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Harvard Health Blog
The Tucson shooting and mental illness
- By Michael Craig Miller, M.D., Senior Editor, Mental Health Publishing, Harvard Health Publishing
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Great breakdown of the cause. Mental illness becomes so common with isolated society. It is no good for anyone to be left alone, only generate self-imposed negative thoughts.
I applaud that you brought attention to the guns subject and I share the view that further control is needed. Just with sociological observation could be concluded that a country with restricted policies about guns have less violence episodes.
However, I would like to defend a different perspective on the need to amplify mental treatment in order to reduce the risk of violence and suicide. Even though I am a psychologist and hold a Masters in Psychopathology and Health Studies, I would see such an effort to prevent acts of violence as something that could become very similar to the mentioned Philip K. Dick´s “Minority Report,” only that executed by mental health “forces” intead of the police.
Extending our circle of action to hundreds of thousands of people just to prevent the few exceptions that could become the Jared Lee Loughner of the day, seems out of proportion.
Dr. Dixon´s conclusions that the psychosocial interventions are more important than medications for improving quality of life and reducing harm are a reality.
And a step prior to that would be CARE. A well-thought prevention program would have to deal with care and communication above any other meassure. Hopefully, in a non-practitioner medium.
Any professional knows that almost all extreme cases are connected to a history of disregarded episodes and a degraded processes that finally exploded.
I believe, our responisibility is to prevent that from happenning, and attention and communication are still the best meassures.
Anyway, the subject generates a vivid debate. My life has taken me to the path of screenwriting and I would not discard to take such an issue and give it life through a screenplay, which would allow to muturely expose all the angles and possible points of view that embrace the problem. I promise I will not try to emulate Philip K. Dick´s “Minority Report.” Nevertheless, as always happens in film, the climax of the story would finish the debate and move towards the perspective of the writer. That is a “trick” but, again, that´s the world of movies!
Valentin F. Tubau
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