Mental Illness and School Shootings: updated

I was going to write a blog on the latest school shooting that occurred in Florida last week.

Instead I’m going to touch on a subject that is often put on the back burner, “Mental Illness” and incorporate these facts into the recent school shootings.

For the past 9 years I have worked in a psychiatric and mental health facility. I have worked with adults and children with several different mental health disorders. I have watched countless children and teens being admitted on a daily basis. Most of them suffer from depression, anxiety and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) mainly coming from bad parenting, mean kids at school, and self-image problems.

These attacks may seem random and for no reason, however there can be many contributing factors into why a individual may commit such a violent act.

The footage you will see is from a students snap chat account, this video may be disturbing to some viewers. Discretion is advised. 

Video provided by New York Times, Filming a rampage, raw video.

The boy Nikolas Cruz 19-year-old male who killed 17 people at the school in Florida, lost his adoptive mother back in November of 2017. He was placed in the foster care system and paired with a family who son had previously befriended Cruz at school. I currently don’t know the facts of Cruz mental health status however I do understand the unfortunate circumstances a boy faces after losing a parent and being sent to live with a family and starting a new life. Someone must have really hurt this kid emotionally in the past for him to be so damaged at 19 years old.

It’s often difficult to say rather or not a teenager is troubled, most of them hide pain very well. Unfortunately, sometimes these kids act out on all the bottled pain in an unhealthy way. Either by hurting themselves, or other people. These facts are pure grounds for an individual to get treatment in a psychiatric facility either by voluntarily being admitted or involuntary. Either way someone who thinks about harming others with no rhyme or reason needs psychiatric help.

Some people might say that mental illness is not the problem here, however we are talking about the brain. A damaged brain can make us do things we wouldn’t normally do and can sometimes take us out of character. People with schizophrenia hears voices, sometimes these voices tell the individual to do something. They can even convince them that what they are being told is the right thing.

Not everyone can handle abuse the same as others, and not every kid has the support system as everyone else. I’ve talked to mentally ill kids that had to deal with both sexual and physical abuse mainly by a member of their family or a bully in the school. These disgusting acts of abuse causes kids and teens to feel lost, ashamed become depressed over time. They may never discuss what they went through because they are too ashamed to talk about it. Boys are less likely to tell someone about abuse because they think it makes them look weak.

I do think we need stronger gun laws, however I strongly believe that the U.S Government has failed its people when it comes to mental illness. There are just not enough effective and strong facilities in the U.S to help these people overcome their illness. There are too many sick people in the world and not enough resources to help them.

This incident is just another reason why we need better mental health care, and why it’s important to check in with people who has suffered at the hands of mental illness