Serious Question

☆ October 6, 2017

Serious question: After mass murders such as Vegas (I hate the sanitized euphemism of "shootings"), there is discussion of mental health, and rightfully so – our system and society have gaping holes where mental health care is concerned. Too much stigma, not enough treatment and support. But I wonder what we, as individuals, can do. If intervention (another annoying word that covers up real meaning), early enough and often enough, would prevent someone from taking these awful actions, what does that intervention look like? What are the small things we can do that might add up to meaningful impact? And further: what if the people who would benefit from these interventions want none of it? We all know people who suffer from addiction and nothing, NOTHING we do or say is more powerful than their addiction. Mental illness can often manifest similarly. Someone I was once very close with suffers from mental illness which she refuses to investigate or treat and it has destroyed her relationships, destroyed her family, and while I keep the faith that it won't destroy her child, it's certainly doing a number on him. But what can one do, especially when they cut you off, cut everyone off but the enablers and the dependents? The system does nothing to help these people and these people hurt other people and so it's on us to step in, but how? What does that look like? What do we do?

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After mass murders such as Vegas (I hate the sanitized euphemism of “shootings”), there is discussion of mental health, and rightfully so – our system and society have gaping holes where mental health care is concerned. Too much stigma, not enough treatment and support.

But I wonder what we, as individuals, can do. If intervention (another annoying word that covers up real meaning), early enough and often enough, would prevent someone from taking these awful actions, what does that intervention look like? What are the small things we can do that might add up to meaningful impact?

And further: what if the people who would benefit from these interventions want none of it? We all know people who suffer from addiction and nothing, NOTHING we do or say is more powerful than their addiction. Mental illness can often manifest similarly.

Someone I was once very close with suffers from mental illness which she refuses to investigate or treat and it has destroyed her relationships, destroyed her family, and while I keep the faith that it won’t destroy her child, it’s certainly doing a number on him. But what can one do, especially when they cut you off, cut everyone off but the enablers and the dependents?

The system does nothing to help these people and these people hurt other people and so it’s on us to step in, but how? What does that look like? What do we do?

——
Read thoughts from others on my IG post here.

Comments

26 Responses to “Serious Question”

  1. Liz
    October 6th, 2017 @ 9:15 am

    My understanding is that the murderer in Vegas was being treated. The media is spinning it now that the drugs he was being treated with can in some instances cause rage and suicidal thoughts. In other words, if you are actually going through treatment you are looked at as more ‘crazy’ than someone who hasn’t sought it. “Ah, here’s the explanation for his murderous spree, he was on depression medication!”

  2. Lisa
    October 6th, 2017 @ 10:23 am

    From my own personal experience with half dose of Prozac, that the medication messed me up so bad that suicidal thoughts were a real danger to me. This after just one half dose! The doctor who prescribed this med to me wouldn’t answer my calls, my husband couldn’t come home to help. Luckily Ask a Nurse helped talk me down. It took awhile too. Luckily the worst of it happened while my son was at school. I still don’t remember how he got home or when my husband finally made it home.

    Come to find out, once my blood tests results came back, I had sub-acute thyroiditis. So, having this condition and being given the wrong med for it, really messed with my system. Our health card, for the most part, is broken.

  3. Lisa
    October 6th, 2017 @ 10:25 am

    ooops…care

  4. Alyxx
    October 6th, 2017 @ 10:40 am

    Weighing in as a person with persistent mental illness (Bipolar I) and also a licensed Therapist.
    1. the medication they are whining about in the media is VALIUM. The risks of “rage” on that medication are essentially nil, and they are conflating risks of certain anti depressants, (such as Prozac) in specific instances with an anti anxiety medication (anxiolytic) such as a benzo like Valium or Klonopin. (note that the interaction of benzos and alcohol create some massive problems and unpredictable behavior. Was the murder drinking?)

    There is huge stigma around mental health treatment in this country. Also, remember that a person suffering from MI is much more likely to be the victim of a violent crime than be the perpetrator.

    What can we do to help? Be aware. Stop jumping on the “he was crazy” bandwagon, and look at the societal factors creating killers. Those factors include the gun culture so beloved in this country.

    Full disclosure – I hunt. My husband and I own two shotguns and a rifle (an AR-10). I am a strong advocate of gun control and licenses. It shouldn’t be easier to buy a gun than a car, and that isn’t a violation of my civil rights to require it. Well regulated militia includes training and registration.

    What can we do? Spread love. Listen. Keep an eye on our neighbors and co-workers, and listen to them. Advocate for more money to community mental health, and more importantly more support and acceptance of getting help.

    Medication isn’t the answer, something I tell my clients a lot. It can help, but there are many, many other ways to regulate your mind. If you are on meds (as I am) that’s good, too, you are finding the route that works for you. No stigma. No loss of love, respect, and trust.

    Sorry this is so long – you asked a question that is deeply, deeply in my wheelhouse.

  5. Alyxx
    October 6th, 2017 @ 10:43 am

    *murderer*

  6. Kristan
    October 6th, 2017 @ 10:44 am

    Just wanted to thank Alyxx (comment #4) for her thoughtful and thorough answer. Well said.

  7. Douglas
    October 6th, 2017 @ 10:44 am

    Saw this posted on Facebook. https://byrslf.co/thoughts-on-the-vegas-shooting-14af397cee2c Discusses how males are being raised in the US. Just an opinion but sounds too true.

  8. C in Florida
    October 6th, 2017 @ 12:18 pm

    BLESS YOU, SHREVE, for bringing this up.

    I agree with Douglas. Here is what I’ve been trying to put together as a national commitment: All Policy and Administration of Policy Must be Based on Whether it is Good for Children. All Children. If it’s not good for children, it’s not good for anybody, not good for the country, and should be rejected as policy and/or law.

    If everyone were enabled to grow up valued, prosperous, enabled in their strengths, and happy, it would transform the world.

    I am hoping Bernie Sanders, Alan Grayson, and many others who actually care, will use it. Will Nancy Pelosi ever Get It? I don’t know. It’s a simplicity-based recipe for successful democracy. To achieve it, though we have to be willing and able to reach the traumatized, nasty, unhealthy people in power. They will be hard to convince. Their mistreatment of others has been profitable. They are hurt and vindictive and aggressive, greedy children acting out right now.

    Right now, most Americans just insult and ridicule politicians for their sociopathic disability. It’s hard not to–they are very madding and destructive. (But just see what is said every day about elected officials, especially Donald Trump.) Such criticism inflames the individuals and makes the whole problem worse. It’s going to be hard to make that layer of humanity care–they’ve already suffered so much and don’t see any relief in sight except to take it out on the masses–because they can. It’s their one pleasure and accomplishment, and by God, they are not inclined to give it up.

    The population who cares must be willing to study the basics of child and adult development, and use the knowledge to create conditions in which other adults feel noticed, important, respected, and loved. This should be a national goal for a healthy democracy.

    It’s the Golden Rule at the national, even global, level. I have read that all major religions have some form of the Golden Rule. It’s the one thing they have in common. It’s not myth, or belief, or “faith,” and especially not ideology.

    The method for activating is to make it the Main Requirement of U.S. government personnel, departments, and their actions and policies — Legislative, Judicial, Administrative. It should be based on solid knowledge of physiology, psychology (read “child development), and sociology. “If this policy is not good for children, it’s not good for the country or the world.”

    (If all these “ologies” are way too much, refresh your effort with The Golden Rule.

    Of course the greedy, heartless people in charge now would fight that, because they themselves have been humiliated, minimized, etc. We have to make inroads on them — because they are among the hardest-to-help. They have and are suffering, and so they turn nasty and don’t care whom they hurt. They are not pleasing to deal with. But we’ve got to try.

    Surely, SURELY, I’m not the only person who ever thought of this! But, we sure don’t hear anything about the Is overall “It Good for Children?” concept in all our mass communication and social media. Therefore we have to start it up from the beginning. Maybe a philosopher or rural grandmother wrote it up and it was quashed.

    Many women have grown up in misery because of mistreatment, the real physical suffering and dangers of pregnancy and childbirth and child rearing (along with abusive males in their lives). This is a lot to overcome in order to be a “good” mother. In fact, most modern adults all over the world don’t know what children need because they never got it themselves. Therefore they don’t know how to comfort, love, and teach their children. They are always angry or stand-offish or cruel. Our “civilization” needs to respect and make things easier for these adults so they don’t pass on their fear, hatred, and misery. We can make things easier real fast with plentiful decent jobs, fair working hours, and good living-wage pay. That alone would relieve all kinds of stress and danger. Our civilization needs to make all policy and administration Good For Children.

  9. mlaiuppa
    October 6th, 2017 @ 1:07 pm

    I think the first thing we need to do is stop using mental health as an excuse whenever it is a white shooter and making assumptions about criminals, gangs or terrorists when the shooter is anything but white or Christian.

    We have plenty of mentally fragile people out on our streets that don’t go hoarding an arsenal of weapons and then go on a rampage when something sets them off.

    We still don’t know what prompted a wealthy real estate investor with a 20 year history of professional gambling to do this but I really doubt it was some long existing or even short term mental illness that no one recognized.

    Many of the homeless are also in need of mental interventions. This started with Reagan when he removed the safety nets and government services that these people relied on. Nothing has changed since then so if we want to do something the government needs to step in and start providing those services again, be they out clinic or in patient.

    But the real elephant we keep dancing around is GUN REGULATION.

    Semi-automatics are too easily modified to be automatics. This guy used a bump stock. It isn’t the only method.

    Sorry, but I’m one of those progressive liberals that believes you don’t go hunting with a hand gun or a semi-automatic. If you want to go hunting you use a rifle or a shot gun. Plenty of countries allow their citizens to legally own these weapons.

    The Constitution doesn’t give the right to own military weapons to civilians. You have no right to own a rocket launcher. You don’t hunt deer with a rocket launcher. You also don’t hunt deer with an Uzi.

    There are very few professions outside of law enforcement that would reasonably allow for the ownership of a handgun, none of which would require it to be concealed.

    This rabid greed to own an arsenal is a manifestation of a mental illness that requires treatment, not silencers or stockpiles of ammo.

    May I add that it should be more difficult for a mentally ill person to buy a gun, not less so. No gun should change hands without documentation and government records. That means private sales and gun shows. Other civilized countries have no problem with this and they still live in a free and open democratic society. Their rights have not been impinged at all. In fact, they are quite happy. They also have no problems with access to health care.

    I agree with Warren Burger’s interpretation of the 2nd amendment. http://www.guncite.com/burger.html

    This country has been taken over by the marketing arm of the Gun Lobby, namely the NRA.

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/nra-guns-second-amendment-106856

    To be clear I have no problem with hunters owning rifles or ranchers owning shotguns. They may even need a hand gun.

    Australia seems to be doing just fine without the personal arsenal the NRA seem to think every American needs to survive. We no longer live in the Wild West and I would rather leave the guns to the trained, licensed professionals.

    I won’t bother with the statistics that support my viewpoint as we’ve all heard them before. I will say that my Dad has owned two handguns and both have been stolen from his house. I’m sure they ended up in the hands of criminals. If he never owned them that is two that would not have ended up so.

    I’d also like to say we need to stop excusing the mass murders, the majority of which are committed by white men with mental illness, while painting any shootings done by any other race as black thugs or Muslim terrorists.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/double-standard-white-privilege-media-las-vegas-shooting_us_59d3da15e4b04b9f92058316?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

  10. Cristy
    October 6th, 2017 @ 1:29 pm

    Thank you for this discussion Shreve. Both Alyxx and Douglas’s comments have given me a lot to think abou
    As I’m in agreement with all they posted. As far as how to address this, I honestly do not know. The situation you’ve described is very real and there are many who desperately need help who flat out refuse it, hurting loved ones along the way. It’s complex and messy. But I also think the first steps are finally being taken to address this. There’s push to find the solutions. So I have hope.

  11. Bev
    October 6th, 2017 @ 2:34 pm

    I totally agree with the comments of #9 mlaiuppa above.
    Of course we need better treatment for mental illness, the homeless and other disenfranchised individuals, but the only realistic way to prevent mass murders is gun control. Stephen Paddock should have never had the option of purchasing and stocking semi-automatic weapons and bump stocks!

  12. Janice in GA
    October 6th, 2017 @ 3:18 pm

    Most of us find the actions of people like the Las Vegas shooter to be so UNTHINKABLE that it’s tempting to think “He must be crazy to do that.”

    What if he was just morally bankrupt and EVIL?

    He put a LOT of thought and planning into that attack. He even put cameras in the hall so he could see when the police were coming so he wouldn’t be captured. He shot at aviation fuel reserves on the other side of the field, though apparently without doing much damage. He went out with the INTENT and the RESOURCES to commit mayhem.

    If that’s not just evil, I don’t know what is. There are lots of influences (NRA, white supremacists/Nazis, toxic masculinity and the way men are expected to behave, etc) in this country that could make someone do something like this. It doesn’t have to be a mental illness. White male shooters should stop getting a “mental illness” pass for something like this. The culture is broken, and it produces men like this.

    Sorry, feeling kinda strongly about this stuff lately. Feel free to edit/tone down/omit this comment if you want.

  13. NancyB
    October 7th, 2017 @ 9:26 am

    Six days after the largest shooting attack in American history, U.S. leaders are no closer to identifying the motive of the perpetrator of this tragedy. Yet, our government assures us
    this is not connected to “international terrorism.”

    With regards to the current situation as it stands right now, the facts as we know them are this;

    1. Last spring the Islamic State released a video targeting Las Vegas using a red smear
    effect to show “blood” over the city.
    2. In September, the Islamic State issued another threat against Las Vegas.
    3. Last week the Islamic state published a message in one of their media outlets admonishing Muslims to avoid large gatherings of non-Muslims, specifically including large events where thousands of people gather.
    4. Sunday night, October 1st in Las Vegas, Stephen Paddock fired on a crowd of approximately 22,000 people at a country music concert.
    5. On Monday October 2nd, the Islamic State claimed responsibly for this attack. Later that day they issued a second message confirming the Las Vegas attack was conducted by a “soldier of the caliphate” and “martyr.” Several hours later early Tuesday morning EST the Islamic state issued a third message reconfirming the Las Vegas attack was their operation.
    6. On Thursday October 5th, the Islamic State released a new video showing the red smear
    “blood” over the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
    7. There is no record of the Islamic state ever claiming responsibility of an operation that did not turn out to be a jihadi attack (Note: June attack in Philippines was claimed by the Islamic State. While government officials there call the event a “robbery,” credible analysis of the incident makes a strong case that was an IS operation). See the article this week in the
    Atlantic making the same case.https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/10/isis-amaq-las-vegas/541746/
    8. The sheriff leading the investigation effort publicly stated it is his opinion Paddock was not operating alone.
    9. It has been confirmed that Paddock wired $100,000 to the Philippines before this operation.
    10. Paddock filmed himself during the attack.
    11. Paddock conducted pre-operational reconnaissance on the Las Vegas target (Mandalay)
    but other similar targets in other cities as well.
    12. Biographical information on Paddock indicates no prior military or law enforcement experience.
    13. Beside numerous weapons, explosives were found in Paddock’s vehicle and in one of his residences.

    Here is what we can learn from these facts:
    Paddock’s conduct and behavior suggest he is capable in pre-mission planning, conducting reconnaissance, logistical planning, weapons handling, explosives handling, and executing a
    mission.

    Without law enforcement and/or military training, where was Paddock trained? Who trained Paddock?

    In light of these facts the most viable assessment at this point continues to be that the Las Vegas attack was a Jihadi operation.

    For those who disagree, the question is “What is the alternative assessment at this point?”

    The media’s go-to assessment immediately following the event that Paddock “snapped”
    from some sort of psychological “event” was shattered when we learned about his months
    of preparation and pre-mission reconnaissance.

    In the end, we are left with the deadliest shooting attack in US history perpetrated by a man about whom little is known, but yet someone who was trained and prepared for this mission.
    There are several other possibilities for a motive in this attack, none of them are reasonable in light of the current facts.

  14. Suzy
    October 8th, 2017 @ 8:33 pm

    Meds have been around for over 60 years. As such, we didn’t have this level of American terrorism until the proliferation of guns began to overrun our country. It is very convenient to talk about mental illness rather than gun control because Americans cling to violence as the answer. I’ve been medicated, friends have been medicated, none of us have murdered anyone. Please, people, GUN CONTROL. And while we’re at it, please don’t elect idiots like Trump and Pence and their unholy crew. Use your heads before we all get them blown off by the way our country is going.

  15. Karen
    October 8th, 2017 @ 9:44 pm

    1. Stricter gun laws. Full stop. More regulation. Have it more difficult to purchase ammunition. No ‘war type’ weapons should be owned by citizens
    2. Never release the name of the shooter. It will stop those who crave the notoriety of being a mass murderer. I don’t think it’s a motivation for all killers, but for some it is what they want. Stop the media from making statements like, “Deadliest mass murder in U.S. history”….
    3. Recognize that our ‘entertainment’ in this country i.e. video games and movies are EXTREMELY violent. No, these violent images do not make people kill, but they create a climate of violence. Human life has no value on the movie screen
    4. Regarding mental health: this is complicated– many guns are used for suicide (this does not get the exposure like the mass killings) I would like to guess that most all of these shooters are deranged, but how do you address that? It appears we have an epidemic of mental illness because of a myriad of reasons– isolation, substance abuse… I can’t even list all the reasons, and I, myself have struggled at times. I know it would not change a chemical imbalance but having a more caring community for all would be beneficial. It wouldn’t end the suffering but perhaps could lessen the occurrences?
    5. We have to do SOMETHING. Just as President Obama’s health care act wasn’t perfect, we had to begin somewhere!

  16. scotty
    October 8th, 2017 @ 10:10 pm

    why don’t we have a higher level of security regarding what friggin stuff you haul into a high rise hotel room? holy cow this guy dragged a full arsenal into a place where you drink, eat, gamble and sleep. what else do you need? what about people who haul big caches of drugs into high rise hotels to make deals? i think hotel security there has some liability. they are like.. come on in ! bring whatever you want ! no.

  17. Jane
    October 9th, 2017 @ 7:27 am

    Is it mental illness? It seems like what these mass killers have in common is that they are angry, resentful, and lack meaningful connections to other people. Also they are men. Maybe stricter gun control could reduce at least how lethal these attacks are. But this violence represents a tiny fraction of gun deaths a year and gun control would help reduce those deaths. Full disclosure I am a gun owner and we have many guns and many types. I believe in keeping them in a safe place and always handling them with respect. The NRA represents gun manufacturers not gun owners. They are a big part of the problem.

  18. Rio Guzman
    October 10th, 2017 @ 9:54 am

    If you’re still believing what the media tells you, you are in need of assistance.https://youtu.be/nUDoGuLpirc

  19. karen
    October 10th, 2017 @ 10:03 pm

    #12 Janice from Georgia….I totally agree with you on your part about some are just evil…I think some people in this world are just pure evil I believe in the Good Lord and Satan’s existence So I come from this angle some people in this world are just depraved no soul, no conscience no remorse, no empathy there is no reason, no excuses, no mental illness, no post traumatic stress, no life altering experiences, no drug or alcohol addictions, no M.I.A. father or mother…NOTHING! So sure when stuff like this happens we look back on this persons life and say..oh he went to party’s ….(like we also do) this must be the reason…oh his mom and dad divorced when he was 5yrs old (this also happens to us) this must be the reason…oh he was a gun collector (like some of us are) this must be the reason…. I could go on and on.. but my point and opinion is this we all experience shit in our lives, but a depraved, morally corrupt person has no reason, no excuse or extenuating circumstance..they’re just plain evil, born that way..sure (just as some proclaim gay, lesbian etc are) so why can’t evil reign in some too!! thanks

  20. karen
    October 10th, 2017 @ 10:12 pm

    and Rio Guzman..while I don’t believe every incident in the world is a false flag.. i do agree with you and the existence of the New World Order the Free Masons, Illuminati etc… I’m just not all the way there yet..I do believe in Jesus so therefore I believe nothing happens for a reason, whether good or evil… and our free will gives us the power to choose which path we go down. some are so far in the dark they never see the light..

  21. Patricia Long
    October 12th, 2017 @ 5:28 pm

    I listen to public radio which keeps one up to date with what is known (no rumors). I never heard this man was taking any medication nor had even been seeing a Dr. Their is absolutely no evidence found of his being associated with any extremist groups. Their was nothing on his computer to indicate any association with extremist groups.He had paid for a plane ticket to the Philipines weeks before the attack for his girl friend. The $100,000 was sent to his girl friend so that she could buy a home there. He probably knew he would not be seeing her again. His motive—the FBI despite all their investigations do not know. I do wonder if they did an autopsy. That was never mentioned. If his motive was not external maybe it was internal. It seems a pretty big oversight to me if an autopsy was not done. As for mental illness, how mentally ill does a person have to be before you can take away their civil rights? Just about everyone I meet has got symptoms. I am a former psychiatric nurse and of all those I met not one killed anyone except in some cases themselves.

  22. rockrat
    October 16th, 2017 @ 12:30 am

    I see it in my kids class. There are some kids that are just brought up badly – they lost a parent and the remaining parent is stretched too thin.

    I lost a parent to alcohol addiction. It took me 14 years of therapy to stop sabotaging my career. Now I’m doing well. But nobody ever told me how to fix my defective behaviors.

    We get that small dignity from society: the freedom to figure out your own solutions.

    Still breaks my heart to see an innocent kid messed up by bad parenting. What I do is listen intensely to kids like that, and respond with the simplest and most profound condensed lessons that I can from my experience.

  23. Deb
    October 17th, 2017 @ 2:26 pm

    Appreciate the insights given about mental well-being by Alyx and Douglas.

    Focus on overall Well Being rather than mental illness is a way to take the stigma out of addressing things, which may include getting some sort of treatment. Far too many people regard someone with mental illness as being a ‘sicko’. That doesn’t help anyone, whether their considered sick or evil, puts all the blame on them and abdicates any contribution by anyone else.

    Personally, someone who has been a serious gambler all their lives is noteworthy to me. And, unfortunately, domestic violence is considered a lesser crime. Until we have the attitude that crime is crime, whether it’s familial, or not, children will continue to be exposed to situations that DO NOT PROMOTE MENTAL WELLNESS.

    Ultimately, what matters most is how we deal with something like this OR NOT.

    Believe that real leadership will have a vision for how to address what’s been going on in society for long enough that the scale of the violence is increasing.

    Personally, the only influence I have is my immediate circle. Having boundaries about respect and courtesy can go a long way toward having decent relationships and what we allow into our lives. Of course, I’m concerned about greater society.

    Until I own up to the transgressions I make, and remove myself from derogatory and demeaning dynamics, emotional abuse will continue to take a toll, however ‘small’ it may seem in the greater scheme.

    When it’s considered legitimate to be cut out of someone’s life for calmly letting them know we’re Upset, with no other explanation … that is extreme. Isolating people for being different, feeling entitled to verbally abuse people, and so-called bullying need to be considered unacceptable for any decent, fully-functioning society.

    Like the standard Golden Rule and whether or not it is good for children that C in Florida is proposing. It’s like the beginning of a new conversation rather than the same ones being rehashed repeatedly.

    So much focus is being put on children being born, and so little on what happens to them in the remainder of their lives.

    Emphasis on well being and accountability would make a significant difference. They do in my day-to-day life, and for those interested in being a part of that.

  24. Miranda
    October 27th, 2017 @ 11:01 am

    CInFlorida: So are you saying my life as an adult would be ruled by what is best for children?! I didnt get to be my age and enjoy the perks of adulthood to be required to live by the standards for kids.

    As for determining who gets treatment
    who decides who is mentally ill? They can’t be forced to take tests and talk to a therapist. They don’t all appear mentally ill. We can’t force someone to take treatment lawsuits all over the place about an individual’s rights. Its easy to talk about getting someone help but there are legal issues that must be dealt with first and those will be fought in court. So easy to verbalize darn near impossible to implement.

  25. Lady Anne
    October 28th, 2017 @ 10:25 am

    Already there are cries that this was entirely an act put on by the government – especially Hillary, “Who is coming to take away our guns”. Some of the survivors are getting death threats, claiming they are the same “tragedy actors” employed in the Sandy Hook School murders.

    I remember hearing one reporter at the Boston Marathon bombing actually asking if this was “all an act to take away more of our civil liberties”.

    Sometimes I wonder if God Himself doesn’t wish He’d stopped with the giraffes, instead of going on to the “H’s” and ending up with humans.

  26. Lady Anne
    October 28th, 2017 @ 10:34 am

    Miranda, you got to be this age because somebody in your past kept in mind “What is best for children”. Did they allow you to play in traffic, or with sharp knives? Did they make sure you had decent food, proper clothing, a good education? Did they tell you not to go certain places or keep away from certain people? They cared about you, child. And now you must play that forward.

    Until the Regan administration, we COULD admit the mentally ill to proper hospitals and see to it that they took their medications. We could also insist that TB patients were hospitalized until they were well. Unfortunately, in a misguided effort to save money, these hospitals were closed, and the excuse was made that the ill had a “right” to decide if they wanted to endanger the rest of us.

    Concerning Mr. Paddock – it is quite possible that he was not mentally ill, but had a physical problem. Perhaps an undiagnosed brain tumor, which will – as I well know – cause personality changes, large and small. Unless a family member or close friend recognizes these changes and encourages/forces the person to get help, you have problems ranging from extreme forgetfulness bordering on senility, or a tendency to violence.

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