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The Tucson shooting and mental illness

January 12, 2011

About the Author

photo of Michael Craig Miller, MD

Michael Craig Miller, MD, Senior Editor, Mental Health Publishing, Harvard Health Publishing

Michael Craig Miller, M.D., was Editor in Chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter from August 2000 to March 2012. Published monthly, the Harvard Mental Health Letter was read widely by professionals and non-professionals alike. Dr. … See Full Bio
View all posts by Michael Craig Miller, MD


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Dr. Tim Harrigan
January 1, 2012

Very sad.

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Gatorade Rules
July 28, 2011

I am just commenting to let you know of the impressive experience my cousin’s daughter had studying your blog. She came to find a lot of issues, with the inclusion of how it is like to possess a wonderful giving heart to make most people just know just exactly chosen multifaceted subject areas. You truly surpassed visitors’ desires. Many thanks for showing the beneficial, dependable, explanatory as well as fun guidance on that topic to Tanya.

243 rifle
January 19, 2011

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.

Valentin F. Tubau
January 18, 2011

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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