The New York Times published an article on a mental illness Cho Seung-Hui may or may not have had. The article cites experts who say Cho could have suffered from psychotic depression, avoidant personality disorder, or schizophrenia-paranoid type. The videos show, according to Dr. Michael Stone, “a paranoid person with sadistic traits, possibly psychotic.”
What’s the use of dissecting the mental illness of a dead man? Sure, it’d be great to understand what drove Cho to do what he did, but in the end, what does it matter? How will it prevent such future attacks? The better we understand the characteristics of a person behind this, the better we can medicate them?
News articles are going nuts (ha ha) expounding on Cho’s mental state. Do killers/murderers all have a mental illness to commit such heinous acts? Perhaps some of these people were just plain stupid? Was Kurt Cobain mentally ill because he took his own life?
Cho’s issues have shed light on mental illness, although in the most negative way imaginable. While Koreans (and likely many Asians) fear backlash from this incident, I have a funny feeling those diagnosed with a mental illness will too.
“You’re depressed? Bipolar? Ohmigod, are you going to go on a killing spree?”
Don’t be surprised if you ever hear that.