The Batman Massacre; Mental Illness?

I’ve tried, for the last few hours (since waking up) to write something, but my morning has been engulfed by report after report on the tv.

By now I’m sure you’ve heard about the shooting that occurred overnight in Colorado at the midnight showing of the latest Batman film. If you haven’t, turn on the television -I know it is being talked about here on (literally) every channel.

As I’ve watched the reactions from folks I know in Colorado, people on facebook, twitter, and the like I have began feeling overwhelmed with the anger and sadness that spans the country.

All I seem to be able to think about, though, is what must have been going through the head of the young man that did this.

Could mental illness be a factor here?

I mean, there have already been reports by witnesses that said he claimed he was the Joker, which is exactly the sort of delusional claim I would expect from someone who would commit a crime like this.

And this is what tends to upset me, because I know that doesn’t change what he did, but I think it should change the way we look at it.

I also know that many people who begin having problems with mental health are terrified to seek help because of the way mental illness is perceived in our country. If that was the case here, and that fear is what created an avalanche of issues that triggered this event, I think we all have something to regret.

I know this is all speculation at this point, but this is straight where my thoughts have gone.

I think each and every one of us has a responsibility to seek help if we become emotionally overwhelmed or notice changes in our mental health.

In the long run, that one step may save the lives of ourselves or others.

3 responses to “The Batman Massacre; Mental Illness?

  1. I was just reading yesterday about a smaller shooting at a bar in Alabama, so waking up to hear about this today was just a double whammy. I have the same reaction to these things as you described. I’m sad & angry, & hurting for the victims & their families, but also curious about the shooter’s mental state & very sympathetic for him.

    We live in very stressful times what with the economy & jobs & homes being lost, etc etc etc. People are losing their entire identities, losing their insurance which means people who have been getting mental health treatment may not be able to access it any longer. Couple that with massive cutbacks to mental health funding & we are really looking at a recipe for these sorts of things, which we have been seeing with increasing frequency.

    One of the big controversies right now in Alabama is they have decided to save money by closing all the state mental hospitals & push all those residents to the communities, communities with no means to adequately care for them, especially since they have made huge cutbacks to already struggling mental health budgets & on top of that mid-year prorating that effectively means double the cutbacks for the rest of this fiscal year.

    I think what makes these situations worse, for me, is that nobody cares when you point out the connections between these events & lack of respect/funding for mental healthcare. It’s just look at what one of those nuts did this time & it becomes a new reason for mental illness to hide deeper in the closet.

  2. I hate it when I hear “bipolar disorder” bandied about in the media. When the Virginia Tech massacre happened, I asked my therapist about it. She said it was likely Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I just googled “malignant narcissism,” and from the little I know about Holmes, his actions seem to fit this condition.

    I suffer from Bipolar II, and I have a sister who most likely has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, so I am pretty informed about mental illness. My sister has physically and verbally attacked me, spread lies, managed to turn my extended family against me (I can only imagine the things she might have said to them.) She is extremely bright and a master manipulator, but also very sick. That being said, my heart breaks for Holmes’ victims, but also for his family.

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