What's the difference between normal and abnormal mental health? (Rambling)

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by LIVEFRMNYC, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

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    #1
    In light of the Las Vegas tragedy, mental health is brought up again. But what is truly the difference in a mass killer vs average person, mentality wise?

    For example: An adult that admits to being attracted to little kids and having fantasies about them, although has never acted or intend to act on it ......... they will be viewed as being just as sick in the head as someone that has acted on it. So while there's a huge difference between the two in their actions, mentally they are not much different.

    Also, what is the mental difference of someone that kills a single person for whatever reason vs someone that kills numerous as the same time? Most of the time the person that committed a singular murder would not be considered a mental case, but rather someone that's just cold hearted and despicable. But almost always, a mass killer is considered insane.

    I'm asking this because it seems all this mental health talk doesn't seem to prevent anything, especially when the average person fits the so-called profile. You can have a loud mouth person that posts thousands of trash talking threats a week on social media or a quiet person that rarely speaks their mind. Which ever one commits another mass killing, them being too outspoken or too quiet would fit the profile anyway.

    People talk about inflicting harm on their bosses, bullies, family members, friends, and etc, all the time. Most of it is just considered venting trash talk. But when someone actually brings that talk into existence, then how are they mentally any different from those that just speak it out of anger?

    This infamous quote comes to mind ...... “There are two types of people in this world…Doers and watchers.”

    Is the only difference between a mass killer and the average people would be the average person has the sense and lack of will to avoid doing so?

    Why do so many of us think the same violent thoughts and not carry it out, while only a minority do carry those thoughts out? Is it just the inevitable probability factor, or is there really something about us mentally that prevent us from going too far? And if so, is it taught or inherited?

    And for those that claim they never have any type of violent thoughts, just realize that you are being entertained by violence on a regular basis. So these questions apply to everybody.
     
  2. jkcerda macrumors 6502a

    jkcerda

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    #2
    well above my pay grade but look forward to the responses.
     
  3. LIVEFRMNYC thread starter macrumors 604

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    Above mine's too. Which is why I'm interested.
     
  4. Mac'nCheese Suspended

    Mac'nCheese

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    #4
    Most things are well above you.



    Cause you're short.


    So.....


    Anyway, on topic, totally disagree with the basis of the OP. I do not think that most people have such violent thoughts all the time. Not at all.
     
  5. jkcerda macrumors 6502a

    jkcerda

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    nature was cruel to me

    [​IMG]
     
  6. A.Goldberg macrumors 68020

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    #6
    Mental illness generally is recognized when the individuals thinking/behavior is distressing to self or a danger to self or others. Homocidal ideation in itself is not considered mental illness unless it is influenced by another mental illness.

    I think this could turn into a very long philosophical thread with loads of theories about why people kill and good vs. evil- but I will say with killing some reasons are justified (defending oneself/family), some reasons are less justifiable but more understandable (defending the ego, crimes of passion), and something's simply cannot be explained for reasons other than sadism.

    Unfortunately, I think the latter is likely what we're dealing with here. I think the most chilling thing is this man went 64 unremarkable years without raising an eyebrow to instantly becoming a historical mass murderer overnight. The general consensus put out by the media was that he was otherwise a pretty normal, non-threatening individual. Surely he knew right from wrong. Is it possible for normal people to really just "snap" (this much)?

    On the one hand it's hard to believe based on the media reports he was insane, living a normal, sucesssful life (up until days ago). On the other hand it's hard to believe he wasn't insane to mow down hundreds of innocent people especially without expressing any motive as you might expect. It's quite a paradox but remains a constant one in thinking about criminality.

    I don't think most people are sadistic killers. Sociopaths (antisocial personality disorder) don't seem to really posssess a conscious, so it's understandable why they're driven towards criminal behavior. Perhaps the shooter was a sociopath gone undetected, until he finally decided to act out. His father being an FBI most wanted criminal certainly is interesting twist.

    Another way of looking at is that normal people have to conscious force to suppress their ideation. Murders, especially serial murders, do not. Or similarly murder is the result of an accidental neurological overreaction.

    My best guess for a trigger would have been a financial/gambling-related stressor. But even that sounds like a failing theory. Maybe he had some undiscovered neurological pathology (though depending on how he killed himself that may remain a mystery too).

    Much like MH370, I feel like the window of time has elapsed to really understand why he did this. If there was a clear answer, I feel it would have been found. It's a difficult thing to swalllow, but I don't think any reason would remotely justify his evil actions.

    Bad things happen, and we can't always understand why people make the decisions that they do. Maybe that makes him crazy, at the point we as the collective society fail to remotely understand the thought processs.
     
  7. Septembersrain Contributor

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    #7
    The problem is that mental illness isn't simple. It's like cancer, it doesn't affect each person the same. Yet a lot of treatments and guidelines are very cookie cutter. So a lot of people fall through the cracks.

    For example there are many people who have intrusive thoughts but how can you gauge if they'd act upon them? When you add in the stigma and lack of resources in a lot of places, most people end up just keeping it to themselves.

    So even though they are ill, they feel they are better off just "dealing with it", then one day it just manifests itself.

    As someone with serious mental illness troubles, I've found that it is very hard to reach out for help. They'll stick you into an institution where you watch tv, use crayons, get three meals a day and go to meetings with a bunch of other people who face issues that may be completely different from your own. Getting a 1 on 1 is very rare and is never even close to getting to be enough time to truly reach the problem. In my 10 day inpatient, I spent 80% just watching music videos in a day room. Same **** I could of done at home.

    It appears it is easier to just throw a pill at it and hope it works out. Unfortunately the side effects of some of these medications can make a persons situation way worse. Like with amitriptyline, I blacked out and sliced up my wrists then downed a ton of alprazolam. I still to this day can barely remember this event. I can't even begin to fathom all the situations like this that go on daily.

    How can we help these people if we as a society are too busy spending our lives behind a screen or trying to appear normal? Violence will only continue to increase as we continue to consume more negative media, stop caring for our neighbors, lose our way in the pressure of a competitive consumption race with the Joneses.

    There isn't an easy fix but as we are, things are only poised to get worse. Much worse.
     
  8. 0098386 Suspended

    0098386

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    Oh gosh I love this thread already. I think the mental health thing goes pretty deep. To want to see people suffering is sociopathic, which is an unhealthy mental health feature to have. As I see it denying refugees fleeing wars we started is sociopathic, it’s a mental health thing. Maybe those types of people get off on it? That’s something else I’ve been half-looking into.

    Oh and those that force religious views on others. Something isn’t right with people like that.

    All those people are on par with adults that fantasies about children but don’t act on it. It’s just all people with mental health issues.

    It’s similar to how autism, ADHD etc are now more widely diagnosed. One theory is that nothing is changing, that autistic people had been around in big numbers in the past, but that they potentially died early.
    A grandparent of mine (not blood related), has always been a bit odd. Never learnt to drive, never did anything around the house, but spent 50 years in the same job and spent their spare time playing chess or hiking to the point of mastery. They don’t react like one should and never gets stressed or angry. These days he’d be classed as autistic for sure. Same with a lot of old people I know. Stuff like some men won’t help out at home or show emotion/don’t know how to. That’s got to be on the scale. (Not saying all autistic people are like this, by the way)
     
  9. krause734 macrumors 6502a

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    He was going for the most kills just like any video game these days. He got the high score. You wonder why many people have no empathy or sensitivity to violence.
     
  10. Septembersrain Contributor

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    #10
    We don't have as much empathy because we are bombarded with violence in our games, movies, news, etc. We are becoming desensitized by all the media we consume on a daily basis.
     
  11. SusanK macrumors 68000

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    Septembersrain brings up an important consideration. Mental health issues and other clinical issues are not easy for the general public to accept or understand. There are times when the person dealing with the condition finds it easier to try to live with it. We need to be more accepting and enlightened.

    Some clinical issues make others uncomfortable or frighten them. The patient essentially becomes a freak if he/she is candid. Many chronic conditions will not have a 10k or pretty ribbon in our lifetimes. If we can't relate or consider ourselves at risk the condition is not important to many. Unfortunate.
     
  12. LIVEFRMNYC thread starter macrumors 604

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    To be more clear, I feel that most do have violent thoughts. But in a sense that's removed from reality. I feel it's something that clicks when a person doesn't remove their thoughts from reality.
     
  13. fitshaced macrumors 68000

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    Mental illness can’t be measured on whether you kill or don’t kill or whether you abuse children or not. It obviously needs to be identified much sooner.

    In my opinion, people don’t just snap in their views or beliefs. There are plenty of people that go through their days with depression without being prepared to reveal it to the world. Their view on things doesn’t snap. But their willingness to act upon their desires or urges might suddenly increase to the point of it needing to become a reality.

    What’s to blame? Irresponsible media such as Fox News, reckless and corrupt leadership, greedy and selfish lobbyists, religion. None of those things are looked at as things that need to be fixed. They are growing in power and influence every day. I’m not trying to dismiss the responsibility of the guy with the gun but in the case of the shooting in LV, how can this just be one bad guy who didn’t need help well Before he did what he did?
     
  14. VulchR macrumors 68020

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    The evidence for this is contradictory at best. Just saying...

    Basically this thread is about 'mad, bad, or sad?' I think with respect to the Las Vegas shooter all 3 apply. As evil as the guy was for visiting his demons on other people, let us not forget he do so knowing he would kill himself in the end. Clearly this was premeditated, which suggests evil, but it strikes me that probably he was in distress in some way, unless we find out he had some sort of political axe to grind or some other cause for which he felt he was martyring himself. Somebody discussing this in the news made the point that if the shooter's brain is intact, it should be investigated for tumors and lesions. I doubt that disease (other than perhaps psychopathy or a personality disorder) had a role to play in the tragedy, but it might.
     
  15. pdqgp macrumors 68020

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    IMO the key is the catalyst that flips them over the edge. I don't think it's much different between people who go after a single person or a group of people such as in this case. Something triggered him or convinced him that this was a good move and that's where the answer is.

    I don't think we're going to find this guy was just mentally ill. IMO there's something much bigger going on here and lots more working parts we're likely going to find out about. This wasn't a snap decision and I don't think from what we've heard he was mentally ill or showed signs of that. Who knows.
     
  16. DearthnVader macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Why do some people harm other people, for seemingly no good reason at all?

    I think that is really the key question, and until we can answer it, we won't be able to effectively deal with random acts of violence.

    I think that criminals are, pretty much, all mentally ill, and one of the problems we have within our societies is we only want to deem someone that breaks the laws mentally ill if they are unable to distinguish right from wrong. Evidence the fact that far too many criminals are repeat offenders, they seem to learn no lesson from punishment.

    It really comes down to the level of mental illness, but I think if we start to look at most criminals as mentally ill, and study them, and treat them, we will come a lot closer to understanding what it is that triggers random violence in human beings.
     
  17. VulchR macrumors 68020

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    #17
    I agree to some extent, but these kinds of attacks are more prevalent in the US than other countries. I seriously worry if it is about our values, not just mental illness.
     
  18. s2mikey macrumors 68020

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    #18
    Right - or, if we say/think such things we dont mean them literally. Like "I could have killed my boss today for making me work late & miss the game" or "Im going to kill my son when I get home for breaking the xxxxx appliance". You're not really going to kill your boss or kid. Its just a figure of speech type of thing.

    This topic is certainly interesting because there really isnt, and probably cant be and way to empirically "prove" that someone is mentally unstable or crazy. Im sure there are some cases where its very obvious but I suspect that most cases are borderline or hard to quantify.

    Hmmm......very interesting topic here.
     
  19. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

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    #19
    We're all ****ed up in our own way. It manifests itself differently in all of us. Some act on it while others don't.
     
  20. VulchR macrumors 68020

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    #20
    Do you say that kind of thing often? I don't.... :p Although once I did hear a 5-year-old threaten to 'pop a cap' into his parent's a$$ if they didn't give him any candy. The kid looked angelic when he said that... probably doesn't bode well for the future.
     
  21. blackfox macrumors 65816

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    #21
    So while I can't definitively answer what motivates peoples' behavior, I will say we have been increasing the potential for what we would now consider "abnormal thinking" as a Society, and instead of addressing this, we just relabel it.
     
  22. Septembersrain Contributor

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    #22
    Well in a society where things are starting to have more value than the humans in people's lives, it's definitely abnormal. You've got the news constantly telling you how horrible your world is around you. Add that to the pressure of needing to appear "Normal" and well adjusted. You've got a lot of stress starting from a young age.

    Honestly when I first started seeking help for my mental illness, I lost a lot of friends. People started acting like I was a thing to be pitied. This led to me trying to take my own life. I can't even imagine people who never try to get any help at all and instead just crack. The feelings may not be new but nobody around them wanted to notice or do anything about it. They just wanted to think that person was "normal".

    It is sad but when people face extreme stress they can't handle anymore they either act out or they take their lives.

    Edit: The people who act out end up putting more stigma on people like me. Thus more people begin to hide their illness or their developing problems. It's a terrible circle, really. Once one of these people takes lives and gets branded as mentally ill, the rest of us trying to seek help to better ourselves become a potential risk in the eyes of society.

    It's not easy being viewed as a ticking time bomb that no one trusts. However, for me it would be worse if I couldn't be honest with myself and fight the stigma. Nothing will change if nobody changes it.
     
  23. blackfox macrumors 65816

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    #23
    well, what you are describing and what I attempted to illustrate...are a result of a more superficial, self-centered society. People seem to forget the meaning of "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link".
     

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22 October 3, 2017