Mental illness/insanity should never be a catch all term to explain away criminal behaviour, or behaviour we don't like, or behaviour we don't understand. Sadly, most people don't bother to find out about mental illness, and criterias for diagnosis, and how mental illness affects real people, unless they have an encounter with it, such as with the diagnosis of a family member.
We are horrified and appalled by what happened in Colorado. When a seemingly random act of violence like this happens, it shocks us in a way that other violent crime doesn't. We can dismiss the news about other violent crime by saying "Yeah, well this man killed his wife," or "Yeah, well this murder was because they were involved in some criminal activity." Statements like this reinforce our sense that our worlds are safe, because we're not married to that guy, and we're not involved in some dodgy business relationship with criminals. With random massacres like this, we are left to think that it could have been us, because we go places and do things and watch movies. We have to find other reasons for why it happened, and why we're safe from this happening to us.
I think it's lazy to assume that only crazy people do things like this. Crazy has a lot of different flavours, and a great many people who identify as crazy, are too damn incapacitated by depression or anxiety or emotional exhaustion to ever carry out a violent act. We specifically assume those with psychotic, hallucinatory illnesses, are violent and unpredictable. This is understandable, if we don't know anyone with schizophrenia, or anyone who has admitted to a distorted perception of reality, or an unexpected hallucination. The reality is that schizophrenia can be such an overwhelming, exhausting disorder, that people who have it are too damn busy with it to become violent criminals. You can get some relief from medication, but those medications have some of the worst side-effects imaginable.
We also appear to forget that people with mental illnesses are still people, and most people believe that they are good, and want to be good. You don't automatically become a comic-book arch villain when you start having symptoms. You still love the people you loved before your diagnosis. You just want your life back, without the fear and confusion and exhaustion.
This attack was premeditated. Holmes didn't rock up to the cinema and then suddenly find a surprise gun in his pocket. He planned the attack, and the location, and the equipment. He organised himself, and then put his plan into action. The question of his mental health will explore his mental state, and his perception of reality. Perhaps he truly has a distorted perception that it was necessary for him to do this because of whatever bizarre rationale he had developed. Or, perhaps his motivation for this was out of a sense of inadequacy and anger at other people in general. If he has experienced bullying and abuse, this indiscriminate anger would have an identifiable source. It wouldn't, however, be an excuse to attack a crowd of people, even if those people like Batman.
We all know it's a cop out, for a person to justify a destructive act by whinging that other people picked on them. We enforce this message with kids when they hit each other in the escalation of a trivial argument. There is, however, increasing evidence that bullying and rejection can impact on the neural development of children. Bullying can, over time, also result in marked cognitive deficits in adults. Check out the symptoms of PTSD. Humans are social animals, and rejection is perceived as a threat to survival. Perhaps Holmes experienced this kind of psychological damage, and this damage has skewed his perception of reality. There is also the possibility that he is genuinely mentally well, and shot all those people because he wanted to, that he had goals in life, like notoriety, which would be achieved by killing a bunch of people. Some people are just selfish arseholes.
It makes me angry that we throw around the accusation of mental illness whenever someone does something like this, because it isn't corroborated by the behaviour of most people with a mental illness. It's like blaming God for things we don't understand, like where the apples in the supermarket come from.
Edited by Amy the Mighty, 10 August 2012 - 05:16 PM.
Dont you guys watch M.A.S.H ?
Klingers infamous section 8 .
Some people get away with it successfully . With modern methods,It's harder and harder to do,but some people are incredible actors.
The Holmes guy,has such distorted eyes.
Look at old photos of him,and present ones.
That guy is nuttier than a box full of pralines.... ahem. This lines I just wrote ,is a quote from a William Peter Blatty novel called The Ninth Circle of Hell.
It's based in fact ,as are many of his novels,and it was made into a movie.
The movie starred Stacy Keach ,and was released theatrically as Twinkle Twinkle,Killer Kane.
On dvd,I believe it now goes by Ninth Circle Of Hell.
During the Vietnam war,getting out of if,was the main objective . People fled to Canada,shot off toes,and pretended to be nuts,to get a section 8.
The premise of this movie,is are a bunch of Vietnam soldiers,faking insanity,to get out of the war,or are they legit.
I think the original study was done to form guidelines,to weed out fakers.
It takes place in an old castle built way upstate New York .
Some of the inmates are beyond comical,some are pretty out there,and some are sadly,so damaged from the war,It's left them a mess.
I loved this movie as a kid.
In many of blattys works,he always questions the existance of god .This one does it,in a way very different from the exorcist .
The guy they played father Karas in the exorcist,plays one of the inmates.
spud the mackem, on 09 August 2012 - 07:37 PM, said:
As soon as the guy picks up the rifle he is planning
(1) His scene of crime ,how many bullets to take with him.
(2) How to get there without causing attention to himself
(3) How to cause Maximum damage
(4) His escape route.
Please dont tell me anyone who does this is Mentally Insane,its Premeditated and I'm sorry I can't accept any other reason
Do you really think everyone is that logical? Because thats just not true. You over estimate the intelligence of people.
You also underestimate the insanity of humanity.
Yes people can fake mental illnesses. People do quite often. I imagine its incredibly easy if you know enough.
Not in just criminal cases in regular life every claims to have some sort of disorder now in days.
Edited by Kazoo, 13 August 2012 - 11:46 PM.
"The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all." - H.L. Mencken
We did not understand it all, but somehow we survived.
Posted 14 August 2012 - 12:29 AM
He planned this attack for four months. He could have abandoned this goal of his at any time during this period. This is different than a "spree" killing, where there is little premeditation beforehand, no more than a few hours.
In any case, he won't see the world from outside an institution.
I am another anonymous face in the crowd. I am just another tiny wheel in the machinery of the world I live in.
When someone commits a horrific, inexplicable crime, we naturally wonder whether he’s mentally ill: Who but a crazy person could do such a thing? But when a killer acts crazy after his arrest, we also might wonder whether he’s preparing for his trial. That’s the speculation around Colorado shooter James Holmes, whose psychiatric treatment and bizarre behavior in court and prison make people wonder whether he’s truly insane or building a case for an insanity defense. It leads to the question: Can a criminal get away with faking insanity?
Simple answer (because it's the RIGHT answer) YES. Absolutely. Psychology is not a science. Any decent psychologist will admit that. Nobody really fully understands how the human mind works or what can change the way it works. POW's in WWii often faked mental illness and were often released on compassionate grounds. In order to prevent people escaping this way, the camps employed psychologists and monitored such prisoners very closely over a long period of time. To avoid discovery these prisoners would not even tell their fellow prisoners they were faking. It was called "Working your ticket" and was used successfully many times on all sides.
It seems so important now but you will get over.
Posted 20 August 2012 - 08:53 AM
People simply do not understand mental illness as the clinician understands mental illness.
When someone in America goes on a serial killing spree it is explained as the person is bad or mentally ill. If the same person rescues someone in the middle of the night they randomly come across they are called good or a hero.
In Asia the mass murderer is said to have lacked social connections he didn't fit in with his environment. As for the situation of coming across a stranger the Asians will not see the person who helped rescue the other as inherently good or a hero but that they were simply at the right place at the right time in the bigger scheme of things.
They have done studies and shown Americans and Asians the same pictures. We focus on the person in it and what they are doing ignoring the context. Asians begin by explaining the environment, the conditions of present nature, what time of day it is, etc...,
Clearly mental illness can occur due to lack of social connection which is on the rise. There will be more of these incidents until we restore healthy social connection within the nation. There used to be a time familes actually ate dinner together and then they began to do so in front of televisions. Now they watch their own show or in front of a computer eat all alone.
Of course Holmes is mentally ill but the bigger question is what are we going to do to prevent more of him?
Edited by Lookitisoneofthosepeople, 20 August 2012 - 08:56 AM.
The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues. Liz Taylor
Posted 21 August 2012 - 07:39 AM
I'm not sure why this is a question to even ask. People have been faking mental illness for years for a variety of reasons. It's getting to the point that most Doctors can't tell who's faking and who isn't any more.