Mental Illness and Family Responsibility

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Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 3.05.14 PMI am prefacing this post with the following: I never paid attention to the life story of Chris Kyle, until the movie came out, and the ultra liberal press began denigrating him as a monster.  I don’t know what the story is, there.  I do know that what he did was horribly soul-sucking.  Anyone who says he enjoyed what he did, is, I suspect, being intellectually dishonest.  I know of someone who did something similar in Vietnam.  It destroyed his future and his ability to do much of anything.  This person and I don’t get along to the point where it is rather humorous.  A mutual friend thinks that it is.  When our mutual friend told me what this person did in Vietnam, I changed my mind about him – to a point.  He literally gave the rest of his life for his country.  His injuries were mental, psychological.  I know, according to our mutual friend, he lives with this every single day.  For anyone to say that men like this are monsters and treat them as such are, as far as I am concerned, absolutely disgusting.

This post is not about Chris Kyle.  It is not about Eddie Ray Routh, who is accused of murdering Kyle and Chad Littlefield.  It is about mental illness and a family’s responsibility to insure family members who are mentally ill and a danger to themselves and the public are contained.  I have known a woman for well over a decade who has a daughter who is schizophrenic. Over the years I’ve watched this woman battle the authorities, her daughter, the medical profession, and anyone who put a roadblock between her daughter and proper care. She recognized that her daughter was a danger, not only to herself, but could be a danger to the public.  She had never taken no for an answer, to the point where, there are times, as long as her daughter is medicated and supervised, she can live a fairly normal life.

According to Dr. Harry Croft, who is considered one of the leading experts on PTSD, Routh was not suffering from PTSD.  He had other mental issues, but it was not PTSD.  Routh is concerned, that, because PTSD is being used as an excuse for murder, it will effect vets who are dealing with post traumatic stress, who are trying to find a decent job.  If Routh is not suffering from PTSD, then what is going on here?

“…He says the accused shooter was a Marine and would not fit the profile of a PTSD patient alone, especially since he allegedly killed a fellow veteran who was at the gun range offering help. “Either it was drugs or alcohol or some sort of co-existing psychiatric illness, depression psychosis, manic episode, paranoid disorder, something in addition to his PTSD,” said Croft…”

He was on anti-psychotic drugs.   He was also, apparently abusing drugs, or had a history of this. Marijuana, which was found, would not cause this.  He had been drinking.  He was on medication for schizophrenia.  Kyle and Littlefield were, apparently, told by Routh’s mother, that he was suffering from PTSD.  Apparently, she did not tell the about the other psychological problems.

If Routh’s mother knew he was suffering from schizophrenia, and was psychotic, and she is the one who arranged for Kyle and Littlefield to work with her son, she is as much to blame for their death as her son.  Apparently Routh’s girlfriend was so concerned, she tried to reach Kyle at least twice, before he was murdered.

This a tragedy which could have been prevented. One of the only ways to stop things like this is to start holding family members who are not actively trying to get help for dangerously their mentally ill ‘loved ones’, as responsible as those who pull the trigger.  Bartenders are held responsible if a person lives a bar, drunk, and is in a tragic accident.  Why is this any different?

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