When I heard that police had a suspect in custody for the I-96 shootings, I knew it only a matter of time before I heard about a possible link to Mental Illness.
It does make a little bit of sense that someone who could terrorize multiple counties by shooting at cars and endangering lives would have something misfiring in his brain. What I fear with stories like this is that people will associate violence with Mental Illness. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am passionate about the fact that the majority of people with a Mental Illness are not dangerous at all. Most are very sensitive and vulnerable who will do more harm against themselves when they are having an episode...especially before diagnosis.
The side effects of medications often put people in a position to not want to take medications, because the side effects often make people feel worse than h symptoms. When you combine that with Psychiatry not being an exact science...you get a great deal of internal chaos that will spill over into society. I'm not even going to go into insurance discrimination with this blog...but it also plays a huge role...along with...
Stigma...yep here I go again on STIGMA!
Now we have this suspect who was clearly unstable by some of the tweets I read and included in this blog (Please see pics). We have a mom who tried to get him help. We have many societal barriers that prevented him from getting help...and when you're having certain kinds of episodes...you can't trust others because you see THEM as part of the problem.
Mental illness is never an excuse. The majority of people with Mental Illness before, during, and after diagnosis do not fire guns on freeways. If this man is found guilty he needs to be held accountable...and given proper mental health care in prison. Sadly...that care will be better than what we provide many of our law-abiding citizens.