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Old 12-20-2012, 11:42 PM   #76
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There is actually a vast difference between "severe mental and/or emotional problems" and mental illness. There is also a vast difference between having a mental illness and being an unbalanced individual.

The fact that you keep merging the idea of being unbalanced with having a mental illness demonstrates my points.
So if from now on I just say "psychological problems", no worries then?
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:51 AM   #77
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As an R. D. Laing, "psychic processes from the normative to the pathological/pathologized can't NOT be expressions of the culture within which they operate" devotee person, this thread has been a great read. Very much in agreement that chalking such cultural phenomena up to mental illness, when there is CLEARLY more to them than that, is not only intellectually lazy: it also reinforces the idea that the dominant culture is some organic, eternal, universal state of being, which shit we don't like is a deviation from, rather than an expression of. I.e. - same old bullshit privilege of the fish asking "What water?"
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:00 AM   #78
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Or we could just acknowledge that anybody is capable of this.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:50 AM   #79
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Whether or not he was in the process of being committed against his will isn't really super relevant, but more and more sources are coming forward about the guy clearly being disturbed, and apparently for a long time.

The point is that Lanza had some severe mental and/or emotional problems, a line that some members here are desperately trying to avoid acknowledging for some strange reason.

"Nancy Lanza reportedly volunteered with kindergartners at the school for several years. Flashman said that Adam "believed she cared more for the children than she did for him." On the day of the massacre, Nancy was Adam's first victim. Flashman told Fox News that Nancy was also good friends with the school's principal and psychologist, both of whom were killed during the incident."

Yep, that's a balanced individual.

Do you remember what happened at Columbine? When the students said it might be the trench coat mafia and goths? They wore trench coats at first when they started shooting, so while they were never in the TCM or goths, some kids thought "that might be the TCM", but it was only a handful of them. Once the media took that angle, that it was bullied goths taking it out on the jocks that terrorized them, a lot of kids started repeating what the media was saying. Because the students were saying it was the TCM, the media got more bold with this assertion, and it went on in a cycle like that. This is why media coverage is a huge issue in getting fair trials. The media clung onto the idea of bullied goths and specific targets, and it was a long time before they fully gave that up. Even Bowling For Columbine didn't necessarily attack the idea that they were bullied or loners.

At this point, eyewitness accounts and personal anecdotes are tainted. When the media gets in a frenzy, stories start to change to reflect what the media is saying. The media also doesn't necessarily get good sources, many of their sources are unamed "acquaintances." Meanwhile you're foolish if you think the police are reporting everything they learn to the media right away. It might take years for us to know what happened and why.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:29 AM   #80
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Or we could just acknowledge that anybody is capable of this.
Yes, anyone could suffer from psychological problems that could cause, or fail to prevent, them from hurting themselves or a whole lot of other people.

....

Hey Saya, since you're on a Columbine kick lately, do you have any thoughts on the psychological health and well-being of the two shooters there? Would describing them as healthy, well adjusted individuals be accurate?
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:25 AM   #81
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Or we could just acknowledge that anybody is capable of this.
I agree. Additionally, any person is capable of extreme violence, I don't care how "sane", balanced, moral or cool you are. Under the right circumstances we are all capable of some pretty heinous shit I mean look up the Stanford prison experiment. Regular people with a shitty attitude towards the other people are far more likely to torture and hurt them than they would some one they see as fully equal to themselves. It would be so much easier for me to prove this point if there were some sort of historical example, like maybe the Holocaust, racial slavery, the persecution of Chinese immigrants in California, or any other situation where there was pronounced social inequality.

All this talk about people who do this stuff being different is just denial of the fact that we are all capable of violence, especially if we don't see the people we're hurting as real people.

Maybe the question isn't "why did these people do this?", but instead "why doesn't every one else?".
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:50 AM   #82
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I agree. Additionally, any person is capable of extreme violence, I don't care how "sane", balanced, moral or cool you are. Under the right circumstances we are all capable of some pretty heinous shit I mean look up the Stanford prison experiment. Regular people with a shitty attitude towards the other people are far more likely to torture and hurt them than they would some one they see as fully equal to themselves. It would be so much easier for me to prove this point if there were some sort of historical example, like maybe the Holocaust, racial slavery, the persecution of Chinese immigrants in California, or any other situation where there was pronounced social inequality.

All this talk about people who do this stuff being different is just denial of the fact that we are all capable of violence, especially if we don't see the people we're hurting as real people.

Maybe the question isn't "why did these people do this?", but instead "why doesn't every one else?".
Of course anyone is capable of violence. But like you said at the end of your post, what is difference between the seven billion people who didn't shoot up a school and the handful of people who do?
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:20 AM   #83
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Yes, anyone could suffer from psychological problems that could cause, or fail to prevent, them from hurting themselves or a whole lot of other people.

....

Hey Saya, since you're on a Columbine kick lately, do you have any thoughts on the psychological health and well-being of the two shooters there? Would describing them as healthy, well adjusted individuals be accurate?
People don't need psychological problems, though.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:07 PM   #84
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Not everybody who is fucked up is going to kill little kids.
Everyone who kills little kids is fucked up.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:43 PM   #85
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Would describing them as healthy, well adjusted individuals be accurate?
Do you realise that mental health isn't a case of...

Are you mentally healthy (please tick one):
Yes _
No _

It's a spectrum.. and basically EVERYONE falls in the middle somewhere.

There are NO people who are "healthy, well adjusted individuals" at all times in their life. EVERYONE has moments of not being healthy, moments of maladjustment - it's a health status in the same way that physical health is.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:44 PM   #86
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And child soldiers? Does someone need to have psychological problems to shoot at them? Or how about George Zimmerman? Does he have psychological problems, too?
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:48 PM   #87
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Not everybody who is fucked up is going to kill little kids.
Everyone who kills little kids is fucked up.
This is possibly going to sound quite snarky, but I mean it as a sincere question. I've been trying to think of a way to ask it in a more gentle way, but I can't find it.. please excuse my clumsiness and know that I don't mean to offend you in asking:

Does it make you feel safer to be able to state things in such simplistic terms? Is that the reason that you don't want to believe that things are just a lot more complicated than "this person is fucked up.."?
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:04 PM   #88
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Not everybody who is fucked up is going to kill little kids.
Everyone who kills little kids is fucked up.
Why are you letting your morality cloud your understanding of mentality?

God forbid you ever find yourself in a situation that demands you do something you consider beyond the pale.
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:06 PM   #89
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This is possibly going to sound quite snarky, but I mean it as a sincere question. I've been trying to think of a way to ask it in a more gentle way, but I can't find it.. please excuse my clumsiness and know that I don't mean to offend you in asking:

Does it make you feel safer to be able to state things in such simplistic terms? Is that the reason that you don't want to believe that things are just a lot more complicated than "this person is fucked up.."?
You see? It's like there's this WEIRD line he draws where there's a kind of concrete absolute no man's land for the sane.

I'm surprised he hasn't gone ahead and said that no war ever waged on this planet was waged by mentally healthy people.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:13 PM   #90
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Hey Saya, since you're on a Columbine kick lately, do you have any thoughts on the psychological health and well-being of the two shooters there? Would describing them as healthy, well adjusted individuals be accurate?
I'm reading a book right now about it, that was recommended to me on another forum where we were discussing Adam Lanza's mental state, and so far, I gotta say, it IS shocking how "normal" they were. I knew a lot of guys like Eric Harris, and even more like Dylan Klebold.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:17 PM   #91
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Not everybody who is fucked up is going to kill little kids.
Everyone who kills little kids is fucked up.
Yeah, but "fucked up" =/= mentally ill.

Plenty of the people who don't hurt kill and maim their fellow human beings are mentally ill. So why don't those people go out and hurt every body?

Morality, empathy, and equality aren't limited to those who fall under the very messy definition of mentally or emotionally healthy. There are TONS of clinically depressed people, people with autism, people who suffer from PSTD or BPD even people who suffer from NPD who don't hurt others and aren't violent people. Why don't they go out and hurt.. they're mentally ill. I mean, isn't your whole point that these are the types of people who harm others?

It couldn't possibly be that people are influenced to treat others badly due to social inequalities... of course that means we'd actually have to make the effort to think about things deeply and accept that we're all capable of violence, that there's no magical thing that separates those people from us. Killers are humans with their own thoughts and motivations, and those things aren't controlled by mental illness.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:41 PM   #92
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You know what?

I'll go ahead and admit it.

Given the right circumstances, I am confident that I could and would kill.

*shrugs*

I must be out of my mind.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:32 PM   #93
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You know what?

I'll go ahead and admit it.

Given the right circumstances, I am confident that I could and would kill.

*shrugs*

I must be out of my mind.
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:11 AM   #94
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Frankly, one of the reasons I'm glad there is very little gun access in the UK is that I can think of at least one situation in which my having one could well have ended very, very badly. The only mental issue I've ever suffered from was mild depression as a teenager, so that's out as a causal factor, and I'm not even particularly fiery of temper (well, to a point). But during this one argument with a neighbour about noise, I just lost my shit. I hadn't slept in a few days, and it was a total red mist moment; if I'd had a gun in reach then I think there's a pretty good chance I would've shot him.

The realisation was unsettling at the time. These days though, I just figure that instance puts me in line with like 90% of the population..
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Old 12-24-2012, 11:34 AM   #95
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You guys are reading moral judgments where I'm not intentionally putting them in. If I say my computer is fucked up, I'm not making a moral judgment against it . Fucked up = not working correctly.

We're not talking about child soldiers who are actively shooting at you - this is a guy who walked into an elementary school and opened fire. There is no way the man's mental faculties were in working order. How can there be any dispute about that? Whether there were previous warning signs or indications, yeah that can be debatable sure.

Hey Ashley, when you bring up the whole "war and mental health" thing, are you referring to the ones orchestrated by megalomaniacal sociopaths valuing resources over human lives, or the ones started by delusional ideologues who think their actions are ordered / justified by a non-existent higher power?
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:07 PM   #96
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Jon. You ARE making moral judgements on a lot of things here.

You're drawing a terribly unrealistic line as to what people are capable of.

Get off that passive non-violent high horse of yours and ACTUALLY come to terms that despite what this guy did; there are situations in which this very act would be necessary. Not in the sense that one wants to do such a thing, but in the sense that violence itself isn't controlled by mentality or personality and given the right circumstances, we can all do some pretty wild shit.

Seriously... I almost get this creeping feeling that you're making an absolute claim on violence. That it only belongs to those who "aren't right". And that is where you're making a grave miscalculation.

You can not on good faith look at history unfold before us and after us and conclude that ever instance of violence in history was the culmination of megalomaniacs and the mentally disturbed.

Fact: Some perfectly healthy, rational, and mentally balanced people are put into situations in which their actions betray their character or what you would expect them to do. If you can't grasp that concept, then it's no wonder that people here are getting pissed at you.
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:59 PM   #97
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I mean in usage of the term "fucked up". Morally of course what Lanza did was reprehensible, but I think you can look at this from more than one angle simultaneously. What set off the sequence of events that caused Lanza to go on a murder spree instead of hiding in his room playing video games or whatever he did every day of his life before any of us heard of Sandy Hook?

"Justifiable" and "Good" aren't always the same thing. In certain circumstances, yes - violence can be justifiable. Hell, it can be necessary. That doesn't make it good. That could be its own thread for reals.

Do you think that Lanza was put into a situation where he was forced to betray his character when he shot his mother, stole her guns, and murdered children and their teachers? Did someone put him up to it? Threaten his dog? Maybe he was just fucked in the head, whether that hurts feelings here or not.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:57 PM   #98
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I'm not talking about Lanza. He slaughtered a shit load of kids. But that's something that happens in the USA because most likely it has more to do with our celebration of violence as a culture.

THAT'S not what I'm talking about though.

I'm trying to make it clear that violence isn't indicative of mental illness or instability.
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Old 12-25-2012, 04:35 AM   #99
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@Jonathan - I don't think that anyone is disputing that this was something that was fucked up. I know that it being "fucked up" isn't something that I'm arguing about.

The issue I have with what you're saying is that you're equating the person's actions with the person having a mental illness.
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Old 12-25-2012, 04:37 AM   #100
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I'm trying to make it clear that violence isn't indicative of mental illness or instability.
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