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What should a society do about the mentally unstable?

A place to debate issues or to rant about what's on your mind. In addition to discussions about historical fiction, books, the publishing industry, and history, discussions about current political, social, and religious issues and other topics are allowed, so those who are easily offended by certain topics may want to avoid such threads. Members are expected to keep the discussions friendly and polite and to avoid personal attacks on other members. The moderators reserve the right to shut down a thread without warning if they believe it necessary.
Helen_Davis

Post by Helen_Davis » Sat December 22nd, 2012, 7:34 pm

[quote=""Mythica""]I agree. I'm certainly not saying everyone who is mentally ill should be locked up but there needs to be better assessments of who is a danger to society and therefore should not be a part of society.

Take for example the fact that whenever something like this happens, it seems to inspire certain individuals to take advantage of it and make similar threats to instill fear and make themselves feel powerful. This is happening around the areas where I went to school in the Philly suburbs. Several threats in different school districts have been made so the police went into the homes of these people but since no weapons were found, they were only charged with making terroristic threats. What about a psych evaluation? Is that already part of the procedure or not? Sure, they might not have weapons now but who is to say they won't obtain some in the future? Especially now that you've probably created even more resentment for society and authority in them by charging them with making terroristic threats. The issue is not the presence or absence guns but what caused these people to make these threats to begin with, if they are capable of going through with the threats, and what we can do about all that. I know in TV shows they always seem to have a consultant psychiatrist on hand but how realistic is that, especially in non-urban areas?

On the other hand, one of the threats turned out to hold some weight when a 14 year old who made threats was found with guns, knifes, swords, and machetes in his bedroom. This was in my old school district. His mother has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, possession of firearms and possession of drugs. The kid has been charged with possession of firearms by a minor and making terroristic threats and placed in a juvenile detention center. I can only hope that part of the system in juvie is therapy and psych evaluations.

And can I just point out that it wasn't just guns the kid had in his bedroom? Sure, you can argue that guns will kill more people faster but that's hardly the major issue here - the issue is that a mentally disturbed kid in possession of deadly weapons made homicidal threats! Are people really saying that if the police had only found the knifes, swords, and machetes, we wouldn't have to take his threats as seriously? Would that not still seriously concern people? Because it does me!

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local ... chool.html[/quote]

The people with mild or moderate mental illnesses do not need to be locked up-- locked wards make things worse for many of them, especially for me with aspergers. There is a lot of abuse in psych wards and I hope never to have to return. I am worried I will be locked up because of this kid's rampage because I, too, have aspergers. It is not fair to punish us all for the actions of one.

Helen_Davis

Post by Helen_Davis » Sat December 22nd, 2012, 7:37 pm

[quote=""Divia""]Bottom line is that SOME people should be put away but that's not the PC answer. No one wants to say it because that is insensitive and all that.

But its true. This person who did the shootings last week is obviously a perfect person to be in a facility where he would be watched and where he wouldn't harm himself or others. He should NOT have been allowed into society. But its the right of the MINORITY that outweighs the right of the MAJORITY which is really starting to annoy me.

Now, do I think people who suffer from depression should be shut away in Victorian style mental health hospitals aka asylums. No. Should we bring back water therapy? No. However, if a parent is getting beat on at home, or can't control their children because they have mental issues, well that is a problem. A BIG problem. And then you dump these kids into schools and expect the schools to fix the problem? Common.

We have a student who is like that now. He is big, he is dangerous and I hate it when he comes into the library. Is that PC? Nope. But neither are some of the things he has done to hurt the teachers in my building. Hell you cant even look at this kid or he'll go crazy on you. And he should be in a school setting? I think not.

Something needs to be done. And its far easier to say that guns should be removed than dealing with a super sensitive subject that may hurt people people's feelings.[/quote]

Please. My grandpa had schizophrenia and he was a wonderful man. He was abused in psych wards. He was cut off from his family, wrapped in cold sheets and treated as an animal. The mentally ill are still human beings and just as worthy of a meaningful life. I'm gonna stop posting in this thread now, I am getting too angry.

Ash
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Post by Ash » Sat December 22nd, 2012, 11:33 pm

Um, are you offended at me for quoting it, and replying to it that this quote was totally wrong? Or are you offended by the actual quote? If the former, you need to reread how I replied. If the latter, I agree with you totally.

Not sure what all you disagreed with re the rest of my post. I was just saying why Reagan closed the facilities for the Mentally Ill and the Mentally Disabled. I have seen over the years what a disservice it has been to so many of them when there was no saftey net at all once they were 'released'.

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Post by Ash » Sat December 22nd, 2012, 11:39 pm

Bottom line is that SOME people should be put away but that's not the PC answer. No one wants to say it because that is insensitive and all that.
And who is going to make the decision who these SOME people are? And who is going to stop people from committing people who don't belong there? History is filled with husbands commiting wives, children committing parents (and vice versa) to get them out of the way. Once we start saying that SOME people should be put away, we have a serious problem ahead of us. Are you talking about going back to the days when these folks were locked up and treated as animals? Being compassionate and caring about human life is not not the same as being "PC". And saying 'put away' implies that you will lock the door and throw away the key, when these people need help, need to be able to live some resemblance of a life, even if it is in an institution.

There are many many people who need help and need to be separated from society. BWe can point to any of the recent mass murderers and say yes of course they should never have been out in public. But its more complex then that. When do you say that someone should be committed? At the first instance of possible misbehavior? At the first sign of any violence? When should we decide that someone needs to be watched? I do understand your frustration; I know, I have had students whom it was obvious that they were a danger to themselves and others and I pulled out my hair when I couldn't get help for them. But this is a lot more complicated than you think if its just toss em in and forget about it. We are talking human beings. And as ill as they are, they do deserve to be treated like humans.
Last edited by Ash on Sat December 22nd, 2012, 11:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Mythica
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Post by Mythica » Sun December 23rd, 2012, 10:47 am

[quote=""Helen_Davis""]The people with mild or moderate mental illnesses do not need to be locked up-- locked wards make things worse for many of them, especially for me with aspergers. There is a lot of abuse in psych wards and I hope never to have to return. I am worried I will be locked up because of this kid's rampage because I, too, have aspergers. It is not fair to punish us all for the actions of one.[/quote]

Please read in my second sentence: I'm certainly not saying everyone who is mentally ill should be locked up

Helen_Davis

Post by Helen_Davis » Sun December 23rd, 2012, 11:33 am

[quote=""Ash""]Um, are you offended at me for quoting it, and replying to it that this quote was totally wrong? Or are you offended by the actual quote? If the former, you need to reread how I replied. If the latter, I agree with you totally.

Not sure what all you disagreed with re the rest of my post. I was just saying why Reagan closed the facilities for the Mentally Ill and the Mentally Disabled. I have seen over the years what a disservice it has been to so many of them when there was no saftey net at all once they were 'released'.[/quote]

No I was not offended at you at all. The actual quote offended me. Not blaming you at all. An I don't know much about the REagen era before my time( I was 2 when he left office.)
Last edited by Helen_Davis on Sun December 23rd, 2012, 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

Helen_Davis

Post by Helen_Davis » Sun December 23rd, 2012, 11:37 am

[quote=""Ash""]And who is going to make the decision who these SOME people are? And who is going to stop people from committing people who don't belong there? History is filled with husbands commiting wives, children committing parents (and vice versa) to get them out of the way. Once we start saying that SOME people should be put away, we have a serious problem ahead of us. Are you talking about going back to the days when these folks were locked up and treated as animals? Being compassionate and caring about human life is not not the same as being "PC". And saying 'put away' implies that you will lock the door and throw away the key, when these people need help, need to be able to live some resemblance of a life, even if it is in an institution.

There are many many people who need help and need to be separated from society. BWe can point to any of the recent mass murderers and say yes of course they should never have been out in public. But its more complex then that. When do you say that someone should be committed? At the first instance of possible misbehavior? At the first sign of any violence? When should we decide that someone needs to be watched? I do understand your frustration; I know, I have had students whom it was obvious that they were a danger to themselves and others and I pulled out my hair when I couldn't get help for them. But this is a lot more complicated than you think if its just toss em in and forget about it. We are talking human beings. And as ill as they are, they do deserve to be treated like humans.[/quote]

Thank you very much. And mythica I know you didnt say that but I would like to echo ash's points of who decides what and that. I would have been committed as a child in the type of scenario he described even though I've gotten better. We can get better if given a chance and love. And like he said we aren't being PC to help them they are humans.

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Sun December 23rd, 2012, 11:41 am

The shooting would not have happened without a mentally disturbed person having easy access to a rapid fire killing weapon.
In a bright, wonderful world, he would have had his tendencies recognised at an early stage and they would have been dealt with in an ongoing and compassionate manner. Society would be a place where such violence was not a daily issue anyway. Ain't going to happen.
If strict gun controls had been in place (such as in the UK where there are many similarities in what's happening in society), then the perpetrator wouldn't have had access in the first place to a weapon that would take down 20 children and 7 adults in a matter of minutes.
Ain't going to happen in the USA.
Sure, some countries such as the oft cited Switzerland require citizens to have guns in the house, but their society doesn't operate on the same levels of social violence.
What the workable answer is I don't know. The obvious ones seem pretty far away at the moment. :(
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

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Helen_Davis

Post by Helen_Davis » Sun December 23rd, 2012, 11:43 am

[quote=""Ash""]And who is going to make the decision who these SOME people are? And who is going to stop people from committing people who don't belong there? History is filled with husbands commiting wives, children committing parents (and vice versa) to get them out of the way. Once we start saying that SOME people should be put away, we have a serious problem ahead of us. Are you talking about going back to the days when these folks were locked up and treated as animals? Being compassionate and caring about human life is not not the same as being "PC". And saying 'put away' implies that you will lock the door and throw away the key, when these people need help, need to be able to live some resemblance of a life, even if it is in an institution.

There are many many people who need help and need to be separated from society. BWe can point to any of the recent mass murderers and say yes of course they should never have been out in public. But its more complex then that. When do you say that someone should be committed? At the first instance of possible misbehavior? At the first sign of any violence? When should we decide that someone needs to be watched? I do understand your frustration; I know, I have had students whom it was obvious that they were a danger to themselves and others and I pulled out my hair when I couldn't get help for them. But this is a lot more complicated than you think if its just toss em in and forget about it. We are talking human beings. And as ill as they are, they do deserve to be treated like humans.[/quote]

My point exactly. I would have been committed years ago when I now have a normal life, job, place and SO. None of that could have happened if I'd been locked away.

Helen_Davis

Post by Helen_Davis » Sun December 23rd, 2012, 11:45 am

[quote=""EC2""]The shooting would not have happened without a mentally disturbed person having easy access to a rapid fire killing weapon.
In a bright, wonderful world, he would have had his tendencies recognised at an early stage and they would have been dealt with in an ongoing and compassionate manner. Society would be a place where such violence was not a daily issue anyway. Ain't going to happen.
If strict gun controls had been in place (such as in the UK where there are many similarities in what's happening in society), then the perpetrator wouldn't have had access in the first place to a weapon that would take down 20 children and 7 adults in a matter of minutes.
Ain't going to happen in the USA.
Sure, some countries such as the oft cited Switzerland require citizens to have guns in the house, but their society doesn't operate on the same levels of social violence.
What the workable answer is I don't know. The obvious ones seem pretty far away at the moment. :( [/quote]

If they're sick enough though they don't need a gun to do it - they'll use another weapon or even their bare hands. I knew a man who never believed in guns but killed his wife by slashing her throat. They need to be taught morals and the value of human life.

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