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Symptoms of a Dysfunctional Age

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posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 06:55 PM
The idea of this thread is to examine cases of mass murder and their relationship to prescribed drugs such as anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and so on in the United States. Plus individuals who suffered from psychotic disorders and never sought or received treatment and committed heinous crimes. It will also involve a brief history of America during the countries institutionalization of the mentally ill and the deinstitutionalization which began in 1955 with the introduction of thorazine and it's advent in to modern day pharmacological giants.

There are three separate revolutions which happened throughout this history, the first being hospitalization, moral management, and the third is society cooperation and interaction Focusing on these separate periods is not the idea, but rather the brief introduction and it's final solution to release patients back into society regardless of mental health issues and risks, which have led to a mass increase in prescribed mental related drugs in the U.S. today and overcrowded prison systems that have become the front line in the battle.

Americas first institution was founded in Virginia in 1773, and located in Williamsburg. The Eastern State Hospital housed individuals who were at the time deemed lunatics and miserable objects. During the 17th and 18th century, those individuals whom were affected with mental illness were treated with contempt. With very little scientific support and knowledge, religious ideals were strong, usually labeling people as demon possessed or vile creatures, individuals would find themselves in restraints locked away from society.

Throughout this period the lunatics suffered under cruel conditions. Mental, physical abuse and inhumane treatment were commonplace inside asylums.

(The Madhouse) Francisco de Goya

In 1908 the American health community would see it's first real documented effects of life in the asylum. Written in an autobiography from Clifford Whittingham a Yale graduate and businessman, whom in 1900 suffered a severe breakdown brought on by the death of his brother. After attempting suicide he was later hospitalized in a private mental institution in Connecticut.

The impacts of his book had widespread and historical relevance for the current state and well-being of future persons with mental illness. Being a pioneer and former mental patient, Beers modern approach to therapy and first hand account helped him to form the Connecticut Society for Mental Hygiene, the first association of its kind.

Having said that, let's jump ahead to 1955, the year hospitals began deinstitutionalization and closure, a major contributing factor to increased homelessness, incarceration and acts of violence.


Beginning in 1955 with the widespread introduction of the first, effective antipsychotic medication chlorpromazine, or Thorazine, the stage was set for moving patients out of hospital settings. The pace of deinstitutionalization accelerated significantly following the enactment of Medicaid and Medicare a decade later. While in state hospitals, patients were the fiscal responsibility of the states, but by discharging them, the states effectively shifted the majority of that responsibility to the federal government.

In 1965, the federal government specifically excluded Medicaid payments for patients in state psychiatric hospitals and other "institutions for the treatment of mental diseases," or IMDs, to accomplish two goals: 1) to foster deinstitutionalization; and 2) to shift the costs back to the states which were viewed by the federal government as traditionally responsible for such care. States proceeded to transfer massive numbers of patients from state hospitals to nursing homes and the community where Medicaid reimbursement was available. (Note: IMDs were defined by the federal government as "institutions or residences in which more than 16 individuals reside, at least half of who have a primary psychiatric diagnosis.")

Now that we have established a brief history of our countries mental healthcare beginnings in to the mid sixties, let's move on to examining possible connection between violence, suicide, homicide, and antidepressants in today's world.

First case we'll examine is Jared Lee Loughner. The Tuscon mass murderer who had showed symptoms of mental health issues, but never received treatment.

The second case is Cho Seung-Hui the Virginia Tech killer. It was reported that he was taking a psychoactive called prozac, a well known antidepressant.

The list could add several other compelling stories of individuals whom committed acts of violence. This leaves me with the question why? Was closing down our Nations hospitals in the 50's beneficial to society as a whole, or should we go back to more inpatient care facilities that provide a more modern day approach including all the services we can provide to hospitalize, manage and reintroduce mentally ill people.

I think we're missing some steps along the way. Not to say that earlier treatments were good, but proposing a new system that can deliver the three revolutionary steps combined, instead of out patient therapy and drugs first. All i can say is something is missing.

edit on 26-7-2012 by Daedal because: fixed link

posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 07:48 PM
You are so right! Thank you for sharing.

The "recent" history of how our country has dealt with mental illness in this country is appalling, both when so many were institutionalized and now that most are not. Really is a sad state of affairs.

"...the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped. " ~ Last Speech of Hubert H. Humphrey

"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Ghandi

posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 10:46 PM
reply to post by Daedal

*Bumping thread* seems fitting to the current trend.

edit on 15-12-2012 by Daedal because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 10:56 PM
I am so glad you started this thread. S&F for you. In light of the CT shooting, many, like me, are having difficulty understanding how anybody could purposely stand there and murder little children in cold blood. He had to have had zero feelings and absolutely no conscience. I decided to start researching drugs that can cause apathy and was amazed to find that even some antibiotics have this side effect. I know antidepressants do because I had a friend tell me that she can no longer cry over a sad movie. Maybe drugs are interacting with other medications that we're not yet aware of.

posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 10:59 PM
reply to post by queenofswords

Can you imagine the horror if something got purposely put into the water or sprayed from the air?

Too many zombie-like scenarios come to mind!

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