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It’s dangerous to be young in the US
Posted: 18 December 2012 08:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 121 ]
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I watched Dr Phil yesterday and agree with what he has to say about the problem. Besides talking about the Connecticut situation, he had guests on who had a son that they feared was a potential mass murderer. Dr Phil said that the reason these people blow up and act so severe is because they find that they cannot express themselves and be heard in their daily lives. From my own experiences, I know that one of the worst things I hate more than anything is to be ignored. In fact, people use this tactic ruthlessly towards each other assuming that because it doesn’t appear like a ‘positive’ act, it is not abuse and they do not feel accountable. I think that it can be worse than physical abuse because the lack of information of other people’s ignorance leads to uncertain conflict. If one’s attention is given elsewhere, that person can adapt to that poor behavior from others. But if it is constant and consistent from what appears to be all sources within one’s environment, that person can be forced into isolation stuck with their own thoughts to ponder why people should treat you so bad.

I think that it is this very nature that gives justice to the Miranda rights in that if one feels persecuted, they are officially notified of a positive reason for their stressful detainment. If one is treated poorly by their environment and yet they are not given a justification by their perpetrators, they are left in the dark. While others usually attempt to point the finger right back at them as a means to encourage them to alter some behavior that, in fact, does not prove to be a cause and the solutions are irrelevant, the evidence in their minds suggest that an unjust prejudice exists that they are helpless to cure upon their environment. Once it builds up too much, they blow.

I think the lesson to be learned regarding these type of horrors, is that to prevent it, society must learn to recognize that neglect and ignorance of any sort is real abuse. I have often experienced friends and loved ones tolerate the most physically abusive situations and even defend the honor of their abuser. It’s really frustrating to be one who involves yourself to stop the abuse only to become the target of vengeance because you called the police to protect such an abused, not from the abuser, but the abused. I’ve asked myself why enough times and now recognize this as a symptom of the same reason why I think neglect is much more damaging. The abused would rather be beaten by someone they love than to be ignored by them!

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Posted: 18 December 2012 08:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 122 ]
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Scott Mayers - 18 December 2012 08:10 AM

I think the lesson to be learned regarding these type of horrors, is that to prevent it, society must learn to recognize that neglect and ignorance of any sort is real abuse.

Yeah, let Dr. Phil brainwash you: blame everything and everybody except for the guns. Really, what do you think would be more effective: banning guns or convincing teenagers that people with mental disorders are as cool as anybody else? To tell children whom they should be playing with doesn’t even work in the sandbox, when (we think) we still have some control over them.

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Posted: 18 December 2012 08:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 123 ]
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George - 18 December 2012 08:23 AM

Yeah, let Dr. Phil brainwash you: blame everything and everybody except for the guns. Really, what do you think would be more effective: banning guns or convincing teenagers that people with mental disorders are as cool as anybody else? To tell children whom they should be playing with doesn’t even work in the sandbox, when (we think) we still have some control over them.

Right. When the who society is so peaceful and harmonious that nobody will misuse a gun, we can make them freely available. Until then I would propose to be so restrictive that only people with very good reasons, and stable backgrounds are allowed to have any arms.

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Posted: 18 December 2012 10:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 124 ]
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Scott Mayers makes a very important message about being ignored that could trigger an attention-getting action.  Years ago I was a tad bored with my kids away at college and all the arguments gone from my home.  One cannot act out when one lives alone. Nobody listens and nobody cares.  My husband left in self defense and I decided to attend training classes in Hospice work.  That is enough to turn to serious stuff.

I was in a class of 40 people who were searching for a serious solution to our empty nest with time on our hands.  Much of our training was based on psychological actions done by our patients and they could run from deep depression to a phony silly attitude.  We were trained to give them 100% of our attention and to remember every single thing they talked about.  Our background training was based on many doctors who specialized on end of life changes.  I had already been with two terminally ill young men with the AIDS virus.  I knew these kids and their families and I did this as a labor of love.  My first mistake.  I died a little with both. 

I developed my own attitude with those who had a deep depression and discovered they were religious and wondered where God went.  I used a technique learned in the theater and when we discussed their earlier years we built stories around the past.  They ended up writing hilarious scenarios and made them a part of their history.  Why not?  I was on duty for my choice of 4 to 6 hours as many days as I chose.  I would chose the hour after lunch and it was clean up time.  Cleopatra would have her milk bath waiting for Anthony to show up.  Samson would get all spruced up with his shampooed hair waiting for Delilah to trim it.  My patient did not know that this hair cut took the starch out of Samson but I never exposed this.  As my patients grew weaker the more they added to the story and it forced them to keep mentally active.

This was done for me.  It kept me mentally under control or I would have gone mad with sadness.  Both died with a smile and often because of the increase of their morphine.  We had a lot of Christian and Jewish religious leaders who had access to   all the patients.  I got to know a defrocked Priest who was terrific with the last days of this time.  I had a Rabbi who was unable to control his tears.  That’s Okay.  My last patient was the jewel in the crown.  He was in his late 80s and had been a miner in the Grand Canyon.  I loved his stories and we changed places.  He had bone cancer which is the most painful of all diseases.  I would sponge bath him in oil that was combined for Elizabeth Taylor.  He actually believed me.  He suggested that Richard would have applied it on her and I applied it on him.

I would often clean my pals up and if they were able to allow me to take them outside for some afternoon Vitamin D in the sun.  This afternoon it would be the last time I could do this as my old pal was very weak and obviously in great pain.  I wheeled him back into his room and rang for help to get him back in bed.  We turned on the TV and watched our daily time with The Animal Planet.  He kept dozing off and I gave him a nice face wash and combed his hair and made him look comfortable.  I rang for the nurse and told her that his time was very near.  She of course knew this and I was convincing myself of this fact.  I kissed my old boy goodbye and drove hoime.  I got the call around 8 pm that he had died smiling.  I sobbed myself to sleep and knew this was my last patient.  This was September 10th 2001.

Watching the senseless death from those airplanes made my work seem ridiculous.  I went back to working for the Red Cross as I knew there would be an enormous need for blood to be drawn for the people who survived 9/11. 

My point here is to explain that humans have the ability to take the worse possible situations and find a way to soften them for others.  I think maybe dogs can sense deep depression in their owners and know how to soften the situation. Lets be gentle with each other as we never know what we will experience tomorrow.

I’ve been criticized for my theatrics but it is how I survive.

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Posted: 18 December 2012 10:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 125 ]
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I assure you, George, I keep a skeptical mind on Dr Phil. I disagree with some major key philosophical points of his. But if you listen to him, you can be certain that he is a properly trained professional and even though his religiosity is all too present at times, the guy is not all show. I give him credit for his heart being in the right place and he appears to offer television viewers something that wasn’t there before. My views I expressed in the last post didn’t even originate from him. I just happen to find that he is in sync with my opinion and am glad he pointed those facts out. I really didn’t get why he put on a show to test and appear to validate psychics, for instance, given that he’s even an admitted skeptic himself. But remember, Oprah owns his ass! And I don’t think he is going to be able to break free of that bond anytime soon.

I already agreed that guns should be regulated and banned for the most part. My post was to suggest how to prevent future similar occurrences. Even without the guns, those “shooters” are still out there. Trying to solve problems by building bigger walls around everyone is more costly and ineffective. One individual with an understood and recognized profile is easier to target and deal with than placing a million barricades around indeterminate possible victims. If they were to figure out, for instance, how to perfectly secure all elementary schools from a possible future event from some unknown perpetrator, then the next shooting event will certainly occur in the next weakest population. It’s post hoc thinking, backwards, and illogical.

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Posted: 18 December 2012 11:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 126 ]
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You are correct that a lot of this has to do with feelings of isolation that lead to depression, frustration, and outbursts of anger. It laudable to look within ourselves and try to be more aware of these things or create programs to make others aware and make services more available but I think its a bit naive to think that those measures will have a large impact on the problem for several reasons.

First, such services are never available everywhere they are needed and historically psych services are severely underfunded. The government may throw a few token dollars at the problem but the effort will be insufficient and short lived.

Second, the individual in need has to seek out and make use of the available services. In short they have to want to be helped. Many of these individuals are young men. They are a demographic that is not likely to admit they need help and very unlikely to accept help when its offered. They are suspicious of authority.

Third, psychiatric treatment is not as effective as we would like. For psych treatment to work you need a number of things. You need a valid theory, a proven treatment method, a willing individual, and an individual with the insight to benefit from the treatment. The overall success rate for psych treatment varies widely depending on the condition but i remember form my psych rotations that personality disorders were extremely difficult to treat. The person who committed the movie theater massacre last summer was undergoing treatment and we can see how effective that was.

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Posted: 18 December 2012 11:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 127 ]
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Thanks, Sandy. Your story was touching. I have a sister who works in palliative care and she tells me stories of her patients too. The phase they call, ‘sun-downing’, is something most of us will go through if we live long enough and seems rather scary. It is the mental dementia phase where patients feel very alien in their environment and constantly try to leave the place to “go home.” It is the feeling of being a child again lost and alone in the mall without their mom.

Neglect and ignorance fosters fear, alienation, and uncontrollable emotions. It is way too easy for people to turn and walk away from someone who appears ‘creepy’ or ugly or distasteful to the cultural norms than to invest (“waste”) time on them. The unfortunate thing is is that the more it occurs, the more the victim becomes self-conscious and starts to behave as others expected them to be, justifying their stereotypes.

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Posted: 18 December 2012 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 128 ]
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Re George’s question:  Absolutely.  I’d love to see all guns banned from private citizens, and even from police carrying them.  They already have Tazors and pepper spray; they could have guns in the trunk of their car but not on them.  However, as Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon points out there are probably a hundred million gun owners here.  I won’t go into the various reasons they have them, but at that level it’s essentially impossible to get rid of them.

Little did the framers of the U.S. Constitution know that they should have put a cancellation date on the Second Amendment.  smile

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Posted: 18 December 2012 11:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 129 ]
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Scott,

I just don’t think this is the time to focus on mental disorders, broken marriages, school/theatre/shopping mall security, etc. The problem here is guns and that is what should be the focus of the discussion. I get very upset when I hear and read over and over people, journalists and TV reporters asking “what went wrong here?”. We all know what went wrong, but very few people will say it.

I am also tired of hearing that the problem is semi-automatic weapons. How many kids would had Lanza killed had he have access to only hand guns? Six, ten? Is that supposed to be acceptable? It’s like going back to the sixties and trying to make sense of the law on the interracial marriages and figure out who is black enough to qualify not to marry a white person. I am utterly disgusted.

[ Edited: 18 December 2012 11:55 AM by George ]
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Posted: 18 December 2012 11:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 130 ]
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macgyver - 18 December 2012 11:11 AM

You are correct that a lot of this has to do with feelings of isolation that lead to depression, frustration, and outbursts of anger. It laudable to look within ourselves and try to be more aware of these things or create programs to make others aware and make services more available but I think its a bit naive to think that those measures will have a large impact on the problem for several reasons.

First, such services are never available everywhere they are needed and historically psych services are severely underfunded. The government may throw a few token dollars at the problem but the effort will be insufficient and short lived.

Second, the individual in need has to seek out and make use of the available services. In short they have to want to be helped. Many of these individuals are young men. They are a demographic that is not likely to admit they need help and very unlikely to accept help when its offered. They are suspicious of authority.

Third, psychiatric treatment is not as effective as we would like. For psych treatment to work you need a number of things. You need a valid theory, a proven treatment method, a willing individual, and an individual with the insight to benefit from the treatment. The overall success rate for psych treatment varies widely depending on the condition but i remember form my psych rotations that personality disorders were extremely difficult to treat. The person who committed the movie theater massacre last summer was undergoing treatment and we can see how effective that was.

You’re missing the value of the argument. I am placing the onus on us all to stop turning away from people just because they trigger your bad intuitions or disgust. You are clearly placing the problem to be solved on the person who blows up and does crazy things. You’re not recognizing that the trigger behind the trigger of the shooter is the major contributor to their outburst in the first place. No amount of medicine or psychological inputs will cure how the environment treats the patient. You can numb the patient, use medicine to stop hormones that cause emotions, or psychologically convince the patient that he or she can live a good life comfortably without people, but why not just euthanize them instead? If they can’t have a quality of life like the rest of us, why do they have to settle for less?

Society apparently feels that there’s a significantly big difference between allowing a patient to die by starving them than to directly do an act that puts them out of their misery. [Assisted Suicide debate] They are both the same. The only difference is that the patient suffers for the comfort of the neglectful living. What’s a better alternatve? There is the movement, for example, of the anti-bullying campaign that is a reasonable and effective method to alter the mindset of people’s behaviors. So it can be done.

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Posted: 18 December 2012 12:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 131 ]
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George - 18 December 2012 11:52 AM

Scott,

I just don’t think this is the time to focus on mental disorders, broken marriages, school/theatre/shopping mall security, etc. The problem here is guns and that is what should be the focus of the discussion. I get very upset when I hear and read over and over people, journalists and TV reporters asking “what went wrong here?”. We all know what went wrong, but very few people will say it.

I am also tired of hearing that the problem is semi-automatic weapons. How many kids would had Lanza killed had he have access to only hand guns? Six, ten? Is that supposed to be acceptable? It’s like going back to the sixties and trying to make sense of the law on the interracial marriages and figure out who is black enough to qualify not to marry a white person. I am utterly disgusted.

Is there any reason why we can’t tackle the issue at both sides? ...gun controls AND behavior modification?

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Posted: 18 December 2012 12:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 132 ]
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Scott Mayers - 18 December 2012 12:03 PM
George - 18 December 2012 11:52 AM

Scott,

I just don’t think this is the time to focus on mental disorders, broken marriages, school/theatre/shopping mall security, etc. The problem here is guns and that is what should be the focus of the discussion. I get very upset when I hear and read over and over people, journalists and TV reporters asking “what went wrong here?”. We all know what went wrong, but very few people will say it.

I am also tired of hearing that the problem is semi-automatic weapons. How many kids would had Lanza killed had he have access to only hand guns? Six, ten? Is that supposed to be acceptable? It’s like going back to the sixties and trying to make sense of the law on the interracial marriages and figure out who is black enough to qualify not to marry a white person. I am utterly disgusted.

Is there any reason why we can’t tackle the issue at both sides? ...gun controls AND behavior modification?

Because the gun topic is a lot more urgent and everything else makes it just a bit less important. Would you like to hear a doctor lecture a patient who just had a heart attack on how he should exercise more? First things first.

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Posted: 18 December 2012 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 133 ]
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Scott, I personally don’t want that onus. 
Guns need to be drastically pared back. Like I said in another thread, it will take some amount of years, but eventually we will see the troubled individuals simply beating up their mothers or vandalizing a laundromat.(like they used to do)
And when the troubled individuals are reduced to this method of maniacal expression I won’t want the onus then either.
Like I always say:  There’s plenty of good, normal people, who don’t cause disturbances and follow the rules. They are calmly and patiently participating each and every day in society. I want the onus of their safety and life improvement.
Perhaps when we reach out in a society with this perceived Onus, we inadvertantly create more troubled individuals. And more kids lined up for chemical lobotomys at school, etc etc…..
Guns are without a doubt the main contributor of these shooting incidents.(irony—hello!?!)
Most people don’t even have a clue how prolific these guns are.
I’m not even remotely concerned with what happened to this mans mind.  Who cares?  Just keep guns out of reach from people like this.
Just like we keep poisons and medicine out of reach of children.
Right now the guns in this country are the poison.  And they are not out of reach!!

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Posted: 18 December 2012 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 134 ]
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Do as you will, but what makes better sense, placing the cause of harm in a bubble or place the rest of the world in bubbles? You can profile the cause of the problem with accuracy; But the range of possible targets is indeterminate because their qualifying personalities are irrelevant. Let’s see, as an example think of how people reacted to the threat of a possible nuclear attack during the cold war. Did it make sense for everyone to build nuclear bomb shelters for every home? Even should the worst have occurred, people would have been stuck in their shelters indeterminately. It took changing the mindsets of the people who hold the nuclear weapons to disarm themselves and choose not to use them.

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Posted: 18 December 2012 02:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 135 ]
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Scott Mayers - 18 December 2012 11:54 AM

You’re missing the value of the argument. I am placing the onus on us all to stop turning away from people just because they trigger your bad intuitions or disgust. You are clearly placing the problem to be solved on the person who blows up and does crazy things. You’re not recognizing that the trigger behind the trigger of the shooter is the major contributor to their outburst in the first place. No amount of medicine or psychological inputs will cure how the environment treats the patient. You can numb the patient, use medicine to stop hormones that cause emotions, or psychologically convince the patient that he or she can live a good life comfortably without people, but why not just euthanize them instead? If they can’t have a quality of life like the rest of us, why do they have to settle for less?

I think you are being a bit too simplistic here. These young men are not going to get all better simply because we give them all a hug. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that programs to reduce bullying or encourage understanding are bad. They will most likely do some good but they will not solve this problem. At most they will make a little dent in it for a little while until the headlines fade.

You can’t legislate “nice” behavior. Its been a long time since i was i school age but i do remember one thing. A lot of the nonsense that went on occurred well outside the earshot or visual range of teachers and administrators. Juvenile development and social interactions are far too complex. Your can’t just tell everyone to be nicer and expect the problem to get better. Many of these individuals have trouble socializing with others. Even if they are included they may still feel isolated because they dont know how to tell a joke or open up to someone.  It would require more than the act of some well meaning individuals to teach them the social skills they need and some may never have the ability to learn those skills. Their brain may simply not work that way. Many of the shooters have psychiatric disorders that require much more than a friendly face or the attention of well meaning teachers and school mates.  You can’t cure a personality disorder or other antisocial behavior with a warm smile.

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