Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Dr Phil explains it all

Dr Phil was on Larry King last night, and in an amazing feat of diagnosis told us all why someone would kill 30 people in cold blood.
DR. PHIL: Well, Larry, every situation is different… The question really is can we spot them. And the problem is we are programming these people as a society. You cannot tell me - common sense tells you that if these kids are playing video games, where they’re on a mass killing spree in a video game, it’s glamorized on the big screen, it’s become part of the fiber of our society. You take that and mix it with a psychopath, a sociopath or someone suffering from mental illness and add in a dose of rage, the suggestibility is too high.
And we’re going to have to start dealing with that. We’re going to have to start addressing those issues and recognizing that the mass murders of tomorrow are the children of today that are being programmed with this massive violence overdose.

As a non-psychologist, I would have guessed that the reason someone massacres a bunch of innocent people is that they are batshit crazy. What do I know?

Thankfully, Dr. Phil has explained it all to me, and I know that it is stuff like this clip that turned an innocent boy into a monster.



Thrillhous said...

Definitely a jackass, but that clip was pretty funny. What was it from?

InanimateCarbonRod said...

It's the opening scene in Scary Movie 4. If you want to see the whole scene, it's posted here.

Andrea said...

I've got to weigh in on this one since I do have some training in this area. What Dr Phil is saying about violent video games and movies is way off base. If it were true, then these types of shootings would happend daily if not hourly. The point he does get right is that it takes someone with psychopathic tendencies to do these types of things. The only way to rehab these types of people is early identification (elementary school) and put an entire system around them. Tutoring, therapy, home interventions, solid foster care with children in abuse situations, etc. That means our society would have to put our focus on PREVENTION, which is something we do not do- look at the criminalization of drug addiction and the broken health care system as evidence.

S.W. Anderson said...

There is a valid case to be made that as a people we're desensitized to violence to an unhealthy degree. Graphic violence in media, sensationalized violence in news and glorified violence in entertainment, internalized over years, alter attitudes. Too many Americans shrug off things considered unthinkable and unacceptable in other societies.

Healthy people can and obviously do handle it without harming others. Unfortunately, not all of us are that healthy.

I've written posts about the false economy, the insanity, really, of our nationwide policy of doing everything possible to avoid putting dangerously abnormal people in institutions, for society's protection and their own protection. Instead, we send them off with pills. Some get some counseling. Too often, they run out of pills or quit taking them, run out of counseling sessions or quit going.

They're reporting today Cho Seung-Hui was in court a year before the slayings. A judge found him seriously mentally ill, a danger to society. Instead of institutionalizing him, the judge cheaped out, mainstreamed Cho. And the rest, as they say, is history.

It's probably not all the judge's fault. There was probably no proper place to put Cho. No budget.

These things keep happening. There are more Cho's out there, and for every one of them, others know they're dangerous, know they ought to be confined and treated in a mental institution. Too often, those others are in the law enforcement and criminal justice systems, because those are our mental health care systems of last resort.

The thing about jails and prisons is that they serve to make the mentally ill more dangerous when they get out. And because they're jails and prisons, not mental institutions, when their sentences are up, they do get out.

All of this makes our society a relatively high-risk proposition. If you're lucky, it's great. You're spared the expense of helping pay for proper care and treatment of the folks who are "bat shit crazy."

A whole lot of people at Virginia Tech and their loved ones ran out of luck Monday. I wonder what they'd be willing to pay for others' mental health care if only time could be rolled back and the killings could be undone. I bet it would be a lot, enough to treat a lot of Cho's.

Smitty said...

Michigan is facing a current fiscal year deficit of over $800 million, and starting next fiscal year we face a $2 billion deficit. Part of the reason is that Michigan's tax structure focuses on an industry that is no longer the biggest piece of the pie: manufacturing. Another part is that years of tax cut after tax cut...12 years of tax cuts...97 tax cuts in all...have drained too much money from the budget.

So now we are faced with having to change our tax structure and somehow increase revenues. We can't cut any more. $21 million is about to be cut from community mental health programs in Detroit. Providers that perform substance abuse service are getting 3/4 of their budget slashed.

And on one side of the aisle, you've got plenty of folks who insist that we can still cut ourselves out of this deficit. We can still tighten our belts. Every program in ever budget can "experience a little pain" to get through this.

I say this because, like S.W.A., there's no longer any money for essential services, including mental health services. We may have to release upwards of 5,000 prisoners to balance the budget. People who, for lack of treatment, are incarcerated rather than helped.

Cho is just the tip of the iceberg.