It’s already starting…..including right here on the Tucson Citizen site……..the man, Major Nadil Malik Hasan was “crazy.” If you have read any of my blogs before, you know how important it is to me to try and create a world where people living with mental illnesses do not feel stigmatized and one of the first steps is to stop using horribly discrimating terms like “crazy” or “crazed.” Yes, I agree that someone who goes on a rampage killing 12 people and wounding at least 31 others is not of sound mind, but why don’t we take a look at why this happened?
If you believe, as I do, that mental illnesses are illness just like any other, than why was this man, who supposedly treated other people with brain disorders, not receiving treatment himself? Did anyone not notice how he was struggling? According to the “God Blogging” post on this site, NPR interviewed others at Walter Reed who said he was.
Which brings us back to the same problem, the same issues that continue to plague people with mental illness and their families. Because of the stigma, because of the inattention by our health care system that doesn’t think the mind is part of one’s physical health, because of an overburdened mental healthcare system, because people suffering from a mental illness can feel isoloated and abandoned by their support structure, people with diagnosable brain disorders are falling through the cracks. One again, as President Obama called this tragedy, “a horrific” catastrophe has occured in this country.
Who knows what was going on in Hasan’s head……Certainly listening to war stories from our returning Veterans experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was not an easy thing to do, but why is it that no one saw the signs, especially when he was set to deploy at the end of the month? Maybe Major Hasan will be able to shed some light on our questions.