirit
2007-Apr-22, 09:51 PM
Evidence? Rapists. Explain to me the mental condition required to trigger someone to violently seek sexual satisfaction at someone else's expense.

Perversion is not a disease. Nor is anger. Those are not dysfunctions of the brain, those are conditioned behavioral responses. You don't cure someone through medical treatment, you reprogram them through various forms of negative reinforcement and retraining.
How is it that so many smart people who are so careful to build scientific arguments for so many other issues don't do so for issues concerning mental health. It leaves me sad and concerned for the future of the mental health field.

I see no scientific evidence presented in your post supporting your contention and nothing to support your conclusion.

AstralSpirit
2007-Apr-22, 10:00 PM
Yeah, Gillian. And I can envision a day when everybody is medicated. Ala THX1138. (You are hereby under arrest for drug evasion.)
I don't understand your extreme jump in logic. We've learned to medicate people to treat the effects of many diseases from small pox to the plague. It isn't the goal of medical science to "medicate everyone", the goal is to medicate those who are ill. vaccination is an attempt to use medicine as a tool to prevent rather than cure.

Perhaps there will come a day when the same will apply to mental health medicine. There could have been a law requiring vaccinations for everyone in our society, but we prefer individual rights over such laws like that; why wouldn't the same be true for mental health medication.

HenrikOlsen
2007-Apr-22, 10:06 PM
I don't understand your extreme jump in logic.
I do, it's not that extreme.
All you need is a strict definition of what's normal, a medical profession where you get fame from either naming a new deviation from said norm or finding a "cure", and let time happen.
It's a fairly logical extrapolation of an already happening trend.

LurchGS
2007-Apr-22, 10:09 PM
My thought is that medicine (non-trauma) is counter to evolution, and will lead to Bad Things (tm). The only true answer on the horizon is gene therapy - make immunity from this, that, and the other a hereditary fix.

It's either that or nanotanks with nanomachineguns

AstralSpirit
2007-Apr-22, 10:28 PM
I do, it's not that extreme.
All you need is a strict definition of what's normal, a medical profession where you get fame from either naming a new deviation from said norm or finding a "cure", and let time happen.
It's a fairly logical extrapolation of an already happening trend.
As I point out, this has always been the case with medical science. Our society did not ever require vaccination, but it could have. Each advance has the potential for abuse. In the past we have tried to match these advances with protection of individual freedom. I think we should do this in the future rather than limit advances in knowledge and understanding.

HenrikOlsen
2007-Apr-22, 10:39 PM
Our society did not ever require vaccination, but it could have.
Mine does.

LurchGS
2007-Apr-22, 10:42 PM
How do we determine that someone is "fully sane". Does medical science understand mental health to well enough to determine if someone is fully sane? Does medical science understand mental health well enough to measure recovery and understand the mechanism by which recovery was achieved?


1) this is easy. Compare them to me. Anybody not 100% like me is defective.

2) Mental Health isn't a science, so of course the medical johnnies have only a vague grasp.

AstralSpirit
2007-Apr-22, 10:50 PM
Mine does.
In the United States we don't. Each advance in science, medicine, and technology raise such questions. It's up to us as cultures and societies to choose the values we live by.

I don't think that knowledge is inherently bad. I think that how it is applied is a matter of the social values that a culture or a society have. I don't believe that advances in knowledge should be hidden because of how people may use them. If we argue from that point of view, perhaps the discovery of fire should have been hidden since it has been used for so much harm as well as good over time.

Personally I am a scientist and I believe that uncovering the secrets of nature and the universe is a noble effort.

AstralSpirit
2007-Apr-22, 10:52 PM
1) this is easy. Compare them to me. Anybody not 100% like me is defective.

No, me!! ;)



2) Mental Health isn't a science, so of course the medical johnnies have only a vague grasp.
Exactly, but give them time. Other fields weren't very scientific in the past.

cbacba
2007-Apr-22, 11:31 PM
How do we determine that someone is "fully sane". Does medical science understand mental health to well enough to determine if someone is fully sane? Does medical science understand mental health well enough to measure recovery and understand the mechanism by which recovery was achieved?

It seems that there is always evil just beyond the boundaries of scientific understanding. Whether it is the causes of disease, what is in the sky, or the nature of physical laws.

Sanity obviously includes some sort of selfawareness and awareness of surroundings. Beyond that, it's probably up to the people making decisions as to who gets defined as normal and who gets the Abby Normal moniker. I have no idea wether medical science understand mental health or it's cures and causal mechanisms. My guess would be they don't and tend to let whackos like cho loose on the world.

As stated earlier, evil seems to be a subjective concept somewhat relative to a culture or religion and is not subject to science - which doesn't deal with morality and is amoral - depending upon the culture and religion of those involved. in other words - science doesn't generate a morality and neither does knowledge or intellect. In the venacular of science and math, these things are orthogonal and hence unrelated. That means, no level of scientific study or knowledge will create a morality.

Pinemarten
2007-Apr-23, 12:51 AM
1) this is easy. Compare them to me. Anybody not 100% like me is defective.

2) Mental Health isn't a science, so of course the medical johnnies have only a vague grasp.

I am not 100% like you, I am 180%. Does that make me defective?

Gillianren
2007-Apr-23, 01:27 AM
Don, you know perfectly well I don't want everyone medicated; I've said so myself on many occasions. However, how do you fix evil? If people just like causing harm to others, what do you do about that if it isn't a medical condition? You can try punishing them, but it hasn't worked very well from a historical perspective. People who just want to hurt people don't stop because you punish them or tell them they're wrong or that they're going to Hell or whatever. If it's medical, it can be fixed. If it isn't, it has no solution that I can see.

Pinemarten
2007-Apr-23, 01:52 AM
I think the more serious cases are smart enough to 'squeeze through the cracks' or use some 'human rights law' to avoid treatment.
I think many areas have a 'dangerous offender' law to keep them locked up, but that only works after the first crime or more.

I still believe in plugging the few holes around me as opposed to the many holes around 30,000,000 others.

Van Rijn
2007-Apr-23, 02:27 AM
Our society did not ever require vaccination, but it could have.

What are you referring to? There are many vaccination laws in the U.S. And from here: (http://www.hhs.gov/nvpo/law.htm#Controlling%20epidemics%20through%20vaccin ation%20laws)

American courts have addressed many times the legal issue of whether government can compel vaccination, and have repeatedly supported immunizations. States have many laws that spell out what types of vaccinations people must have in various circumstances.

HenrikOlsen
2007-Apr-23, 07:18 AM
Don, you know perfectly well I don't want everyone medicated; I've said so myself on many occasions. However, how do you fix evil? If people just like causing harm to others, what do you do about that if it isn't a medical condition? You can try punishing them, but it hasn't worked very well from a historical perspective. People who just want to hurt people don't stop because you punish them or tell them they're wrong or that they're going to Hell or whatever. If it's medical, it can be fixed. If it isn't, it has no solution that I can see.
The only near solution I can think of is to remove such a person from any opportunity to repeat the offense and try to find out how such a person is created in the first place so you can prevent more from being created.

Gillianren
2007-Apr-23, 08:15 AM
The only near solution I can think of is to remove such a person from any opportunity to repeat the offense and try to find out how such a person is created in the first place so you can prevent more from being created.

And that gets all nature vs. nurture-y, and I'm not sure how we're doing on resolution of that for any psychological problems, much less sociopathology.

For example, I'm reasonably sure sociopaths are more likely to have been abused as children, but certainly not all children who were abused turn out to be sociopaths and not all sociopaths were abused as children. Further, there's a limit to how much we know about their genetics, given that several prominent ones (Ted Bundy and Charles Manson spring to mind) don't actually know who their fathers were--or didn't, in Ted's case.

It's not an easy problem. I like to believe we're closer to a solution of it than we were, but I'm an optimist when it comes to solving medical mysteries. Part of it, I think, is that I can see how far we've come.

mugaliens
2007-Apr-23, 05:10 PM
What are you referring to? There are many vaccination laws in the U.S. And from here: (http://www.hhs.gov/nvpo/law.htm#Controlling%20epidemics%20through%20vaccin ation%20laws)

American courts have addressed many times the legal issue of whether government can compel vaccination, and have repeatedly supported immunizations. States have many laws that spell out what types of vaccinations people must have in various circumstances.

Particularly if such vaccinations are designed to prevent further erosions of mental disease (just in case such vaccines should ever develop in the future...)

This is beginning to sound like XMEN III.

mugaliens
2007-Apr-23, 05:23 PM
How do we determine that someone is "fully sane". Does medical science understand mental health to well enough to determine if someone is fully sane?

Stick them back in society and watch.

cbacba
2007-Apr-23, 06:58 PM
Don, you know perfectly well I don't want everyone medicated; I've said so myself on many occasions. However, how do you fix evil? If people just like causing harm to others, what do you do about that if it isn't a medical condition? You can try punishing them, but it hasn't worked very well from a historical perspective. People who just want to hurt people don't stop because you punish them or tell them they're wrong or that they're going to Hell or whatever. If it's medical, it can be fixed. If it isn't, it has no solution that I can see.

It seems that so many of these mass murderers are or have been under medications. Enough for some to wonder if the medications may be somewhat responsible. The obviously solution for something with no cure that poses a threat to others in society is quarantine. only one type is a surefire gauranteed success (capital punishment). The rest run the risk of additional future problems. Fortunately, self defense laws permit the private exercise of this in precarious situations.

Gillianren
2007-Apr-23, 08:32 PM
It seems that so many of these mass murderers are or have been under medications. Enough for some to wonder if the medications may be somewhat responsible.

You're incorrect about that. I can name literally dozens of mass murderers or serial killers (both probably under the heading of sociopath and therefore probably affected by similar brain chemistry) whose moment was before the advent of most medications for psychological problems.

Further, let's say they are on medication. Given the percentage of people who are on those same meds who don't go on killing sprees, isn't it a more logical assumption (and, in fact, a known fact in the psychiatric community) that the meds just don't work for some people? In fact, the meds just don't work for an astonishingly high number of people; it's one of the reasons there are so many medications for the same handful of conditions. It's a matter of trying them until you find one that works.

cbacba
2007-Apr-23, 09:18 PM
You're incorrect about that. I can name literally dozens of mass murderers or serial killers (both probably under the heading of sociopath and therefore probably affected by similar brain chemistry) whose moment was before the advent of most medications for psychological problems.

Further, let's say they are on medication. Given the percentage of people who are on those same meds who don't go on killing sprees, isn't it a more logical assumption (and, in fact, a known fact in the psychiatric community) that the meds just don't work for some people? In fact, the meds just don't work for an astonishingly high number of people; it's one of the reasons there are so many medications for the same handful of conditions. It's a matter of trying them until you find one that works.

I was thinking more of the teen killer types and shouldn't have used most - just a number of the high profile ones. It's enough to make some wonder.

It's possible meds may have no effect and then it's possible that an 'allergic' reaction sometimes occurs in a small fraction of users that triggers the behavoir. Then again, maybe it's just that too many are being lumped together and insufficient effort placed at sorting the wheat from the chaff.

psychology is definitely not my interest. I figured back when I was in school that psychology classes and programs were totally infused by those trying to understand themselves and understand why they were so screwed up psychologically.

SeanF
2007-Apr-23, 09:18 PM
You're incorrect about that. I can name literally dozens of mass murderers or serial killers (both probably under the heading of sociopath and therefore probably affected by similar brain chemistry) whose moment was before the advent of most medications for psychological problems.
cbacba's comment kind of reminded me of the old joke about hospitals being obviously dangerous because of the inordinate number of people who die in them.

So much so that I can't help but wonder if cbacba wasn't making a joke himself (herself?).

Gillianren
2007-Apr-23, 09:48 PM
psychology is definitely not my interest. I figured back when I was in school that psychology classes and programs were totally infused by those trying to understand themselves and understand why they were so screwed up psychologically.

Psychology very much is my interest, though for pretty much exactly that reason.

As you may or may not be aware, though it's certainly no secret, I'm bipolar. I have quite a bit of first-hand experience with the kind of meds we're talking, here.

Side effects show up before the beneficial effects. The only one I've been on that severely altered my mood was Wellbutrin, which is actually contraindicated for my condition. Yes. It altered my mental state. However, what it did not do is lower my inhibitions to the point where I would be more homicidal than I normally am. (Not very.) What's more, those symptoms showed up perhaps three days after I started taking the drug and were severe enough so that I discontinued the drug about a week after I started taking it.

If someone had been on a drug that made them severely homicidal, that would have showed up almost immediately. I don't know how long most of these people have been on the drugs before they snap, but it's almost certainly too long for the drugs themselves to be the cause.

Further, Wikipedia shows school shootings going back to 1764. The first school shooting I see wherein the shooter was a child (legally) is 16-year-old (at the time) Brenda Spencer, in 1979. (She's the inspiration for the Boomtown Rats' classic "I Don't Like Mondays," which was the reason she gave at the time for her shooting.) She recently claimed that it was because she was on alcohol and PCP at the time, but that is a recent claim, not one it seems her defense made at the time.

It's nice to blame the medication, because then, there's something at fault. However, it's not backed up by evidence.

AstralSpirit
2007-Apr-24, 08:00 PM
What are you referring to? There are many vaccination laws in the U.S. And from here: (http://www.hhs.gov/nvpo/law.htm#Controlling%20epidemics%20through%20vaccin ation%20laws)

American courts have addressed many times the legal issue of whether government can compel vaccination, and have repeatedly supported immunizations. States have many laws that spell out what types of vaccinations people must have in various circumstances.
The point is that we have the right to make or refuse such laws. I don't think that we should hide from medical progress because of possible legal complications.

AstralSpirit
2007-Apr-24, 08:05 PM
Stick them back in society and watch.
If something goes wrong, is it the individual that was treated who has a problem or the person they have a problem with??

springa
2007-Apr-28, 04:14 AM
My thought is that medicine (non-trauma) is counter to evolution, and will lead to Bad Things (tm). The only true answer on the horizon is gene therapy - make immunity from this, that, and the other a hereditary fix.

It's either that or nanotanks with nanomachineguns

As someone who has benefited from medication for a mental illness (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in my case), and has several family members and friends who have also benefited from medication for depression, I would strongly disagree that medicines for mental problems are always "Bad Things".

I've noticed on this thread a lot of hostility to psychology, psychiatry, and psychiatric medicine. I understand that these are far from exact sciences, and that there are still more questions than answers, but for a lot of people who do suffer from mental or emotional problems, they're still the best hope out there. It's easy to dismiss psychology and psychiatry when you don't have any problems that might benefit from those fields. It's easy to worry about how psychiatric medications could be used to control people when you've never derived any benefit from such medicines yourself. It's easy to compare modern brain research to phrenology as a complete pseudo-science when you know that you don't have any problems that could benefit from the study of the brain. It's easy to advocate a "lock up anyone who seems disturbed and throw away the key" approach if you know that you will never be in any danger of being the one locked up, and if you don'tknow how much that approach was abused in the past.

Psychology and psychiatry do suffer from a lot of problems in the United States (and the world in general) today. Treatment of any kind can be very expensive, and many health plans don't give much coverage, so a lot of people who could benefit from counseling and/or medication have to either spend a LOT of money out of pocket or settle for minimal treatment (or no treatment). Medications have been over-promoted, and many people, including professionals who should know better, treat them as a cure-all when in fact they only work well on some of the people who take them, and can sometimes make things worse if they are prescribed for the wrong disorder. What we know is still a lot smaller than what we don't know. There is no reliable method of telling whether someone who is obsessed with violent literature and images is no threat at all, dangerous only to themselves, or a potential mass-killer. I still would maintain that attempting treatment and attempting to discover more is better than washing one's hands of the entire field and saying that we do not and can not understand anything and that it's better to just isolate anyone who might possibly be threatening in any way.

Gillianren
2007-Apr-28, 08:02 AM
As someone who has benefited from medication for a mental illness (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in my case), and has several family members and friends who have also benefited from medication for depression, I would strongly disagree that medicines for mental problems are always "Bad Things".

You and me both. (My Lamictal dosage goes up tomorrow!)