Happy New Year 2015

What will you do differently this year?

Killers In Our Midst

the boy who killed in the church

The Godfather trilogy directed by Francis Ford Coppola and distributed by Paramount Pictures, starts out with Mr. Amerigo Bonasera stating his love for America.  He goes on to speak about his parenting relative to his daughter’s dating.  One thing that bothers me is that Mr. Bonasera states he gave her freedom, freedom to do what I ask?  She dates a young man outside of their heritage and that doesn’t cause Mr. Bonasera any concern?  She then misses curfew and again Mr. Bonasera is not implementing any consequences to his daughter.  When her honor is stripped from her his love for America does not cause him accept the verdict in the American court of a suspended sentence, but he chooses to take matters into his own hands by soliciting the help of Mr. Don Corleone (The Godfather).  After viewing Anderson Cooper’s episode titled “Killers in our Midst” I become interested in understanding the thoughts that drive those that elect to commit murder.  I have often heard that the violence depicted in rap music drives young Afro American men to behave like the words in the songs, I wonder if the violence depicted, no let me rephrase –  the Killing and Murderous acts depicted on television whether it be in movies or live from Iraq feeds the thoughts and emotions of some of the killers in Anderson Cooper’s piece.

Another point from the Cooper’s piece speaks to the immaturity of the college students saying no and/or setting boundaries with interacting with members of the opposite sex.  Do we as parents teach our children about stalking and the signs and symptoms to look for when this scenario arise.  I think not, I would attempt to say that we only teach our children about issues we have personally dealt with and anything outside of our scope may or may not be discussed as a sidebar conversation when it hits the news as a “Breaking News” item.  So one has to think have we adequately prepared out youngster for living life outside of the home.

Warning signs missed

  • The female killer goes ballistic at the postal building – reasons were unknown. She had a history of mental illness and was able to purchase a gun in New Mexico.  New Mexico has the weakest gun laws, yet she must have known this.
  • The son kills the mother with a hatchet, he attempts suicide, pulls a gun on his friends in Maine. He is released from the psych ward because he does pose a threat of imminent danger.  At 18 years of age he is released from involuntary confinement and 2 months later he kills his mom.  What was his diagnosis, did the mental health workers take into account his behavior when he was admitted?

Andrea Yates’ Children

  • Drowned her children and had the presence of mind to call the police. She suffered in a world of delusion that was exacerbated each time she had another child.  Where was the father?  She heard voices and instructions from Satan. When will the church experts be called in to speak to the spiritual warfare that goes on unnoticed, un-identified or simply rejected?

Who is Most Likely to Kill

  • The mindset of a killer – A study was conducted and there was no clear profile established, however stress, depression and rage are common denominators. If those of the common denominators I would suspect we should see an increase in mass murders given the present state of the economy coupled with this government shut down.

Are the laws incompatible with regard to patient’s rights?  Are the managed care organizations doing enough to ensure that a holistic approach to dealing with mental illness is executed?  In as much as the patient must have his/her needs addressed the guardian of the patients should also be included in the care.  Are the churches ever engaged in providing care for the mentally ill, considering there is often times a lot of talk about hearing voices and receiving instructions from Satan.  The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:8 –  Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.  At first glance one would think that this tells us how the devil works but look more closely.  It also instructs us to “.be sober, be watchful” ….

Unforgotten–25 Years After Willowbrook

Yet in the year 2016 not much has changed for those who have mental illness.

Read more

This is one of the most disturbing movies surrounding human behavior and treatment I have ever seen.  Watching the inhumane treatment of human beings with disabilities was gut wrenching.  I found it very interesting that some parents were either unaware of their children’s diagnosis or simply followed the advice of “society”.  Unfortunately not only in the 1950 did this type of encouragement prevail but it is still apparent today.  There are many adults in group homes because society has put such a strong emphasis on looks and behavior that there are families that would gladly pay for their child to be “awarded” to a group home versus dealing with the child/adult in the home environment.

When the family members speak of the visitation at the institution it almost sounds like the introduction to a horror film.  The young lady that speaks of the screams eluding from the building but not knowing where the screams emerged from is frightening in and of itself.   How unfortunate that the workers did not or simply did not care to reach out for additional funding to provide adequate services.  Basically no one was watching the barn when patients were identified with broken bones on a regular basis.  I shudder to think about the atmosphere of this facility and lack of concern that a physician could tell a concerned parent to shut up when asked about the care of a loved one.

Bernard’s story of being misdiagnosed it utterly amazing.  I ask myself why would an institution seek to keep a patient under lock and key especially one that is not mentally ill and does not cause harm to himself or others.  Was the facility receiving funds for each patient or bed that occupied?  What a tragedy for this young man to have wasted so much of his life in a mental institution when he had a case of cerebral palsy.

This movie is a must see for all who are interested in pursuing a career in the Human Services field.  This is catastrophic picture of the necessity of proper diagnosis, oversight and a genuine desire to help those less fortunate.  This movie should help one understand societal roles and the demands society places on what’s normal and what it acceptable.  This movie gives insight to lack of courage family members have when dealing with other family members that have severe mental health issues.  Additional this movie should serve a strong reminder that we must reach the unreachable and protect the lost.  Human Service workers must stand in the gap and form a bridge for the family and family member that requires assistance.

It’s a sad state of affairs when we discount those that are different from us or those that no longer live up to our standards of normalcy.  We must make a concerted effort to bring together help not only for the individual that has the struggles but we must include a program for the family members to be able to walk through the process and continue to be a source of support.  For example the woman that speaks openly about her embarrassment of Patty the lady with Down syndrome.  If only she had the been connected to the proper institution and been able to learn about the disease and how to cope how much more effective she would have been to assist Patty through her struggles.  Often times we don’t take into account that someone with disabilities actually has feelings and can tell when they are being pushed off, walked away from, discounted as a full-fledged human being with ability to learn and manage some type day to day living.



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