Mental health strikes home & reportedly in CT too

The news over the last few days was so depressing I could barely turn on a cable news station much less post. On top of that a friend I’ve known for decades, a bright, lovable, Texas good old boy with a heart of gold got depressed out of the blue a few months ago. He sank deeper and deeper into the abyss, despite his family’s wealth and the treatment it afforded, and despite having friends and family around keeping him company. But it’s not possible to watch someone 24/7 for weeks on end, he was left alone for a few minutes, he got into a safe — one we didn’t think he knew the combo to — where all the guns had been hidden away and killed himself, leaving us all in shock. One of the things he got obsessed with near the end as his symptom progressed and various drug regimens were turned on and off — was the fear of being committed.

Words is the CT shooter Adam Lanza may have also been terrified of being in a full treatment facility. Some are speculating that’s what set him off on his deadly rampage:

HuffPo — Nancy Lanza, the mother of the Sandy Hook shooter, was in the process of having her son committed to a psychiatric facility when he went on the mass shooting spree, a lifelong family acquaintance told Fox News. 

A senior law enforcement official also confirmed that 20-year-old Lanza’s anger over his mother’s plan is being investigated as a possible motive for the Newtown shooting.


“From what I’ve been told, Adam was aware of her petitioning the court for conservatorship and (her) plans to have him committed,” said Joshua Flashman, 25, who grew up not far from where the shooting took place. “Adam was apparently very upset about this. He thought she just wanted to send him away. From what I understand, he was really, really angry. I think this could have been it, what set him.


  1. says

    Not sure how TX works, but I can understand the fear of being committed.

    If it’s anything like MD, first you have cops show up with handcuffs. But they’re not taking you to jail, they’re taking you to an emergency room. There you’re told that you can either sign yourself in, or you can wait (probably days) until two doctors can find time to sign you in. And if two doctors have to sign you in, it won’t look good when you’re being evaluated at the psych ward, “if you know what I mean”.

    Inside the psych ward, the activities are banal, grade school level drek. You get no access to the outside, supervised or not. You get no decent means of exercise besides what you can do for yourself in your room with about ten feet of space.

    And when you’re discharged, even if you didn’t consent to treatment (so they can’t charge you for that) the hospital still gets to charge you for the room you stayed in and the food you ate. On the order of thousands of dollars.

  2. otrame says

    So what you are saying, Nathaniel, is that mental health care in this country sucks. Yes. Institutioally, yes.

    But there is another problem. For those who do not respond very quickly to antidepressants (fortunately the minority of cases), there is a great danger, not always recognized. Really depressed people don’t kill themselves because they are too depressed to form and complete such an intention. When they start to get better but are still depressed is the dangerous time.

    As someone who has been on antidepressants for almost 30 years, I can tell you that almost-normal is a real possibility for most depressives. Horror stories about mistreatment need to be told, but treatment works, makes life possible, even enjoyable. It is important to say that too.

  3. fastlane says

    oh fuck, that sucks man. I lost a very good friend (the man that did the wedding ceremony for me and my wife) to suicide…has it been almost 13 years?….and around this time of year too.

    Take care of those you can (especially yourself) and stay safe.

  4. baquist says

    I am so sorry for your lost. I’ve lost 2 friends to suicide – you are so right about not being able to watch people 24/7, and all these years later, it still hurts. I hope you, his family and friends can eventually find solace in the memory of who he was before his illness.

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