Comments about ‘'I am Adam Lanza's mother': Writer says it's time to talk about mental illness’

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Published: Monday, Dec. 17 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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Alfred
Ogden, UT

"Writer says it's time to talk about mental illness"

It's time to tell people not to have guns in their homes where a mentally ill person resides.

@Darrel:
"We don't arrest people for having strokes, so why should mental illness be any different?"

Stroke victims rarely if ever get guns and shoot people. The mentally ill are more inclined... especially if there are guns present and they are taught how to use them.

@JoeBlow:
"Adults that leave loaded guns unlocked and accessible to children should be prosecuted if the child hurts themselves or someone else."

There are very few times that a determined child can't get access to a gun regardless of how well it's locked up.

@JMHO:
"The person who did this crime was an adult.

Yeah, but he was a child at one time... and likely displayed tell-tale characteristics. The problem is, the making of guns available.

runnerguy50
Virginia Beach, Va

Americans screaming for the govnt to solve these issues are being simplistic. The govnt cannot solve every problem. The real question is why are we having such issues with our young men ? America did not have these issues at this level years ago.

Some of these kids shouldnt be in school but what do you with kids where both parents work or a one parent family ?
Part of me wonders if some of these boys would be better off working on a farm all day with a stern male.

Have these kids ever been hiking 20 miles and camping out under the stars ?
Not everyone is happy growing up in surburbia. I dont have the answers thats for sure but I wish these parents well.

Bomar
Roberts, ID

CT98,
The Lanza guy did not have an assault rifle. He did the shooting with handguns and had a Bushmaster in the trunk of the car that was not used. Also, a Bushmaster is not an assault rifle. If one of those teachers or administrators had a gun the situation would have been far different.

UGradBYUfan
Snowflake, AZ

As was stated in this article, there really does need to be some better options for the treatment of mentally ill individuals. I have watched helplessly as my older brother went through the mental "care" system over the past 48 years.

My brother is 60 years old and has been in a State Hospital or Long-term care facility since he was 12 years old. He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was 10 years old. After being in the hospital for a time, he was sent on a bus to Los Angeles when he was 18 yrs old, because of Ronald Regan's policies on releasing mental patients during the 70's. He reentered the State hospital two days later when he became violent. He was sent to Atascadero State Hospital for the criminally insane after he started lighting various objects on fire. I have been told by case workers about him being taken advantage of by unscrupulous caretakers and sexual predators that were in Atascadero State Hospital as well as Camarillo State Hospital. My dad died back in 1976 and there is no way that my 5' 1" mother could have handled my brother.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

I have dealt with students who have mental illnesses, especially schizophrenia, and it does scare you to death. We simply have to get a handle on diagnosing and treating such individuals and as a bare minimum making sure they can't harm innocent people.

bkcharles
Snowflake, AZ

Part II
I saw the results of the abuse on my brothers body when we visited him. He didn't deserve what he got, but we had no way of being able to afford a better care facility, nor could we have him at home.

Can you imagine putting your 12 year old boy in a State Hospital? Is that humane? But that was what my parent's choice was. Now instead of putting the mentally ill in the mental hospital they are kept in the homes with families that have little or no support, unless the child commits a crime, then they are put in prisons

It is said that the measure of a society is how they treat those that are the most vulnerable.

For those of you that are arguing against government intervention, my question is: give me some reasonable alternative. The private sector hasn't helped out yet, and it doesn't seem likely they will.

JayTee
Sandy, UT

I hear about these cases frequently, but society is still reluctant to use the "hot stove" rule. No matter how gifted or retarded or atypical a person is, they will only touch a hot stove one time--maybe twice if they're really slow. But they won't do it repeatedly unless they're fully psychotic, because it burns every single time. It doesn't care what you say or what you think--it just burns. If people got that kind of reaction from their environment, then regardless of the availability of sophisticated so-called therapy, their behavior would change. But we're too civilized for that, right? Or are we just too willing to complicate the obvious instead of doing something logical?

JayTee
Sandy, UT

It's always easy to blame the tool instead of the problem. Did anyone propose banning airplanes after the Twin Towers were hit? If this kid had poured gasoline down the school chimney, would we be talking about banning fuel? We need to start talking about the root cause, and the root cause is the perpetrator, not the tool. Is that too hard to figure out?

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

I really appreciate this woman's story. It is very heart wrenching.

It's not that I take any issue with her experience but somewhat with her analysis.

With Lanza he was a deeply troubled individual yes, but he was also very introverted, the opposite of her son. Klebold and Harris shared some of these same attributes somewhat but in their case two deeply troubled souls in this large school "found" each other and created a sick relationship.

We need to be careful with boys and the internet and boys and video games. I have even enjoyed video games at times in my life I confess. But I think this is not a good activity/outlet overall. I think boys need to be doing sports, engaged in artistic pursuits, engaged in the outdoors, engaged in hard work and engaged in service. And playing wii sports is much different than doing some of these extremely violent video games. Combine anti-social behavior, deep alienation, obsession with the Internet/video games and trouble is more likely to brew. It is not a cure all what I'm suggesting but just simply bettering the odds.

deej247
LITCHFIELD PARK, AZ

This article is so true. Having a son with mental health problems and never getting the help needed has torn our family apart. He now lives on the street or in homeless shelters. Only hope is for divine intervention on his behalf as all other interventions have failed. Mental illness is so misunderstood and there are really no good options especially when that child is now and adult.

Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT

@Darrel:
@Alfred

"We don't arrest people for having strokes, so why should mental illness be any different?"

Stroke victims rarely if ever get guns and shoot people. The mentally ill are more inclined... especially if there are guns present and they are taught how to use them.

=========================

I absolutely agree with you, however, the point was to help these individuals. Teach them proper coping skills, give them medication they need. We as a society need to lose the stigma that exists with mental illness. We fear what we don't understand, and most people don't understand something as simple as depression.

We feel like we are forced to wait until something bad happens before we can treat it.

We give flu shots to prevent the flu, we wash our hands to prevent the spread of illness, we encourage people to get an annual physical, why not encourage everyone to see a psychiatrist for a mental check up yearly? I can guarantee that Adam Lanzas had problems going back way farther than a year.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

re:Bomar
Lanza, 20, fired a Bushmaster .223 semiautomatic rifle to kill many of the 20 children and six adults at the school Friday, Connecticut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance said.

Lasvegaspam
Henderson, NV

Here's a story closer to home than Connecticut. Any of you recall the stabbing death just last month of Zita Guodis, age 58, by her bi-polar 36-year-old daughter that occurred at their rental home in Cottonwood Heights? Do you recall that the mother had begged a local judge for "help". He suggested a protective order, which she said would not work. She was right! The daughter, Airida, told investigators that she’d gone off her medication, and that when she did, “bad things” would happen. And, imagine this, there were no guns involved, yet murder still occurred.

How much longer should families have to struggle with members who need mental health treatment, but won’t or can’t obtain it?

CA. reader
Rocklin, CA

I see no mention of a father. Are the three kids siblings or half-siblings? At the risk of being non-PC here, I think this is part of the pattern that is seldom if ever brought to light by the media.

I do mean to condemn this lady, but what choices has she made that has led to his child's behaviour? I am a little old fashioned too. Has this youngster ever been spanked? Sadly enough, a sudden surprise swat or two to the butt can go a long way to heading off this kind of behaviour down the road.

Choices bring consequences. As we are often reminded, we can make choices but we cannot choose the inevitable results. They are often times predictable.

WillTheWolf
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

I think #Leopard is on to something. The disintegration of the traditional American Family is certainly part of the overall issue as it seems that each time there is a shooting . . . a broken or dysfunctional home is part of the perpetrator's background; but the MSM won't talk about that because they're agenda is focused on guns.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"There are very few times that a determined child can't get access to a gun regardless of how well it's locked up."

Most kids I know can open a drawer with ease. I have yet to see one who could pick a safe.

They may get access to a gun, but it wont be my gun.

Lasvegaspam
Henderson, NV

For us Latter-day Saints, let us be aware of the reality that Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Restoration, and his wife Emma, an Elect Lady, had a child who suffered from mental illness. Their youngest son David Hyrum, born five months after Joseph’s martyrdom, grew up free from its stranglehold, but was struck down by it in his early 20’s. His symptoms would today be diagnosed as schizophrenia, which today we know onsets for many during young adulthood. David Hyrum Smith ended up living out the last 30 years of his life in an asylum for the insane near Chicago.

We must recognize that mental illness exists and is no different than physical illness. De-stigmatization of it must occur also. During Mental Illness Awareness Week this past October I read that 25% of the population will struggle with mental illness, at some time in their lives; ranging from things like schizophrenia all the way to ADHD. Based on friends and family in my life, this number appears to be accurate. Why must this be such a silent struggle?

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Let me also add that if you cannot find a way to keep your guns from getting into the hands of "determined" children, then you have no business owning guns in the first place.

Gun ownership carries with it, a responsibility. People need to consider what that entails before purchasing a firearm.

I bought the safe before I bought the guns.

Mr. Bean
Ogden, UT

@Bomar:
"If one of those teachers or administrators had a gun the situation would have been far different.

Could be, but here's how I visualize that scenario... The gun would need to be locked up for fear that some student would find and use it. And if it were locked up, I can see the teacher fumbling in his/her desk drawer or purse for the key, all the while bullets are flying, some perhaps even hitting hem/her. Or everyone would forget where they put it with teacher turnover, etc.

Gosh-DUH
Burlington, CT

To Bomar, there was a lot of incorrect information early on. The 20 children and 6 women were all shot multiple times, 3-11 times each. Lanza used a handgun to kill himself. The shotgun was in the trunk of his mother's car; he drove her car to the school after shooting his mother 4 times in the head.

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- Adam Lanza used a semiautomatic Bushmaster .223 rifle during his rampage through Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, firing dozens of high-velocity rounds as he killed 20 children and six adults, authorities said Sunday.

Lanza, 20, carried "many high-capacity clips" for the lightweight military-style rifle, Lt. Paul Vance, a spokesman for the Connecticut State Police, told The Huffington Post in an email. Two handguns and a shotgun were also recovered at the scene.

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