11/10/2013

Is there any evidence that the multiple victim public shooters couldn't afford help with mental illnesses?

From CBS News:
The Obama administration issued new rules Friday that will improve access to mental health care for 62 million Americans. It's an idea the president said he would impose himself by executive order when Congress declined to pass gun legislation. 
The move comes after the movie theater massacre in Colorado that left 12 dead; the shootings in Newtown, Conn., that killed 27; the Washington Navy Yard attack, in which 12 died; and the shooting at Los Angeles International Airport one week ago. Eighty-eight dead in 12 mass shootings in just over a year. 
Mental health professionals have sought this change for decades, both to improve treatment and to lift a long-standing stigma. Friday's announcement means insurance companies now must provide the same benefit coverage for illnesses of the mind they have long provided for every other kind of illness. . . . 
"Imagine what it would mean if people felt as comfortable saying they were going for counseling as they do saying they're going for a flu shot or physical therapy," Sebelius said. . . .
They point to mental illness and these mass shootings, but they fail to show two things.  1) Did these killers try to get mental health help and fail?  2) Are they really mentally ill?  The first point is pretty critical, but I have seen no evidence that is the case.  The administration hasn't provided any evidence.  On the second point, here is something from the WSJ:
Contrary to the common assumption, writes author Michael D. Kelleher in his 1997 book "Flash Point," mass killers are "rarely insane, in either the legal or ethical senses of the term," and they don't typically have the "debilitating delusions and insidious psychotic fantasies of the paranoid schizophrenic." Dr. Knoll affirms that "the literature does not reflect a strong link with serious mental illness." 
Instead, massacre killers are typically marked by what are considered personality disorders: grandiosity, resentment, self-righteousness, a sense of entitlement. They become, says Dr. Knoll, " 'collectors of injustice' who nurture their wounded narcissism." To preserve their egos, they exaggerate past humiliations and externalize their anger, blaming others for their frustrations. They develop violent fantasies of heroic revenge against an uncaring world. . . . 
In some sense, the multiple victim public killers all want to commit suicide, so that indicates some mental health problems.  The National Institute of Mental Health seems to define suicide as such a problem.

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2 Comments:

Blogger MaverickNH said...

Might mental illness treatment access and policies have different importance to different categories of violence and homicides? Clayton Cramer argues that changes in Involuntary Civil Commitment laws and deinstitutionalization are contributing factors (http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/335808/preventing-mass-murder-tragedies-what-works-what-doesn-t-clayton-e-cramer http://www.amazon.com/My-Brother-Ron-Personal-Deinstitutionalization/dp/1477667539/ref=tmm_pap_title_0) and references and references a study from Segal (2012) in support of his arguments (http://treatmentadvocacycenter.org/storage/documents/segal--civil%20commitment%20law%20mh%20services%20us%20homicide%20rates--2011.pdf)

11/10/2013 8:43 AM  
Blogger RS said...

As a father of a paranoid schizophrenic son, I can say that it's not lack of access to care, but lack of care period. ALL US mental health care is about is dispensing prescriptions. PERIOD.

Here's an an example of a real conversation of mine: "Doctor, my son's voices are telling him to kill himself, what should we do?" "Well, we may need to up his meds, is he taking them?""Yes, but the voices are telling him to kill himself and he's yelling at them that he doesn't want to." "If he looks like he's really going to do something, call the police, I can't do anything about it to admit him at this point."

And there you go. Community based mental healthcare. Call 911 and have the police handle it or shoot the mentally ill if they threaten Dr Officer when he shows up.

11/10/2013 2:43 PM  

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