Monday’s exhaustive report on the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School included new details about shooter Adam Lanza’s world: his favorite video games, his preoccupation with guns, the peculiarities of his life with his mother. The appendix to the report also included pictures of everything from the broken glass where Lanza entered the school to the garbage bags covering the windows in the disturbed young man’s room. The images are stirring, but not graphic; they reveal the sad, solitary life of the man who murdered 20 children, 6 teachers, his mother and himself almost one year ago.
There is very little help for parents with children with mental illness. The mental health safety net in this nation is close to non existent since Reagan put them all out on the streets because he de-funded everything for them. Police wind up dealing with them a lot but they do it very badly and at great risks to themselves.
I had a son that suffered from major depressive disorder with psychosis and committed suicide. I had had major depression too but got better and hoped that would work for him. He had been in and out of mental hospitals maybe 7 times first in a fairly short time period. They don't keep them for many reasons. But when they are out you go crazy with worry. I remember hiding all the knives in the house as he had been suicidal.
He had the best medical insurance in the state of Iowa (where he was at school) but it was all used up fairly quickly and there were no services available in our state for him publicly - long waiting lists and no funding. Since Obamacare and recently mental health insurance has improved a little but not much. Most of the community mental health groups thought the only important thing was getting him public assistance income but it wasn't the most important thing to me or him. It was saving his life and making him functional in society to me and to him allowing him to fit in somewhere and be of some value. Even the workers had little understanding of the profound desperation related to suicide. My son was a very sweet person and very gentle and kind and at no time was he a threat to anyone but himself. Although I can see if some of these cases go on and on that the victim of this illness can get to feel desperate, isolated and furious at the world in general as they are just shunted aside as garbage.
I can tell you I'd rather have most any medical illness over a mental one. The public is largely ignorant about these diseases and unconcerned.The medical understanding of these illnesses is rudimentary. They are still even trying to establish an actual blood test to verify what they have (they don't have those yet). From what I saw the solutions could be the following: 1) give them care, medications, psychotherapy and support initially, 2) if they are not able to function where they were, remove them and within a few weeks have them in a supervised work therapy program where they can earn their income, 3) evaluate and if enough progress is made return them to regular life if they improve significantly 4) continue support and monitoring as needed.