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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 » Fri December 21st, 2012, 8:05 pm

[quote=""sweetpotatoboy""]From my experience, I don't think the problem is putting people on drugs such as anti-depressants per se. Some drugs are of real benefit to some people (and therefore their families and society at large) for certain lengths of time.

The real problem is the ease with which doctors write such prescriptions and then keep patients on the drugs without regular monitoring and reassessment with a view to taking the patient off the drug if no longer needed or no longer appropriate and/or switching to another drug.

Almost 50 million prescriptions for antidepressants were handed out by doctors in the UK last year. There's no way all or even a significant proportion of these patients are monitored regularly.[/quote]
Good point, that's what I was trying to say but couldn't articulate it that well.

Helen_Davis

Post by Helen_Davis » Fri December 21st, 2012, 8:06 pm

[quote=""MLE""]Wow, he hit the nail on the head. I forgot it was the ACLU that emptied the mental hospitals.

But even if I didn't have several near relatives who struggle at times, my work with the homeless has shown me that most of them are not better off on the streets. One major part of the tragedy is that they die needlessly. The mentally ill on the streets are frequent victims of violent acts.

But I do not think that serial killers of the type that Misfit cited fit into the category of mental illness, at least not the out-of-control sort that requires social help and support. (OCD, Autism Spectrum disorders, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, etc.)

Individuals of that stripe are more likely to be sociopaths (people with the self-centered lack of conscience -- and EEG patterns -- of a toddler, but with the intellectual abilities of an adult).

Although the monsignor's sister was clearly a threat to society at times, I think that as a society we should put extra emphasis on treating / containing young males. Statistically, those are the ones most likely to engage in really violent acts (whether they are impaired or sane). It's simple biology.

But the ACLU would probably sue for 'profiling'.[/quote]
I have autistic and bipolar traits and am living a normal life. People don't notice unless they know me really well

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Post by Divia » Sat December 22nd, 2012, 1:26 am

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.
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Post by LoveHistory » Sat December 22nd, 2012, 1:39 am

Given how well others have expressed what I would say I only have two things to add here.

Autism spectrum disorders do not fall into the category of mental illness. Autism is a neuro-biological developmental disorder, not a chemical imbalance, or trauma-induced condition.

Ted Bundy and the like are sociopaths. They are almost always of genius IQ, charming, and gifted actors. They blend into society seamlessly. And they pass polygraph tests due to their ability to convert their realities, thus convincing themselves that they aren't lying. Sociopaths are not always killers (they make good politicians actually), but when they are they usually do not do mass murders, and they don't usually kill themselves either. Adam Lanza was not a sociopath, a disturbed and dangerous young man yes, but not a sociopath. And the true sociopaths are damn hard to find. They're good at hiding their tracks.

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Post by Divia » Sat December 22nd, 2012, 2:58 am

I'm fully aware of the Autism spectrum, being a teacher. I see it daily.

However, the kid should never have been in society. that's the bottom line. Call me cruel. Call me heartless, it doesn't change what I believe.
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sat December 22nd, 2012, 4:59 am

I know that what you say about mental disabilities must be bracketed with disclaimers, because using too broad a brush unfairly stigmatizes others. But there are safety issues here. Just as I believe profiling is reasonable when you are looking for Islamic terrorists who might blow up a plane (Israel does it without apology, and their flights have a better safety record than anyone else, despite the fact that they have been targeted for decades) so profiling is necessary to reduce the risk to the public.

Of my five schizophrenic cousins, (three now deceased) the four males were risks when they were younger. One has been locked up since the 60s. The ACLU decree didn't get him out, because he killed somebody.

I know that for the brief time he lived with us, my mother was afraid of him. She was right to be.

There were times when I was afraid of the other two (brothers). My brother will not go to help the surviving brother any more because the last time, said cousin put a large rock through the truck windshield. But as he is now 69, he doesn't pose much of a risk, just a nuisance.

I have other male spectrum relatives in the testosterone-filled ages between 16 and 30. When rage hits (which it does every 2-3 months) anything could happen. I don't think that justifies infringing on their freedom or their rights the rest of the time, but it would be better if there were a few more legal tools available.

The most potent tool I have to help them and protect society is loving contact and prayer. It works, but like breathing, it has to be renewed on a continuing basis.

Y'all better hope I don't quit! :o
Last edited by MLE (Emily Cotton) on Sat December 22nd, 2012, 5:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Mythica » Sat December 22nd, 2012, 10:51 am

[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]

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

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Post by Ash » Sat December 22nd, 2012, 2:48 pm

Wow, he hit the nail on the head. I forgot it was the ACLU that emptied the mental hospitals.
Um, no, you can thank Pres Reagan for that. I well remember when not only were the mental hospitals closed, but so were the state homes for the mentally handicapped. In bot instances there were good intentions - the conditions they lived in were often deplorable and people were in there who should never have been in the first places (which is what the ACLU was concerned about), so it became harder to commit someone. Problem was it was also a cost saving measure, and once it happened, all politicians turned a blind eye to them. What group homes were available had waiting lists a mile long, and these people had no where else to go if their families could no longer care for them.
But I do not think that serial killers of the type that Misfit cited fit into the category of mental illness, at least not the out-of-control sort that requires social help and support. (OCD, Autism Spectrum disorders, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, etc.)
Do some research. People with Autism and Aspergers and OCD are NOT the same as Biplar and Schizophrenia.
Individuals of that stripe are more likely to be sociopaths (people with the self-centered lack of conscience -- and EEG patterns -- of a toddler, but with the intellectual abilities of an adult).
Again, do some research about what each of these terms mean, and the tendency for commiting violence.

The solution is a complex one. First we need to think about what our society has done to create people like this, that allows people to think this is ok. Why is it happening more in our country than in other places that have similar cultures? You can say we have more mentally ill people; but probably not. What we do have is a culture that promotes violence in many ways, and a media that glorifies these events. Add to that a mental illness, or growing up without any kind of moral compass or role model, plus easy access to guns, equals tragedies like this one. And we'll see more, more like.

And don't get me started on the 'lets arm the teachers' camp. We aren't paid enough to do what we are trained to do. We are often the children's parents by proxy, we are called on to be nurses, counselors, janitors, crossing guards, music and pe teachers, art teachers, teachers of children with disabilities and Spanish speakers. And now you want us to have gun training, and act as police officers and security guards? Aside from the fact that I'd be a lousy shot, or that I teach 3-4 year olds and have no interest at all in having a gun anywhere within a mile of them, this is so not my job. I love my job, but I'll leave the profession and thousands will leave with me if this is ever made a requirment.
Last edited by Ash on Sat December 22nd, 2012, 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Misfit » Sat December 22nd, 2012, 3:20 pm

And don't get me started on the 'lets arm the teachers' camp. We aren't paid enough to do what we are trained to do. We are often the children's parents by proxy, we are called on to be nurses, counselors, janitors, crossing guards, music and pe teachers, art teachers, teachers of children with disabilities and Spanish speakers. And now you want us to have gun training, and act as police officers and security guards? Aside from the fact that I'd be a lousy shot, or that I teach 3-4 year olds and have no interest at all in having a gun anywhere within a mile of them, this is so not my job. I love my job, but I'll leave the profession and thousands will leave with me if this is ever made a requirment.
+1.

We still don't have all the facts on this shooter, but it does seem from the news that the family is fairly affluential and would be able to obtain whatever medical/psychiatric help the family deemed necessary.
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Helen_Davis

Post by Helen_Davis » Sat December 22nd, 2012, 7:25 pm

[quote=""Ash""]

Do some research. People with Autism and Aspergers and OCD are NOT the same as Biplar and Schizophrenia.



.[/quote]

I disagree with everything else you have said, but thank you very much for that. :) Autism and aspergers are not mental illnesses. We don't have delusions or things like that we just don't see the world the same way. Saying things that we need 'lots of help' hinders us, not helps us. I've been picked on for years for my aspergers and even dumped for it, hearing this in the news was the last thing I needed, since now more people are going to label me a sociopath, hopeless, etc.

And here

http://www.asperger-syndrome.me.uk/people.htm

I don't think anyone on that list was sick, and I found that statement that you quoted from the other member HIGHLY offensive. Having a hard time showing empathy is NOT the same as an utter disregard for human life. I'm often told I am too blunt, but people need to think before saying things like that. It's like saying all Muslims are terrorists-- highly offensive. Why is it ok to make fun of the mentally ill but racist/sexist jokes are 'hate speech?' I consider comments like the other poster made just as hateful as calling blacks the N word or anti woman jokes. Sorry if I overreacted, but this is a hot button issue for me. And Thank you Ash.
Last edited by Helen_Davis on Sat December 22nd, 2012, 7:32 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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