It is such a tragedy

What happened in Connecticut is horrible beyond imagination. An absolutely abominable man shooting all those helpless children just boggles the mind. Who could do such a thing? The whole world is in shock over such a despicable act; what must the people of Newtown going through? And the parents and loved ones of the victims; hell cannot hold the horrors that their lives have become.

Adam Lanza is a monster.

Of course all the media are covering this story around the clock. And to fill the airtime there’s a lot of speculation about what kind of man is capable of doing something like this. We’ve all heard that he was suffering from a Personality Disorder. Even that he was bipolar. I find it impossible to believe that someone could be driven to kill all those innocent people could be driven by the same disease that I have. My diagnosis is type I. I’ve had my share of extreme mania and even been to the point of delusion. But even in my darkest moments it’s never even been conceivable to hurt anyone else.

There are so few people who really understand this illness. There’s so much ignorance about how this disorder affects us and what it does to us as individuals. And out of this ignorance comes the stigma. Because we are bipolar many just immediately consider us to be crazy and dangerous. We are shunned and feared. It can cost us our jobs, dear friendships, relationships and marriages. It’s hard enough to live with this illness without the added isolation that comes from the lack of knowledge.

There’s no question that this man was seriously ill. We will never know just what was going through his mind as he planned and executed this unimaginable deed. He had to have been truly insane in the truest sense of the word. But was he bipolar? Read the criteria of bipolar disorder. We suffer extreme mood swings. We go though depressions that take us to the absolute pit of despair. Our manias can be delusional and we may even hear voices or lose complete touch with reality. But nowhere in the diagnostic criteria does it suggest that we can be criminally insane.

Being bipolar does not make you a mass murderer.

But now, thanks to the mass media feeding into common misconceptions and ignorance we have a new stigma hanging over us. We’re bipolar, we must be crazy. It’s hard enough to meet people and have some chance at a normal life. And now there is this added challenge to overcome.

Do not misunderstand me. I am in no way minimizing what has happened to the victims and families of such a tragic event. I’m not selfish enough to compare what I go through to the unimaginable loss that they are experiencing. To say that my problems pale by comparison would be a massive understatement. It is truly beyond compare. But in our own small way, we have become victims too. The perception of this disease has just been made a little worse. Now we are being put in the same category as a monster.

I am not a monster.

My heart goes out to all the victims of this catastrophic event. All those people gone, all those children who will never have the chance to grow up; it is such a tragedy. All the world’s tears being shed cannot lessen the loss of the potential of these lives or comfort those who have been touched. One sick man has affected us all in such of a horrible way.

It is a terror and abomination beyond understanding. For all of us.

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18 Responses to It is such a tragedy

  1. We become hardened by news of tragedy after tragedy, but when the news broke about a similar shooting years ago in Scotland, I just sat and cried. Sue

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  2. bluemerlegirl says:

    Great post! It truly is unimaginable what and why he committed such a gruesome act. It is truly sad what assumptions the talking heads make about the shooter that create even more unnecessary and untruthful stereotypes about a condition that is already hard for people to understand.

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  3. SimplySage says:

    I hope this doesn’t attach a stigma to the bipolar. Most of the bipolar people I know are very sweet and gentle, the total opposite of this stigma. Even in their manic phases they are far from violent. Thank you for writing about this.
    The killer was a totally sick person, inhuman, had to be possessed by a demon. But rather than focus on him, why don’t we get to to know each child and start honoring their memories?

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  4. jmlindy422 says:

    I have heard media speculating that he was autistic. One of the issues for me is that none of the people making guesses as to what was wrong with Lanza is not a medical professional trained to diagnose bipolar disorder, autism, asperger’s syndrome or any of the other things mentioned. I also really hate it when people suffering from mental illness are described as monsters. Dehumanizing the severely mentally ill makes it all the more difficult for them to be identified and helped.

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  5. kelihasablog says:

    People should not fear someone who is bi-polar…. when on their medication they are just like everyone else! the news just wants to blame someone or something…. and your last sentence is very well said!

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  6. I for one do not believe the guy in conn. who killed so many people was Bipolar. Looking at this photograph tells me that he was schiz. or a severe personality disorder. He had a wild-eyed look in his photograph and bipolar individuals have always looked normal to me. I am so sorry that now you have this to worry about.

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    • kelihasablog says:

      You’re right, he wasn’t…. just some people who aren’t familiar, then to lump everything together. He’d sent up plenty of red flags… it’s just that no one had or could act on them. As many of you may know, finding treatment or help in a situation like this is close to impossible due to our laws and insurance requirements. (I believe he had Aspergers (Sorry my brain isn’t working right now so might be spelled incorrectly. but anyone familiar with that syndrome should be aware that they are so many levels that all differ, all Aspergers children are different.

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      • You spelled Aspergers correctly. While working at a US installation (RN x35 years) most of my patients were male and a few female, (and had been in the military.) I know of one true case and perhaps others that as I look back at their behavior, probably had Aspergers. One of them had episodes when he became quite mean if he could not get his way but after being on the right medication he was much improved.

        I know how mental health has improved but much is still lacking and mental health should be on the front burner. I know about MDs and insurance after my daughter no longer had health insurance- it no longer covered preexisting conditions and was about $10,000 or more with deductibe that went up to 7,500. That was more than she could cough up and now I am helping her to get back on her feet. In the meantime she must find a specialist for her rare arthritis and most that she has contacted will no treat her even if she pays up front. MDs are crazy, the government is crazy and I think I am going nuts with worry. My savings is dwindling far faster than I ever intended it to. So, yes, I know about mental illness probably too much. Now it is the insurance thing. I am going to explore Medicare/Medicaid or whatever to see what kind of help she might qualify for. My daughter is a veterinarian who has been tooo sick to work since end of May. I hope she writes a book about her life for the past 11 years. It would be a good read. You would not believe the number of MDs that are incompetent. Mind boggling to say the least.

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    • kelihasablog says:

      Sorry to be late in responding to your answer to my reply… LOL… Anyway, just a thought, have you or your daughter (or her Dr.) checked to see if there are any trial studies she could get into/qualify for. You would have to check them out, but many are good… at least with cancer they are… and I think they provide the meds. That’s crazy that the Dr.s won’t accept/see patients (your daughter) even with money to pay up front…

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      • Yes, it is nuts. I think they want insurance so they (the MDs) can add all sorts of things onto the insurance forms and get more money without being questioned by a patient. I have more to add about my daughter and MDs but can’t right now- I’m in a hurry…

        Thanks for the reply.

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      • kelihasablog says:

        Most Doctor’s here would rather you pay cash than them have to deal with the insurance companies. The insurance companies and Medicare are so slow to pay and then only pay the Dr’s a whole lot less than is on the bill (unless you pay cash and they usually give you a “cash” rate which is cheaper) But, it could be very different depending on what part of the country you live in I’m sure… I think you nailed it with the insurance companies and lobbyist combined with Socialized medicine, we’re in deep trouble… Be well 😀

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      • I am finishing my reply to you. I did not make it clear but my daughter is not a mental case – her ailments are physical although the doctor probem and not being able to work has caused her and me to be depressesd. When I wrote that I know quite a lot about mental illness it is becasue I am a helath professional and worked for 35 years in psychiatry as a registered nurse.

        As for the studies that you are talking about- anyone with a bit of sanity would not enter a study. I have spoken to at least 3 people that entered various studies and you are the lab rat or the lab monkey where you take what is given to you.These are meds that have not been tested so that makes the human (lab rat) the “testee.” Some meds are placebo and you are getting nothing. Some meds have horrendous side effects and you can become sicker than a junk yard dog. The money that you receive from the pharaceutical sp? companies is not much. You could not live on it and you certainly could not buy insurance with it. My daughter’s insurance is going to cost about 7-8K or more. I will have to foot the bill until she returns to work- if that happens.

        The U.S. is far behind most countries in health care. Socialized medicine is not great but it is far better that any systmen that we have now. With socialized medicine, if you are really sick then you are put at the head of the list and will get the emergency care or the operation if that is what is needed.

        Insurance companies and lobbyists are some of the reasons our health care is so bad. I could go on and on but had better stop before I write something that I willl regret.

        Regards,
        Yvonne

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      • kelihasablog says:

        I understood that your daughter’s problem was physical, not mental, but I have just heard a lot about the clinical trials for cancer patients…. You’re right, you aren’t sure what you’re getting i don’t imagine, but I’ve known friends who participated and they had really good results.

        I can certainly understand your hesitancy as I won’t even take the generic version of my cancer medicine, regardless of the HUGE price difference…LOL.

        I’m sure your nursing and medical training is super helpful, I know I’m not, though I have worked with psychiatrists and families for years… the rest of the family has the medical degrees… 3 cousins are Doctors, my sister and another cousin are nurses, one is a psychiatrist, and my daughter is a certified Nurse Practioner ~ if you’re familiar with that. She is just like a general practice doctor, but also gets to delve into the emotional reasons for problems and how they manifest in her patient.

        I’m sorry your daughter is having such a hard time, I have friends that sound like they may be in a similar situation, no insurance and they have cancer.

        I TOTALLY agree with you on Socialized medicine, Insurance companies and lobbyists!!!! I know it’s bad on many of the doctors cuz one of my cousins sold his practice last year and another said he was considering retiring if Obamacare wasn’t repealed…

        It sounds like we are on the same page… I could go on & on too, but best not to I’m sure… : ( However, I will be thinking of you and your daughter and hoping that you are able in some way to get help for her… Sending prayers and blessings your way… Thanks for the info. 😀

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      • You do have an educated family. Yes, I am familiar with NPs. Some that I encountered at VA where better than the psychiatrists. I think that most of them try really hard because some docs think of them as much less. In my town in central Texas, lots of MD clinics have a NP in with them. My doctor is one of four MDs plus there is a NP as well. I have not seen her for I insist upon seeing my MD. He has been my doc for more than 20 years and knows me which I feel is an advantage.

        I don’t understand the problem with MDs in Austin, TX not wanting to see you unless you have insurance. It is baffling and I would like to know what that is all about. My daughter saw a specialist in Dallas and he fianlly diagnosed her with that wacky arthritis. He takes all kinds of payments. He sees patients from all over the world and my daughter’s first appointment with him was at 5Am. Yes, you read that right.

        You speak of taking a chemo med. I hope that it continues to keep you well. My daughter is now taking Methotrexate sp? for the arthritis plus placquenil sp? The methotrexate is a chemo drug and she will need frequent blood tests while on that med.

        Anyhow, I will remain in touch with you. It is very nice to receive your long replies and information.

        And, you stay well too!

        Regards,
        Yvonne

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      • kelihasablog says:

        Yes, I imagine the Dr.’s are different. Like any profession, I’m sure there are bad apples in every bunch. Sounds like she is finally in with an understanding doctor. I have a friend her that has some type of weird arthritis, but since I quit work when I found out about the cancer, I haven’t talked to her in a long time. I know she told me she had to take some type of chemo pill for the rest of her life, but that was about 4 years ago. I take Arimidex and have to take it a minimum of 5 years. It’s not unbearable but does have some nasty side effects… I won’t keep taking up room on Bipolar’s blog (sorry about that friend) but it was nice to speak with you…sorta… LOL. sorry I don’t know anyone else in the Austin area, so I can offer no suggestions there, but it sounds like you have it all going as well as it can. Life’s just not always fair is it? 😀

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  7. Nadia says:

    Thank you for such a great post. My heart goes out to all the victims of the shooting.
    I’ve always been so intrigued by your writing, its helped me clear so many misconceptions and left me more understanding and open to all kinds of people.
    Good job!

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  8. Donna Eden says:

    AMEN!!! I agree with you on this!!! Again, people tend to look at the mentally ill. I believe noone will find the answer to this tragedy until they or all of us get to the ROOT of the problem… Maybe we could get to the ROOT of the problem by stopping the BLAME game and LOOK TO GOD…HE HAS ALL THE ANSWERS…hE IS THE ONE WHO CREATED US AND GAVE US CHOICES. Maybe we could get answers by asking Our Father in Heaven. May God Bless this country and every country around the world. AMEN!!!

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  9. lisalday111711 says:

    I love reading your blog with its raw honesty and unbiased dedication for the truth. That is why I am nominating you for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award. If you choose to accept please visit http://lisalday111711.wordpress.com/2012/12/24/wonderful-team-member-readership-award/ for details and thank you again for sharing your life with us….it is a beautiful life and one I enjoy reading about
    Lisa

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