Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Arizona Shooting From A Schizophrenic's Perspective

As someone who lives with schizophrenia, it's quite apparent to me that Jared Loughner also has it. I've been keeping my mouth shut about this whole affair, but I must admit that I do feel a great deal of sympathy for him when I think about the fact that this whole thing might have been avoided if we had better health care resources in this country and this young man could have received the sort of help that he obviously needed. I'm really, really blessed to have an excellent and loving support system that helps to keep me grounded during those times when I need it. I've never hurt anyone, even when my condition was at its worst (my symptoms are generally only brought on by certain medication­s), but I can't help thinking,

"There but for the grace of God, go I."

I have no illusions about what's going to happen to Loughner. In all likelihood, his mental state will not be considered when his sentence is handed down--and make no mistake about it, this guy will be found guilty. It's a shame though, because locking him up or even executing him will do nothing to prevent incidents like this from happening again.

Most people with schizophrenia don't hurt anyone. We often end up being a danger to ourselves, but few ever go out and harm others. However, the recent Arizona shooting shows that this doesn't really matter to most people.

When we are dirty, homeless, and mentally declining, we are laughed at and avoided or ignored and despised. When we are found dead on the streets or in some god-forsaken shelter, we are usually pitied and then forgotten. But, when our mental state abrades the orderly functions of (neuro-typical) society, suddenly there is outrage. People become indignant about the fact that folks like us are allowed to walk the streets. Well, whose fault is it that so many schizophrenics are to be found walking the streets? Are all of us out there because we want to be? Are all of us dealing with untreated symptoms by choice?

Do you want to know why the Arizona shooting occurred? It's because we are living in a society where people refuse to take responsibility for the well-being of their fellow citizens. Lately, there have been a lot of folks who seem to think that having a society where we all just take care of our own needs sounds like a pretty nifty idea. Okay, fine. However, you really can't complain when someone who you think is "not quite sane" starts believing that what they need is to blow something up or fire their gun, sending a spray of bullets across a room full of people. That's the price of not giving a damn about anyone but yourself.


Rootietoot said...

For once,I completely agree with you. As a person who's "crazy" (bipolar disorder) I cringe when "normal" people start throwing around nastiness about locking all them crazy people up so this won't happen..when what's needed is the same understanding and care for mental illness that we have for stuff like diabetes and heart disease. Many years ago, my mother in law (who does not know of my disorder) announced loudly to the room that all crazy people should be sterilized and if they had children, those kids should be taken away from them. Naturally my husband and I decided right then that she would *never* know of it. Until society gets over the idea than mental illness is a character flaw,and actually recognizes that it is a real, organic dsiease, not much will care or not. The stigma is too great.

Jerry said...

I agree and disagree. IMO, Loughner became
schizophrenic after using the crystal version
of salvia. I have no experience with it but I've
heard it is readily available and can be toxic.
It was mentioned in the press he took salvia
and was high 24/7.

IMO also, since salvia is a hypnotic I ask
the question, what was he using as a
stimulant to get himself up?
My guess is anabolic steroids or
more likely meth. I know next
to nothing about them but they are easily

Keep up the good work on your blog.
I used to think I had SCZ. Fortunately,
I was wrong.