Dinah, ClinkShrink, & Roy produce Shrink Rap: a blog by Psychiatrists for Psychiatrists, interested bystanders are also welcome. A place to talk; no one has to listen.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
One Offender's Story: Not Sick Enough
I don't blog about patients, so I was pleased to find this excellent story about one mentally ill offender covered by American RadioWorks. I don't know and have never met this prisoner, but his story is similar to many of those I evaluate and treat.
I don't know - what's your take? I've never met a schizophrenic who was violent...it sounds like he certainly had command hallucinations sort of, but his behavior was extremely organized. He was wearing a flak jacket. He went and got weapons and went to a specific place, didn't just pick up something that was lying around and attack whoever was there.
Less experience with plain delusional disorder. When people get those ideas, aren't they circumscribed to one area? They don't usually go out and start believing that the right thing to do is shoot someone, even if they are convinced that neighbor or whatever is out to get them.
I very much like the article that it doesn't take a strong and irrational side, either that he is a poor wronged man, or that he's a threat to all that is civilized. It's complex. You don't see that a lot in the media.
My first reaction to the story was god I hope I never am in his situation. If I were on the jury I would have said he was "insane". Mysadalterego's comment made me wonder, but then I thought...if a delusion is so powerful and real that you realy believe it, wouldn't you do all the careful planning and preperation to protect yourself against this "very real" (to you anyways) threat? I never understood how planning could be proof that you weren't delusional...seems to me the more you believed the more you would plan?
Why is shooting at police and federal agents made to seem more important than shooting you or me?
If, on evaluation, while taking medication, he is no harm to society or himself, then I see no reason for him to be in prison (after serving a reasonable sentence for his crime). Being in an officially monitored environment where his medication is professionally monitored, I feel, would be a more appealing situation for him and his family and provide safety for everyone.
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