Connecticut

16 Dec

First and foremost…I am heartbroken for all those suffering after Friday’s inexplicably horrible events. My prayers go out to everyone effected, directly or indirectly. I just can’t imagine their pain.

Now, just like in the Colorado shooting last summer, people are speculating that the shooter was autistic  (in addition to other things). I wrote a post when people suspected the Colorado shooter was autistic, which you can read here.

Here’s a blurb from that post that I’d like to re-iterate in light of the Newtown horror.

Not every person “lacking empathy”, as some say, is autistic! Not every socially isolated person is autistic!!

Don’t take my word for it…let the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) speak for itself!

Mental illnesses with lacking empathy as a symptom:

1. Narcissistic Personality Disorder 301.81

2. Antisocial Personality Disorder 301.7

Mental illnesses with social isolation as a symptom:

1. Schizoid Personality Disorder 301.20

2. Schizotypal Personality Disorder 301.22

3. Avoidant Personality Disorder 301.82

Actual (abridged) criteria for Autistic Disorder:

I. (A) qualitative impairment in social interaction (In the description it gives the following examples: not actively participating in simple social play or games, preferring solitary activities.) <——Notice it does not say “murdering people”

(B) qualitative impairments in communication

(C) restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities

II. Delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with onset prior to age 3 years:

(A) social interaction (B) language as used in social communication (C) symbolic or imaginative play”

Now, that’s not to say that this Connecticut man didn’t have autism. I never met the guy! I have no idea if he did or not. But, in this case, autism would be co-morbid with some other diagnosis (such as a personality disorder, which the media has also already identified as the case).  In addition, it’s very likely psychosis played a huge role in this as well.

I  know parents are going to be up in arms over the media even mentioning the word “autism” in the same sentence as this massacre. The truth is, maybe he was autistic! That really isn’t the issue though. This man was clearly severely mentally ill, likely with several untreated, or under-treated,  diagnoses.

I got into the mental health field out of a passion for understanding how people become who they become, and a desire to help people become well. This world is so broken… So many people suffer from mental illness. This isn’t the platform for me to share all my thoughts on this…but for a moment can we all just stop fighting? Whether you’re pro-guns, or anti-guns, whether you’re Christian or atheist, whether you believe in mental illness or not, whether you’re terrified your autistic child is now stereotyped as a potential killer or not, whether you’re Republican or Democrat, whether you’re man or woman, or blue collar or white collar, or angry or sad or a little bit of everything….. can we remember what makes us all the same, rather than focusing on what makes us different? Let us love one another. Your words and actions are such powerful tools…do you know all the power they possess? Please don’t make them weapons, even towards those you think so deserve it.

One thing we can all agree on is that the victims of Friday’s shooting did not deserve this…and their families are experiencing pain and suffering only few people can understand.

Newtown-CT-Memorial

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2 Responses to “Connecticut”

  1. Wicked Emerald December 19, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    Excellent blog and not just because I agree with every word; clear, concise, with references. Terrific.

    • angelina258 December 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

      Thank you, what a nice comment! I appreciate it.

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