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Monday, January 7, 2013

Psychiatric medications

I've focused on the psychiatric health of mass shooters. A new article asks why the media hasn't bothered to find out so much as what medication Adam Lanza may have been taking.
So, what is the truth? Where is the journalist curiosity? Where is the follow-up? Where is the police report, the medical examiner’s report, the interviews with his doctor and others?
But let me back up. Perhaps you’re wondering why this issue of psychiatric medications should be so important.
As I documented in “How Evil Works,” it is simply indisputable that most perpetrators of school shootings and similar mass murders in our modern era were either on – or just recently coming off of – psychiatric medications: 
Now. Some of these questions raised are not yet answerable. Medical examiner reports, for example, take weeks of waiting for toxicology (what drugs are in the system) after the initial autopsy. And the truth? Does any report ever include the full truth and nothing but the truth? 

This author does raise a good point, however, because phychiatric medications do have side effects and the body/mind are especially unstable when changing medications or the amount of a medication. We should have heard about those of Adam Lanza's by now, from interviews with his psychiatrist or standard doctor.

There is yet another scenario, however, to the changing of drugs or whatever. Often, in mental illness, a drug becomes ineffective over time. The nature of the mental illness can change. Previous treatments may be for the wrong mental illness, though it may be entirely unclear because so many early signs are similar to other disorders.

One example cited in the article was of the Thurston High School shooting in Oregon in 1998, with a killer with two drugs prescriptions: an antidepressant and ritalin. Unmentioned is his schizophrenia, which remained undiagnosed and untreated until his entrance into the state penitentiary system. He had never seen a psychiatrist prior to the shooting. He disclosed the voices he was hearing only to his journal. Therefore, the antidepressant and ritalin most likely had Absolutely Nothing to do with his case, only his untreated schizophrenia.

All this together illuminates the dire need for mental health education. If people know the signs of mental illness, they will be able to get appropriate treatment for their loved ones, whether that be therapy or medication or both. Mental illness is tricky to dianose and to treat. We need to erase the stigma so that those who need help feel comfortable getting it.

This article does the opposite: it feeds the stigma. Almost every case identified labeled antidepressants and ritalin as culprits. But they're not. This guy would have you conclude that every person with any kind of psychiatric disorder and treatment is a potential killer. WRONG! We really gotta work on mental health education, folks.

Collectively, we know a ton about heart disease and its symptoms. We know a ton about breast cancer and its symptoms. We also know what these things are not. Very few people can say the same about mental health problems. Yet the average American adult knows at least one person who is treated for these problems, whether or not they know about the treatment. That would never happen with cancer or a heart attack, which are more rare. Again, we need to erase the stigma.

The one things this article got right is illuminating that the media is willing to report anything to aid the Democrat cause. In this case, guns are a side-show to the looming debt and spending crisis we face in the United States of America.

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