On the topic of the Cho incident:
The anti-psychiatry crowd tried to use the Virginia Tech case to paint the frightening image that psychiatric medications caused Seung-Hui Cho to go on a murderous rampage. In an unsigned letter, one group issued a demand for the toxicology report under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, threatening legal action.
Last week, the results of toxicology tests were released. But, the fearmongers won’t be pleased. The state medical examiner’s office found no trace of prescription drugs or toxic substances in Cho’s body.
In this day and age, it is hard to believe that there are still people who deny the existence of severe mental illnesses and point to everything but untreated psychotic symptoms as the cause of harmful behaviors. But, the research shows that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are diseases of the brain. And as most people suspected, it was Cho’s untreated symptoms that caused so much devastation.
I’m really confused here. The TAC is the group that’s known for advocating family members (or something) gaining complete control over a mentally ill person – giving them the opportunity to have that person committed. From what I understand, it sounds like the TAC wants to do that even if the mentally ill person doesn’t have a psychiatric advance directive.
The TAC seems to mock the fact that the "anti-psychiatry" crowd who said Cho was on some heavy meds when he went on his rampage. TAC’s "nah-nanny-boo-boo" comes at the end when they gloat about how Cho’s rampage was the result of an untreated mental illness.
I was never completely convinced Cho was on meds. Perhaps an antidepressant but I didn’t think antipsychotics or drugs that heavy. (Pass the ‘quell!) Nevertheless, I reject the TAC’s argument that if Cho were on meds, the VTech massacre could have been prevented. See my post from yesterday on Christopher Pittman who killed his grandparents and burned their house down while taking 200 mg (an adult dosage) of Zoloft. It’s completely possible that Cho had a mental illness that went untreated. But I think it’s time that people finally just admit that Cho was responsible for his actions with or without meds. If I go out and shoot a cop, I can appeal that the bipolar disorder made me do it, but regardless, I’m the one who did it. I’m responsible for my actions for shooting a cop, bipolar disorder or not. (Philadelphians: Resist the temptation to insert Mumia Abu-Jamal joke here.)
There are still a lot of fuzzy things surrounding Cho’s mental health and his motivation behind the shootings, but I have a feeling there will be many more questions and very few answers.