Saturday, December 15, 2012

Another Young Man Becomes a Killer: Who is to blame? Banning Guns is Not the Answer

Another tragedy of a brilliant kid with a personality disorder who goes on the rampage.  If you read the reports coming out, this young man was quiet, brilliant, socially phobic, extremely shy and awkward in public, a loner, had no friends and remote. The kids thought he was strange. I am sure he was teased or shunned. That profile leads to deep anger and pain. Many of us suffered from teasing or shunning. I was one of those kids but I never felt any desire to hurt people or kill them. So what sets apart this young man from others who have suffered those painful childhood problems. These profile facts are coming out too late to do much good. We don't know yet if he was undergoing treatment of any kind or if he was on some kind of prescription drug. I would bet money he was.

Naturally, it's the gun's fault for this massive killing.

I do agree with others that when you have a teen who is troubled, having guns in the house is not a sane idea. You may have them locked up but they can steal the keys while you are asleep. He killed his mother first. That suggests anger and rage directed at her perhaps for the divorce between his parents two years earlier. His brother said that he had little contact with his younger brother over the past two years. We don't know what relationship he had with his dad. We don't know the relationship with his mother. Perhaps she had told him that he needed treatment and she was going to take steps to do just that. Perhaps in anger or sincerity, she told him he was acting crazy. We may never know.

But are guns the real problem here?   No. 

He could have used a kitchen knife, hammer, box cutter, or a chain saw. Here is another mass attack article in the news this week,  that did not get much coverage from China.  A man in China took a machete to a elementary school and slashed the throats of 22 adults and children there.  He didn't have a gun but he managed to get the job done with many dead and injured.

In China, with strict gun control laws, knives, box cutters, and in this case a machete are the weapons of choice. Killers will kill with what ever weapon they can find. If they have no easy access to a gun they will began killing one at a time, picking victims off on their way to school or to the store.  In China the children were on their way to the school.

In the case here, he broke the window. They had just installed a new security system. It certainly helped but did not stop him. In any crowded area such as a mall or school, you can kill many quickly. He could have used a bomb instead of his mother's guns. Directions can be found on the internet and the supplies to make the bomb in your own home. He wanted to die and take others with him.

People Kill For A Reason...They Snap for A Reason....there is a trigger that is set off!

We need to look at the underlying issues that are responsible for these people going crazy and killing. There are answers to stop this, in many of these cases, before they snap.  It may be someone did not take the signs he was exhibiting seriously or he was put on a drug that perhaps set off his mental trigger.  People around him said they knew he was seriously troubled. Who ignored this young man and his path that led to  killing his mom and innocent children? What set him off in the end to do this insane act? We may never know in reality.  Here is some information to make you think. Perhaps you know a person on the edge.

Why are mass murders increasing, especially by young people, mostly males? Men generally are the more aggressive gender because of the hormone testosterone and the male personality.  That is one factor. So then look at two factors that can set off that aggression.

#1  Stress is increasing over all the world with rising political problems, climate problems that  include starvation in some countries, and financial stress.  Many people are walking away from all religions. You many not be religious, but it teaches some good principals such as do not kill others and do not covet what they own. It also gives people support during times of need. It has been shown that people who have religious ties deal better with stress, illness, and death.

Young people are under tremendous stress with inadequate coping skills for the most part. Kids don't know how to cope with their hormones, anger and rage. These troubled kids have no friends and often problems communicating with everyone. Hormones may be completely out of balance. When you take people close to their breaking point, you get what we have now, an acceleration of killings. There are more parents killing their children and more mass slayings than ever before.  This will increase as things get worse financially. People are breaking. People need to learn how to cope with stress in a positive way such as exercise or music.

What about people who have personality disturbances due to genetics? They are not normal.  Isn't drugs the answer to these abnormal personalities? In some cases drugs do help but just as often drugs have a dark, evil side to them.

#2   The Mass Prescribing of Anti-depressant Drugs without Therapy and Supervision

I have a friend who worked in the prison system. After several years, they prescribed a antidepressant. After two weeks on the drug, she found herself contemplating going to her job and killing some of her associates who also worked at the prison. Her mother seeing her strange behavior called a friend of hers who also worked at the prison. When he arrived that morning,  she was getting her gun ready to go target shooting  where she worked.  He took her to the doctor then and there. He took her guns away that day as well. She told me this story. She was retired early from her job at that point. I will also say that my friend still has deep hatred toward her father who sexually abused her.  She is my friend, but there is a problem deep inside her from that childhood abuse. I call her often, to see how she is doing. She suffers from depression at times. We need to pay attention to these signs. I try to be there as a friend and allow her to vent her sadness.  I try to see if she is at the edge. I am close enough to her now, she might listen to me if she got worse. I acknowledge she might get worse and need intervention. At the time she nearly snapped, her mom and her good friend intervened.

What would have happened if there had not been intervention that day? A mass killing from the side effects of the drug she had been prescribed. This above is a true story and there are thousands of stories like this. I talked to another woman the other day who was traumatically abused by her father and mother. So abuse and anger are deep problems in people who snap.

The last two young men to become mass killers have been loners; extremely smart; deeply troubled social outcasts with severe personality problems.   There may be mental genetic faults as well. This often is the profile of mass killers. Now today,  a new factor, prescription drugs are often part of the problem in these mass killings.

Drugs Causing Violent Behavior

"According to a 2010 study published in the journal PLoS One5, half of the top 10 drugs disproportionately linked with violent behavior are antidepressants."  Chantix, Prozac, Paxil, Lariam, Strattera, Halcion, Luvox, Effexor, and Pristiq are drugs that top this list.  Chantix which is #1, is 18 times more likely to be linked to violence. Prozac is next in the list.

This Harvard Health Medical Report article states,

"According to a report released yesterday by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the rate of antidepressant use in this country among teens and adults (people ages 12 and older) increased by almost 400% between 1988–1994 and 2005–2008.

The federal government’s health statisticians figure that about one in every 10 Americans takes an antidepressant. And by their reckoning, antidepressants were the third most common prescription medication taken by Americans in 2005–2008, the latest period during which the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) collected data on prescription drug use.

" Less than a third of Americans who are taking a single antidepressants (as opposed to two or more) have seen a mental health professional in the past year"

So many people are put on drugs without much initial history or followup. This is a lighted time bomb.

#3   What is wrong with drug therapy?

It does not deal with the real issues such as abuse, self hatred, anger, and phobias. There are treatments that do treat the real internal cause but they take time and are expensive. They are costly to the insurance companies who pay the patient costs.  It is easier and faster to just write a prescription drug for a problem.  It takes time to help a patient learn how to deal with their phobia or their past abuse.

In some cases, there may not be a choice but drugs. However, there are many people who could be helped significantly with therapy not drugs.   This kid was socially remote and phobic according to reports. He had not been violent up to this point. He had no record with the police. He was known to be deeply troubled by those around him and at school. He needed help...the quiet, silent mentally ill who cry out.

How are prescription drugs at fault in so many of these cases? 

Side effects..... the drug effects each individual's brain differently.  These people already have abnormalities in their brain function. One of the functions of the brain is to monitor your reaction to social situations and outside events. Social phobia is fairly common in people. These people often take jobs in life where they don't have much human interaction. That is how they cope in their life.  When it is extreme, people are unable to work or live normally.  There are thousands of people with phobias who have learned how to cope with their disability. Many do not take drugs but have gotten treatment to control their intense reactions to what others consider normal activities.

There are many different brain abnormalities, some mild and some dangerous. Drugs impact brain function in many ways. The drug's side effects also impact behavior, usually negatively.

When given a drug, you do not learn how cope from within. Unless therapy is given as well, it is a crutch that is needed forever for you to live normally. Drugs should be a last step, after other treatments have failed.

The Side Effects of Antidepressant Drugs:  Personality Changes and Violence

The quotes below are taken from a Dr. Mercola article on the subject found here. You need to read Dr. Mercola's article to see why the violence is increasing. This article was about a young man who killed his best friend while on an antidepressant and the judge's remarks on this case in court.

According to CCHR2 (Citizens Commission on Human Rights International)
"It is well documented that psychiatric drugs, particularly antidepressants, can cause a host of violent side effects including mania, psychosis, aggression, violence, and in the case of the antidepressant Effexor, homicidal ideation ... People with no prior history of violence (or suicide) became homicidal and suicidal under the influence of antidepressants. ... However, despite all the documented violence-inducing side effects of these drugs, the FDA has never issued black box warnings on antidepressants causing violence or homicide despite the fact that at least 11 recent school shootings were committed by kids documented to be on or in withdrawal from psychiatric drugs."
The expert testimony in this case was supplied by Dr. Peter Breggin, an outspoken critic of psychiatric drugs. The featured article quotes him as saying:
"These drugs produce a stimulant or activation continuum... That continuum includes aggression, hostility, loss of impulse control … all of which are a prescription for violence."
Interestingly, in related news, a 2011 study published in Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine4 has found that certain genes may predispose you to homicidal behavior following exposure to antidepressants. Both sudden withdrawal from antidepressants and continuing to take them was found to worsen the problem. According to the study's authors."

Examples of treatments that work and are not drug focused.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

An example is PTSD with vets. They are finding that using therapy dogs works when drugs don't. They match dogs with vets who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These dogs know when the vet is overreacting. They calm them down. This program has shown to very successful for vets.  In most cases, these vets got worse on drugs not better. That is why the dogs were tried as therapy.

Dogs are also used for therapy with children who are autistic and have other problems. The dogs are amazing at turning these children around.  This is one example of a treatment that is extremely effective that does not use drugs. They find therapy dogs are successful with kids who are in the hospital with cancer treatments. The dogs comfort the children, reducing the anxiety of their cancer and the painful treatments.

EFT Therapy:  Explore this therapy for you or a loved one.

Dr. Mercola explains EFT therapy HERE, "The Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, is the psychological acupressure technique I routinely use in my practice and most highly recommend to optimize your emotional health. Although it is still often overlooked, emotional health is absolutely essential to your physical health and healing - no matter how devoted you are to the proper diet and lifestyle, you will not achieve your body's ideal healing and preventative powers if emotional barriers stand in your way."  It is a therapy you can learn to do on yourself. If there are severe problems, you should get help from a professional EFT therapist.

"EFT is a form of psychological acupressure, based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments for over five thousand years, but without the invasiveness of needles. Instead, simple tapping with the fingertips is used to input kinetic energy onto specific meridians on the head and chest while you think about your specific problem - whether it is a traumatic event, an addiction, pain, etc. -- and voice positive affirmations."

These are not the only therapies but only examples of approaches that are not prescription drug focused. 

Please look at troubled family members and don't turn your back on them. You may not be able to help them, but perhaps you can help them seek help from someone who can.  Don't pass it off as a phase they are going through. Don't say it cannot happen that your child could snap.....I am sure his mother did not expect to be shot in the face that morning. I am sure she did not think her son would kill her, then kill all those helpless children and adults.  Don't stick your head in the sand when your child is mentally ill. According to reports, this young man had been troubled for years, silently crying out with his actions.

There was a article about a policeman who for years patrolled the Golden Gate Bridge. He has saved hundreds from suicide over 20 years. Every year several hundred go to the bridge to end their lives. 90 % are saved by the police there. In one case, this dedicated policeman spent 8 hours with this young man to save him from himself. In the end the young man decided against killing himself. When asked what finally made this young man decide not to end his life. His reply was that the policeman wouldn't give up on him. Who in our family have we given up on? Everyone has a family member who is difficult or troubled. Often, we avoid that family member. We avoid calling them or seeing them. They may make us uncomfortable or uneasy. We may consider them a pain.  They are hurting. They are suffering. They need someone to care.

Who is at fault in the school shooting? Probably a number of people who saw this kid with problems and did not do enough.  Who do you know that is ready to snap?  Step in and stop a death. Every suicide affects those around them that are left behind. In this case, his death and those he killed impacts 26 families and a whole community who never thought it would happen to their town. 

May God give comfort to those who have lost loved ones in this horrible mass slaughter.
Kate Freer, the herbladyisin 


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