Guilty of Mental Illness

This is a discussion on Guilty of Mental Illness within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; INTJ, My post(s) does not imply much of what you assumed, which is why I asked if you read the articles. Once again as I ...

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Thread: Guilty of Mental Illness

  1. #31
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    INTJ,

    My post(s) does not imply much of what you assumed, which is why I asked if you read the articles.
    Once again as I had said prior a not insignificant number of criminals have mental health issues. A not insignificant number of crimes occur as a result of persons with mental health issues large and small.
    We as a community at large would be for the better to address this and these issues as opposed to current which is woefully inadequate.
    I said nothing about all crimes being based in mental health issues nor did I say that those persons with mental health issues should be criminalized, and there was no commentary at all prior to yours toward persons being disallowed from possesing firearms if they have diagnosis toward a mental health issue/mental illness of some sort.

    People are out there that have mental health issues and they need help. Some of those people commit crimes of varying types from misdemeanor to murder and worst. Lets not ignore this fact or these people any longer. Incarceration had had limited positive results as based on results. Ignoring folks has had limited results as well.
    Lets take a new tack and beign to look into this seriously without politic (referring to as much as "liberalism") thinking singly toward support, aid, and protection of we the people which includes 'us' as well as 'them'.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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  3. #32
    Member Array mmwb's Avatar
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    Janq, I wasn't ignoring your posts, or trying to hijack your thread. Some of my points may have been suited to a new thread, but I wanted to respond to some good comments and didn't think it fair to those posters to copy and paste thier words into a new thread.

    Your initial threads postulate some good food for thought. I do a lot of work with the criminal population. My sample of clients does not qualify me to guess how representative it is on a larger scale. I've not had any clients involved with the legal system where it could be concluded that there was a correlation between the etiology of the criminal behaviors and a mental illness (refer to definition as a legal term). There certainly are a large number of individuals where drug or alcohol use was either involved during a crime, while planning a crime, or was a motivator for the crime. I believe that it would be a grave error to put a chemical dependency disorder in the same category as a case of schizophrenia, or either of them in the same category as a marked case of bipolar disorder.

    We need to treat individuals with significant MH problems. If they are in prison, they need to be recognized and treated in prison. If they can be treated before they end up in prison, all the better. I am not convinced that serious MH problems are the cause of most violent crime. I believe most violent crime is caused by character deficits. These too can be treated, but are far less likely to be recognized. Those conditions are also egosyntonic, that is the individual likes being that way, so it much more difficult to get the internal motivation for change that is necessary for that change.

    Most areas now have drug court programs that afford criminals wth legal problems strongly related to drugs or alcohol an alternative to incarceration, if they so choose to do so. I've been working in the field 14 years. There have have been a small handful that were true sociopaths. Most of them are incarcerated. There have been far too many who've had significant sociopathic tendencies and that I am certain are a menace to the public, but there is nothing the system can do at this time to force the issue. If I were in a more urban area, I'm sure there would've been more. None of those that I can see that were dangerous to others were dangerous because of a serious MH disorder such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, delusional disorders, etc... They are dangerous because they have serious personality disorders. I've watched mental health professionals try to treat them with the same stong empathic, support type of approach like they do someone with the more traditional MH problems. Predators are expert at grooming and using. If they can, they do it with MH professionals, LEOs, the courts... The term con artist was coined for a reason. The worst kind of predators are exceptionally skilled and would make the best actors Hollywood ever put out look like amatures by comparison.

    There seems to be an assumption that if there is an increase in services provided that people with flock to them. Many people who would signficantly benefit from treatment do not take advantage of it as already available. As I explained it to a LEO once, the fact is, up until they are a danger, anyone has a right to be as crazy as a loon if they so choose. We can debate whether that right should be revoked at an earlier stage or not, but there are entities such as Protection and Advocacy that will come to battle to protect people's right from forced treatment as much as we do to those who seek to infringe our rights to bear arms.

    The original posts are valid in that they recognize the clear need for better MH service in the prison system and in the communities as well. The solution will require more staff, more training, and more funding. Our nation does not tend to put funding as a high priority unless short term economic return is noted. The wide term economic gain for a mentally healthier society is unquestionable. Unfortunately--where funding is concerned--it is a long term gain, not short.

  4. #33
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    ^+1!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mmwb View Post
    I also realize that some of the statements in other posts are in reference to the American Psyhiatric Association, an organization whose membership is composed of psychiatrists—ie, physicians. Theirs is a medical model. A model that works well for the treatment of medical conditions, but that alone is poor for long term improvements in MH problems.
    I confess to lumping psychiatrists and psychologists/psychotherapists together. The APA has a running battle to take over the "non-medical doctorate" professionals- this in itself is part of the problem, the branches have become increasingly cloistered and seregated. As with most care-models, "multi-disciplinary" is superior to "specialized", in context of medication-only vs. therapy-only.

    My criticism of the DSMV is that it is grossly subjective. Yes, it is a functional tool, but, dealing with mental states, it will by necessity lack the hard confines of medical diagnosis. This limitation is generally recognized, and legitimate professionals work with that understanding. The difficulty arises when approaching the disorder du-jour, aka, " We want to treat it but what can we call it?"

    Granted, my experience is more physically oriented, but if the psych conferences, establishing diagnostic models are like "ours",the criteria are usually set by the Biggest Mouth, from the Biggest Institute, with the Most Money. This does not always lead to the most advantageous diagnostic model. By and large, no different than the rampant "creative billing" by GP MDs.

    To the overall issue, and I may be overly simplistic here, but I see no deep understanding to be had. Regardless of whether or not an offender can be "typed", the bottom line is that they want to do what they do. This is repeated in interview after interview, in multiple studies (and personal interactions) with cons. They want to gratify greed, lust, or anger immediately. They do not wish to conform, and they enjoy taking from those who are conformist (aka, "The Man").

    If you look at the people around you, and ask, "What do they have that I would like, and how can I take it......?", you've got the mindset. Don't get creative, be cro-magnon in your "scenario", and pick the moment you would act. Scarey how easy it is to "do", few could stop you, few would try. Generally what seperates us is the pondering of consequences.....and maybe a little "character".

  5. #34
    Member Array mmwb's Avatar
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    You are on base. The highest professional-suicide rate is found in psychiatrists. MH professionals often have had their own demons to deal with. Most good training programs address this and spend as much time assuring that they are training professionals who will not cause harm as well as do some good. In fairness, I have known and had the pleasure working toward the care of mutual clients with a couple of exceptional psychiatrists. I am an adovocate of medical interventions for MH and some SA cases. There are a few psychiatrists that are excellant therapists themselves, but they seem to be few. There are some that think they are therapists and need to stick to writing prescriptions, and there are many that have not any training in therapy. All professions have their bad apples.



    "the bottom line is that they want to do what they do... They want to gratify greed, lust, or anger immediately. They do not wish to conform"

    I don't think that most realize how all of mankind falls some place on the same continuum. Most of us don't want to delay gratification, but do. Many that do things harmful to others (criminal or not), are less willing to delay gratification. Those that are truly dangerous are the ones who simply determine that they won't, no matter what! They are entitled and they will let noone stop them from what want right now. Those who they perceive that are threat they will destroy.

    There is always potential and those who make the best sheep dogs have the greatest potential to become a predator. That is why on tragic occasions, a sheep dog becomes a wolf. It is fortunate that it is rare.

  6. #35
    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    I maybe have a different perspective on this. My brother (who is now dead by his own hand) struggled with mental illness his whole life. He was a worst case combination of a genius intellect, a large and powerful physique and at times a violent unstable mind. He spent his short life in and out of state hospitals and jails.

    Every time he would be committed he told me that he'd be out in six months to a year. "I know how to make them think they've cured me" he would say. We'd try to warn the "experts", they never listened. He'd get out and be OK until a confrontation with authority and then all hell would break loose physically and mentally. The last time it took something like 12 LEO's to arrest him and he sent half of them in for medical treatment, he was unarmed. The chief prosecutor said they no longer wanted him in their prisons because he was so hard to control and when a prisoner started trouble with him, that prisoner went to the hospital.

    He was then committed again, supposedly for a long haul and he again convinced the shrinks he was healed (his favorite game) and 1 1/2 years later was in a halfway house from which he disappeared. We found what was left 6 months later in the woods.

    He could be an incredibly nice and charming guy. His intellect and intelligence was staggering. He once worked at a university as a maintenance man and started solving problems that the research PHD's were working on for them. I've seen him dance circles around college professors in their own field for fun. But he could also become a dangerous, violent, nearly unstoppable madman when "triggered". There is no easy answer for people like this or for us as a society. Yes, some could be treated, some cannot. Sadly in that day they had a vague idea of what was wrong but no way to treat him. They really didn't know what to do with him.

    You can be cold and callous or ridicule them but they are sick and they are human. They are somebodies child, somebodies sibling. We as a society have done an incredibly lousy job of finding solutions to the problem. Our society is more worried about PC, careers, ego's and populist politics then answering the hard questions. If our family had been listened to, the experts could have kept him in humane confinement, not prison. But the politics and "expert" doctors of the day kept ignoring the problem and trying to dispose of it on someone else. Thankfully, he never killed anyone. But I know there are some LEO's who wish they'd never met him. There's also civilians who made the mistake of picking a fight with him, they healed and maybe learned something about picking on big strange men. But in the end, the lack of a real solution meant no solution for him.

    We need to start addressing these problems as a society. Taking away some pistols, knives, slingshots won't prevent trouble from a disturbed individual. Pointing fingers and swapping blame won't help either. Ignoring it has worked wonders so far. This is a societal problem and some leader is going to need the guts to look for solutions. The training of mental health professionals may need to be examined and we need to use something besides prisons to deal with it.

    Sorry if I've carried on a bit, I seem to be venting a lot these days.
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

  7. #36
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    MMWB, Well said. And right on!

  8. #37
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    MMWB - I hadn't made any posts addressing you directly, I was speaking to INTJ with his prior queries.
    But thanks none the less for your comments and view from a professionals angle as it has been interesting to read.

    ElCruisr - I totally agree with your summation in paragraph 6.
    The bottom line is what it has been and we can definitely do more for those who do seek out aid on their own along with better support families that require aid for those amongst us who might do well with a helping hand and to do more with those we incarcerate than warehousing and teaching them skills such as woodworking, license plate manufacture, bodybuilding, and the inanities of probation & recidivism.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  9. #38
    Senior Member Array INTJ's Avatar
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    I might as well assume some more as I seem to be doing it quite well. Crimes do not occur as a result of persons with mental health disorders. Crimes occur due to lack of early detection, inteventions and treatments. Community awareness programs would offer the community the opportunity to address this and these issues prior to incarceration as opposed to trying to fix it once in the legal system.

    I realize you made no reference to crimes being based in mental health issues or the criminalization of them. By virtue of individuals with a mental disorder, being placed in penal institutions criminalizes them for their mental illness (another assumption of mine.) I added the comment concerning mental health issue/mental illness and firearms of my own volition as I feel strongly about it (sometimes its just to hard not to go chasing rabbits.)

    To sum up where we are at in this dialogue; ElCruiser proposes "training reviews of mental health professionals and prison alternatives." Mwb recommends "more staff, more training, and more funding." I have offered public awareness programs , early detection and adequate funding sources as a possible avenue to combat the current attitudes.

    I am interested in your new tack suggestions. Provide some concrete examples to "provide support, aid, and protection."
    Last edited by INTJ; April 26th, 2007 at 11:25 AM.
    "Beware of the man who only owns one gun. He probably knows how to use it."

  10. #39
    Member Array mmwb's Avatar
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    ELCruisr , I am truly sorry for the loss of your brother. Know one can know the anguish, second guessing, guilt.... of those who've lost someone close to them to suicide. Nor can most imagine the frustration and helplessness of dealing with a loved one with a serious MH condition who either does not accept help, or who does not respond. There are individuals for whom our profession is not yet at a point to be helpful.

    You can be cold and callous or ridicule them but they are sick and they are human. They are somebodies child, somebodies sibling. We as a society have done an incredibly lousy job of finding solutions to the problem. Our society is more worried about PC, careers, ego's and populist politics then answering the hard questions. If our family had been listened to, the experts could have kept him in humane confinement, not prison.
    These are absolutely important for all of us to understand. We all have to be careful, as we deal with even the most dangerous in our society, that we do not loose our ability to empathize. If we reach a point where we become "cold and callous or ridicule" then we ourselves are crossing over into a degree of sociopathy. A complete lack of empathy is a primary trait of a sociopath.

    ELCruisr's brother appears to be a classic example of an individual who had both a significant MH problem in the traditional sense of the word, and who also clearly had antisocial thinking. Fooling the professionals is classic. I often chuckle when Leno's read's police exerps about "dumb criminals", but the fact is there are many who are EXCEPTIONALLY intelligent. Really, what is more dangerous than a high degree of intelligence without either a moral inhibition or a willingness to delay or deny self gratification? I am greatful too that your brother never killed anyone else. Not just for his or potential victims' sakes, but for his family's sake as well.

    Sometimes the professionals aren't as fooled as they seem. The system is very restrictive and limited in what it can require of people. Most MH treatment facilities do not accept criminal populations. Those that do are often--in my limited experience--hardly better than prison. A lack of adequate staff and training ofter leads to a heavy regiment of medication as a behavior management solution. No matter how much the family or the professional recognizes an individual's danger potential or their need for treatment, there is no legal recourse to force treatment against their will.

    If I had a reasonable solution, I'd be working with my congressmen on seeing it through. I am a beleiver in protecting society and seeing that people get treatment they need, but I also am a strong believer in individual rights. We have to be careful about forcing treatment against people's will. Our legal sytem is weak on violent criminals, both by ignorance of some of those working in it, and by virtue of the restrictions put on them. The mental health field is generally weak on how to recognize and deal with the criminal mind. Ignorance can be dealt with. Constitutionality of law and individual rights bring in legal moral dilemas that are far more complex.

  11. #40
    Senior Member Array INTJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmwb View Post
    ...I am a beleiver in protecting society and seeing that people get treatment they need, but I also am a strong believer in individual rights. We have to be careful about forcing treatment against people's will...
    In an effort to comply with IG inspections we recently eliminated restraints and seclusion room doors. This might seem like a stride forward. In actuallity we are now defering admission to a more sedate and less aggressive population. I can only assume where that leaves the patients/residents presenting a safety hazard to themselves and others.
    "Beware of the man who only owns one gun. He probably knows how to use it."

  12. #41
    Ex Member Array dwolsten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmwb View Post
    I often chuckle when Leno's read's police exerps about "dumb criminals", but the fact is there are many who are EXCEPTIONALLY intelligent. Really, what is more dangerous than a high degree of intelligence without either a moral inhibition or a willingness to delay or deny self gratification?
    Yep, and a lot of these exceptionally intelligent criminals never even go to jail. They tend to go into jobs in business, with titles such as "CEO", or setting up pyramid schemes and the like. It's much more lucrative to avoid petty and/or violent crimes and instead go for large-scale financial schemes where shareholders or investors are lied to and swindled.

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