Report finds Breivik to be insane (Norway Attacks)

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by iStudentUK, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

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    #1
    I'm sure we all know of the terrible attacks in Norway this year, but two psychiatrists assessing Breivik have agreed he is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia (BBC).

    I can't say I'm surprised at this, but I am surprised and saddened by the reaction of some people online. Some are still calling for his imprisonment or execution (despite Norway not executing people!).

    Personally, if someone is truely insane to the point where their grasp on relaity is such that they really can't be responsible for their own actions then surely custody in a mental hospital is the correct option? Some people are so far gone that we may never be able to cure them, but surely we should try? There's an enormous difference between someone choosing to kill and someone who has little or no grasp on reality.

    (I doubt any of us know enough about the case, or are qualified, to say whether he was insane at the time or not, but the issue still stands.)
     
  2. Daffodil macrumors 6502

    Daffodil

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    #2
    I have rather little doubt that he'll spend the rest of his life locked up, one way or the other. The form, of course, is now likely to be a high-security mental institution of sorts, rather than a prison.

    I think calls for his execution are outrageous, and should he recover sufficiently from his mental illness, I suppose there is some possibility of his release many years down the line. But that seems unlikely, imo...
     
  3. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

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    #3
    Anyone can claim mental illness after committing heinous crimes, it's an easy way out. Do you honestly believe he should be released many years down the line if some psychiatrists say he's "recovered"?
     
  4. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #4
    Their is a large difference between claiming it and have medical professional deem him as having a medical illness. Mental illnesses's are real medical issues, which cause people to act and think in a way which is highly irrational.

    While I'm not a medical professional, his writing certainly sounds like an individual who may not be on stable mental group. It would be unreasonable for medical professional not to consider if he has an illness and if that illness would explain why he acted in the way he did.

    Although I agree, some people try to use mental illness to avoid prison. But given the state of the US prison system, I hardly blame them. But punishing those with mental illnesses because other try to use them as a scapegoat is not the solution. Having a prison system that actually deals with the issues what caused the crimes in the first place is the reasonable approach.

    But hey, their is money to be made in prisons, so why create a system where criminals can reenter society when they are released(job training, therapy to deal with issue why they ended up in jail to begin with, etc) when we could create a system where once you have been in prison once, it's that much harder to create a successful live and avoid going back. **

    **I'm talking about the US prison industrial complex, I don't know much about the prison system of Norway



    As for the original post, I'm glad that Norway does not kill it's prisoners and I hope the professionals there can help him, although schizophrenia is a terrible illness and very difficult to deal with. While it doesn't make what he did ok, it does explain why he did it and make vengeance on our part all the more wrong.
     
  5. iStudentUK thread starter macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

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    #5
    Well said. Breivik has the right to claim any number of defences if he wishes, doesn't mean they will all work!

    I'm not even sure if Breivik himself claims to be insane, it appears in his mind his actions seem quite rational. Instead two psychiatrists who are professionals have come to that conclusion.

    If he is genuinely ill and is later genuinely cured then yes he should be released. However, this seems unlikely, many people sadly can't be cured.
     
  6. torbjoern, Nov 29, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011

    torbjoern macrumors 65816

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    #6
    There's a mob mentality also known as "solidarity" which calls for either imprisonment or execution. The former will be against the law IF the report holds (it's up for evaluation by nine other psychiatrists) and the latter is out of question anyway. It's too late to change the law after the crime has been committed, and diagnoses like paranoid schizophrenia are grounds of impunity according to Norwegian law.

    I trust that the final result of the evaluation will be in accordance with the truth. I also trust that Anders Behring Breivik will be locked up as long as it's necessary in order to protect society. So what will happen if ABB recovers from his delusions during treatment (which btw he will be forced to undergo if declared insane)? Will he remain locked up by being transferred to a prison, or not? This has allegedly happened in some rare cases. A part of me hopes that he will, but the law is complex at this point.

    Everyone has the right to a fair trial, regardless of what he or she is being charged with. I would never defend Breivik, but I do want Norway to maintain rule of law. If the result of a fair trial is wrong, they have to change the law.
     
  7. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #7
    Paranoid schizophrenia

    " should he recover sufficiently from his mental illness, I suppose there is some possibility of his release many years down the line. "

    Is not a disease one recovers from I'm afraid. I watched a very close friend deteriorate over several years until he was eventaually incarcerated (sectioned) because he was a danger to himself and to others.

    This man exhibited all the classic symptoms of chronic mental illness, and to call for his death, no matter how sad, grief stricken and hell bent on revenge the parents / brothers / sisters of the poor souls he killed may feel, condemning him to death serves no purpose whatsoever.

    He is living in a different, almost parallel universe, and has no concept of righter wrong. Simply voices in his mind driving him on.

    He will spend the rest of his life in an institution, heavily sedated, and in his own private hell.

    He will have no understanding of punishment, regret or remorse of any kind.

    I spent a long time working with such patients, they were glad to get off the ward for an hour or so...Had no concept of anything else.
     
  8. Gelfin macrumors 68020

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    #8
    It would be much harder than you think to consistently fake a specific severe mental illness.
     
  9. Daffodil macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Yeah, he himself never claimed insanity, but the more than 200-pg court-ordered report based on 36 hours of interviews with psychiatrists did. Like I said, I have doubts that he'll ever be released, if nothing else, then his release will be stopped under the umbrella of "public safety," or something like that..

    And if this indeed is the case with paranoid schizophrenics, then the probability of his release seems even smaller.
     
  10. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #10
    It Is

    I worked as a physiotherapist in a hospital here in the UK. My wife worked with me, but certain patients were simply not permitted to be in her company because they had issues with women.

    Once a week, I (and several well built male nurses( would escort them in small groups three or four at a time, from the locked ward, 100 metres to a small gym facility in the hospital grounds.

    For 45 minutes they would follow a programme of exercise directed by me. The most abiding memory (and this was decades ago) was the blank stares...And the eyes.

    They simply were not there at all. A few minutes of exercise would bring a little grin from time to time.

    Once returned to the secure unit, they were once again medicated and sat in front of a television set.

    I''m not going to moralise about the rights and wrongs of this.....I was simply doing a job, and I hope that some small benefit was passed on to them. Many taxpayers would suggest that humane execution would be a better solution, but I will leave that one for others to debate.

    These people are detached completely from reality as you and I understand it. They can never be "Integrated" into society.....It's been tried before with disastrous consequences. It's the lack of ability to feel any sense of remorse or regret that singles out the worst form of mental illness a human being can suffer.
     
  11. Heilage macrumors 68030

    Heilage

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    #11
    I highly doubt that he'll ever see freedom.

    Come on, think about it. The man really thinks he's the Commander of the Knights Templar. Most of the stuff he rants on about is probably only in his head.


    Some part of me still wants him to sit in a dark room for the rest of his life, in complete solitude. But that's not very rational.
     
  12. mcrain macrumors 68000

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    #12
    What if he said God told him to run for president?
     
  13. Heilage, Nov 29, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011

    Heilage macrumors 68030

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    #13
    Actually, people who say "God told me to..." aren't held in high regard over here.
     
  14. mcrain macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Ok, what if he said Odin told him to.
     
  15. Heilage macrumors 68030

    Heilage

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    #15
    Then we all yell "Hail Odin!" and board our longships, headed for England!
     
  16. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #16
    as far as the easy way out, not sure that spending the rest of your life in a high-security mental institution with other criminal psychopaths and the sort will qualify as a particularly easy way out, especially for a 'normal' person.
     
  17. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

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    #17
    It Might Not Seem Rational

    But that is pretty much what will happen to him. The "Dark Room" being provided by powerful medication. He will not notice his isolation, at least not in the way that you or `i would, His thoughts will be largely flattened by the regime of medication.
     
  18. torbjoern macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Breivik has now been informed about the report, and he was offended about its conclusion (albeit not surprised). I knew he would be - because who would write a 1500-page manifesto prior to a shooting spree, only to have his credibility ruined by the stigma of mental illness? Wasn't the alleged islamophobia enough? And what will happen to the martyrdom he anticipated?
    I do not expect anyone to be rational in this case at the current point, except for those who are involved in the investigation and the trial. Keeping him in life-long, solitary confinement will probably be necessary for the protection of society. Nothing irrational in that.

    The lust for revenge is irrational, but its implications in a given case are not necessarily wrong either. Fortunately, we have a legal system to take care of such things.
     
  19. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

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    #19
    Here's a face he will get to know and love. :D
     

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  20. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

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    #20
    I Fear Not

    The nurses that deal with these chronic patients are almost exclusively male, 6 foot plus, and ripped. I have had the misfortune of seeing 3 of them hold down a patient in order to administer medication.

    Locked doors, kept well away from the rest of humanity. My point really was that he won't see it that way, I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if he wrote a book.
     
  21. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #21
    This thread is interesting because of the complete lack of understanding when it comes to paranoid schizophrenia.

    Not everyone who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia is a lost cause and they should not be thought of as being separate from society.

    There is a big difference between someone with paranoid schizophrenia and someone who is a psychopath.
     
  22. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #22
    I sort of doubt that....I mean, keeping him locked away is a very real possibility, although of course I know no detail about his medical condition, but I'm assume it would have to be well under control before he was released, but solitary confinement inside of a ,mental intuition doesn't seem like a very reasonable program, I don't think solitary confinement is a treatment for schizophrenia.

    We can keep him from harming anyone without reducing him to a darkroom, or at the least, we can try before we lock him alone in a room.
     
  23. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #23
    Yeah, that kind of differential was exactly the job of the psychiatrists involved. I haven't seen their data or obviously met this person, but presumably one of the key issues was that, if he were so susceptible to delusional thinking at the time of his attack, how was his train of thought logical and coherent enough to plan out and execute a relatively complex attack plan? I'm not saying that I agree or disagree, but to me that's where the rub would probably be in terms of deciding whether schizophrenia could have caused this.

    Apropos of this, today, here in the US, Hinckley (who attacked Reagan and was found to be NGRI for a similar reason) has been quietly moving in the direction of a return to the community, and there don't seem to have been major problems with this.

    http://www.npr.org/2011/11/30/142892400/hearing-may-lead-to-more-freedom-for-hinckley

    So for all the portrayal of Americans as bloodthirsty, we don't always handle these situations by stringing nooses up in trees. :p
     
  24. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #24
    Isn't it true that the prison term for 'life' in Norway is actually a lot shorter than in most other countries?

    Is there any possibility that this is some legal ruse to get him locked up for a longer period?
     
  25. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #25
    Unlikely. Being sent to a mental institution does not necessarily mean you are there for any given length of time. It depends almost entirely (as far as I am aware) on whether the psychiatrists think you are safe to be out in the community or not.
     

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