Unfortunately this case is probably not as complex as all that. The man sounds manic.
There are quite a few people in this world who are manic or bipolar. I think these names are a slight misnomer. They sort of make the conditions sound
harmless or completely emotional. But during a manic episode people have paranoid delusions, hallucinations, and a great many of other things. This
kind of emotional problem can develop and stick to people if they've suffered an emotional disturbance, have been abused, use too much of almost any
drug, have had head trauma, etc. It's not all that uncommon.
Further, it seems that anyone can all of the sudden snap for no apparent reason (especially amongst adolescents) and have a paranoid delusion which
can carry on for quite a while (and sometimes for the remainder of one's life). This doesn't sound like it had anything to do with the contents of
modern television, the TV was just a tool in this man's insanity. It could very well be that he's just making a plea of insanity to get away with
murder... but anyone who would kill random people for no reason is obviously a mental deviant in some
way. Either way, he has to be locked up
away from society. Perhaps a lobotomy or shock therapy?
Legalizer is right about the SSRI thing. This class of anti-depressant in particular has been linked to some of the more dangerous manics we've heard
about in recent years. I think the FDA should address that.
To answer your question about hearing voices: This is pretty well documented. In the temporal lobe of the brain exist the centers for hearing. The two
main areas entrusted with actually hearing a sound and then processing the information are called simply the "primary auditory area" and the
"auditory association area". People who "hear voices" only show signs of activity in the association area while they are hearing voices. This
suggests that they're not actually hearing anything in particular but rather interpreting coherent thoughts using that area of the brain and it
confuses the person into thinking they "heard" something. The thoughts are normal thoughts that regular people think every day. The difference is
that while we think these things subconsciously they usually get filtered out and don't come into the conscious mind.
Those who are manic have a "broken down filter" so to speak. Thoughts come intruding into their conscious minds and they are taken off guard by
them. Some people "hear' them, some people "feel' them, some people simply think them, and some people are even confused about how they come
across the thoughts. It's important not to forget that no matter where the person thinks
they've received instructions, they all come from
that person's very mind.
In a real circumstance people have a hard time quoting exactly what the "voices" said but they can always definitely tell you what they
. Also, from what people have told me, it's really REALLY hard to tell yourself that you are just having a delusion and that it's all in
your mind. It's been described to me as "intrusive thoughts that seem more real than reality". Sounds terribly confusing and frightening to have no
way of differentiating reality from imagination.
Now, society at large might be to blame for this man having so much violence in his subconscious. I don't want to take blame away from him, but the
amount of violence in the media and the simple human tendency to wage war and be all around violent might have contributed to the "voices" having
told him to kill people rather than, say plant flowers or wear green underwear all the time.