Relatively Few School Shooters Have Diagnosis of Mental Illness

Rob Wipond
10
119

“A survey of school shootings in the United States revealed that only 17% of the perpetrators had a diagnosis of mental illness,” reports Medscape. The information was presented by Southern Illinois University School of Medicine researchers at the American Public Health Association annual meeting. There were, however, other common, contributing factors that appeared in the majority of cases.

The finding corresponds to a previous study from the US Secret Service and the Department of Education of 37 incidents from 1974 to 2000, which found that only 20% of the shooters had a mental health diagnosis, reports Medscape. The current study identified 157 school shootings from 2005 to 2012, and the researchers then gathered further information from internet news sources. “The presence of mental illness was assumed if evidence came from a credible source, such as if a family member reported a diagnosis, if the patient had been prescribed psychotropic medications, if a legal document contained this information, or if there was evidence of ‘bizarre thinking’ or suicidal thoughts from a Facebook page or diary,” reports Medscape. The researchers conceded that many details are missing because “we don’t have access to data on their mental health.”

“Nearly half the shooters, however, had demonstrated a warning sign associated with violence,” reports Medscape. “These included racism, Nazism, gay bashing, gang membership, previous encounters with the law, poor grades, anger at school personnel or suspension, being bullied or being a bully, obsession with the Columbine shooting, parental mental health problems, and family troubles.”

Factors identified as contributing to school shootings included “gun availability, a cultural script that supports a school shooting in the student’s mind, the perception of an extremely marginal social position within a environment that is important to the student, an individual problem that magnifies the impact of the shooter’s social marginalization (family problems, abuse), and the failure of social support systems designed to identify troubled children.”

(Free registration) Few School Shooters Have Diagnosis of Mental Illness (Medscape, December 5, 2014)

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10 COMMENTS

  1. But this to me, is mental illness.

    “Nearly half the shooters, however, had demonstrated a warning sign associated with violence,” reports Medscape. “These included racism, Nazism, gay bashing, gang membership, previous encounters with the law, poor grades, anger at school personnel or suspension, being bullied or being a bully, obsession with the Columbine shooting, parental mental health problems, and family troubles.”

    Not a biological disease but surely a troubled mind that needs help.

    • I disagree. You can’t label any antisocial behaviour as a sign of illness. It is what it is – just anti-social behaviour. You can of course ask were it comes from because only if you understand that you may be able to prevent. Calling in an illness means labelling it as medical which prevents addressing the real reasons. It is a social and psychological problem not an “illness”.

      • Not a biological disease but surely an unpromising social context that needs changing.

        Anti-social behavior has been labeled anti-social personality disorder. Apparently it can be labeled a disorder. Is it a disease? Of course not. It is a way, as you put it B, of not addressing the real problem. As anybody who has read the list of behaviors “associated with violence” should realize, these lists imply relationships. Anti-social is a misnomer.

  2. I can’t understand why no prominent analyst of social problems suggests that the outrageous impact of forced treatment, coerced and forced drugging, extremely high dosages of very unpleasant substances, plus almost 100% of advocacy and sympathy aimed at those who support force used against their own family members–all of that and the hypocrisy that goes with it, as potent contributing factors for an anything goes way of looking for opportunities for revenge by very troubled people. Most especially the examples set by the system and its backers for mental patients who turn violent should bring the idea to the front of people’s minds that such criminality just is spawned by the idiocy of playing God and guaranteeing constant disfavor is shown your “captive audience”. Such perpetrators have exactly joined the system in spirit.

  3. What a load of garbage. What a false, misleading survey. 17% of the shooters didn’t have a diagnosis, which means nothing since this study is 100% false. This is an attempt to track down and diagnose more and more people as mentally ill, using the suffering caused by psychotropic drugs to promote the evil agenda of psychiatry. Stop the madness. If people were really interested in understanding the outrageous increase in mass shootings, they would look to the drugs that are causing them, and the real criminals behind these terrible tragedies: Big Pharma and Evil Psychiatry. Get the facts straight. To get the real story, read here: http://www.ssristories.net/

    • Yes, Dr. Breggin has been talking about this for years; he calls it “spellbinding” when the person was taking one of the so-called “antidepressants.” People end up dong bizarre things that they normally wouldn’t think about doing while taking these toxic drugs. There is a big attempt to keep the public from knowing whether these shooters were on psychotropic drugs or not and the so-called “antidepressants” are psychotropics par excellance.

      Notice that when Prozac first came out there were stories appearing all over the place about how people on it went into rages and had fits of anger; you heard mostly about men experiencing this. Then, all of a sudden the company producing Prozac denied that anything was wrong and all of a sudden there was no more mention of anything like this happening. However, it still happens as I have friends on the damned stuff and they have outbursts of rage all the time as long as they’re taking it. The things are nothing but toxic poisons.

  4. Odd, many of the bigger school shootings, happened when the shooter was taking psychotropic medication or discontinuing it, and studies link peoples aggression and suicidal jestures to taking these medications. It would be interesting to find, that, the shooters in some of these cases did not suffer a mental health diagnosis, but were still taking psychotropic drugs. At the very least, we have groups of shootings that don’t make any sense, and seemed to be linked to these drugs if nothing else.

    My buddy in the UK tells me, they don’t have school shootings there. It is something truly USA centric going on. Psychotropic drugs are prescribed less and shootings by police are almost none exist in the UK, as well. What is with America?

    http://www.obamasweapon.com