For some reason this last shooting in the states hit me harder than any of the others. Lets face it; in the states, mass shootings have become almost a daily occurrence and after a while you hear the news and think “Oh another shooting, gee that’s too bad” then go on with your day. I live in Canada, we don’t have a problem with mass shootings, we don’t have a beef with the NRA, so what do I care?
Guns have always been around with far less stringent gun laws and mass shooting, teens killing teens was not happening. This has led me on an investigation to figure out what has changed in recent decades to make teens angry enough they would violently kill their peers. Angry teens is nothing new, all the hormones, peer pressure, the need to be popular. And lets be honest, I am not trying to blame the victims, but kids can be cruel. (seen it, experienced it, got the T-shirt)
Then I heard the kid was 18, that his father had died when he was 8 and his mother died last year. A knot formed in my stomach. I thought of what I was going through with my son when he was 18; I honestly didn’t think he would live to 21. He would either end up killing someone, be killed, or end up in jail. My son laughs at me now and says “Oh Momma, I wasn’t that bad.” Oh yes he was. And I couldn’t help wondering what he would have done if I would have died when he was 18.
That got me thinking about what Nikolas Cruz’s childhood might have been like, what drove him to do what he did. Maybe I was wrong to feel sorry for him but I had to try to figure it out.
I know one thing for certain; getting rid of the guns is not going to solve the problem. I agree that it may save a few lives, it will force kids to be more creative in their killing sprees, we might see more bombings or vehicles running over groups of people, but it isn’t going to solve the cause of the problem. In one forum I was in someone was spouting off about China not having any shootings because they don’t allow guns. No they don’t have shootings, they have stabbings and machete attacks and the US is no different. For decades kids have been coming to school with knives and attacking someone they have a beef with and then they kill themselves. This is not just about mass shootings, it can’t be isolated like that; this is about school violence, it is about society, it’s about asking when and why did the human life stop having value? Why are our teens committing suicide, bullying, and killing at an alarming rate?
I was raised with guns in the home and I know that simply having a gun available to you does not make you a killer. I have also done a lot of work with domestic violence victims and been one myself, and found it interesting that the #1 sign that the abuser is capable of murdering the victim is if he has strangled her. My ex could blow a vehicle up from yards away using a length of wire, barbecue starter, a balloon and cutting gas. If someone wants to kill you, they don’t need a gun and a gun does not make them into a killer.
But before I go any further lets look at the common traits of these teens;
Children and Adolescent Shooters
- over 60% wet the bed past the age of 12 years old. (bed wetting is a common sign a child is being or has been sexually abused)
- Had a fascination with fire and may have a history of arson
- Often from dysfunctional families with an absentee father
- Childhood abuse
- Were bullied
- History of attempted suicide
- Become a loner due to feelings of alienation from their peers
- Every single young mass shooter was on some psychiatric drug
- They are our future domestic abusers and mass murderers.
We don’t hear about the kid being medicated for ADHD, just his troubled past.
“Approximately 11% of children 4-17 years of age (6.4 million) have ever been diagnosed with ADHD, according to parent report from 2011-12. [Read key findings] The percent of children with an ADHD diagnosis continued to increase, from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007 and to 11.0% in 2011-12.Jan 24, 2018”
“Twelve percent of US children and teens had a diagnosis of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in 2011, a number that has jumped by 43 percent since 2003, according to a large national study based on parental reports of an ADHD diagnosis.”
I am not saying that in some cases drugs might be necessary, I am not a psychiatrist but I strongly believe that there are alternatives that could be tried but drugs are easier and quicker and makes the drug manufacturers money. It makes teacher’s lives easier; it’s hard for teachers to control a classroom of children if some of them don’t sit quietly and I understand the teachers frustration, there isn’t the time to teach each student the way that they need to learn.
We all learn differently. We are all unique, something that I personally love. I love when a person isn’t afraid to be who they are instead of being a “sheep” but not everyone appreciates uniqueness, it scares them and in school especially; it really is not appreciated.
In my opinion, we are too quick to label children with some disorder before they even have a chance to develop their personality, any child who is high energy and perhaps even highly intelligent is labeled as being ADHD, ADD, OCD and we drug them into compliance. I am appalled that children as young as 2 are being labeled disordered when they just might have a unique personality that needs to be directed and taught in a way they can relate to.
The school recommended my son be put on Ritalil when he was in elementary school in the late 80’s and I flatly refused. I was told it was a miracle drug for helping children learn. When I knew it was more about getting kids to comply and behave; making the teachers life so much easier. I was pressured quite strongly and even made to feel guilty, that I could make my son’s life so much easier by putting him on a drug that would help him concentrate. I literally called Bullshit and walked out.
I had kids in my daycare as young as 7 on Ritalil and to be honest they were the worst behaved and the meanest kids. I had step children that were put on it and it just deadened their personalities. I had to comply with the mom’s wishes but I hated the effect it had on the kids. None of them were on it long and none of them liked how they felt on it. Every single kid I have known on ADHD drugs had dead eyes. I hate the frickin stuff and what I have uncovered just reinforces what I have always felt. You don’t drug kids into compliance!
Anti-depressants and drugs for ADHD are all from the category of SSRI drugs or Serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors
Side effects of anti depressants and drugs for ADHD
loss of appetite, weight loss, sleep problems, irritability, hallucinations, confusion, and tics, insomnia, increase the risk of cardiac and psychiatric problems, an increased risk of suicide, Extreme Agitation Hostility & Aggression, Withdrawal Reactions , Other Side Effects, Autism, Paxil Suicide
“As one well-known psychiatrist put it: “[SSRIs] are not correcting a biochemical imbalance, these drugs create severe imbalances in the brain. … The idea that human suffering, psychological suffering, is biochemical is strictly a promotional campaign, perhaps the most successful in the history of the world, created by the drug companies. We do not even have a technology, a scientific technology, for measuring what happens inside the brain … it is literally a fabrication.””
“For the existing indications SSRI manufacturers make over Six Billion Dollars ($6,000,000,000) per year from SSRIs.”
In 2006 the FDA required drug manufacturers to carry a “Blackbox Warning” on all anti-depressants because of the serious side effects and subsequent law suits and criminal cases where it was determined that the person committed murder or some other violent crime while under the influence of an SSRI and got off.
They recommend anyone taking an SSRI have a face to face meeting with their doctor and that family and friends closely monitor the patient.
First of all who has the time or money for weekly doctors appointment?
Secondly; who reads the small print on their medications?
Thirdly (is that a word?)People trust their doctor to inform them of side effects and to book follow up appointments.
Finally; the doctors themselves don’t know all the side effects and the majority tend to prescribe more medication to counter act the side effects of the first meds. There are interactions like with cough syrup that could send a patient into SSRI toxicity. How many kids need cough syrup?
I know this because of my own recent experiences with medication for my heart, the wrong meds all but killed me, yet the doctors kept insisting it was not the meds. It was not until I told them I was taking myself off them because life was not worth living while on them; that I got their attention and they found an alternative drug and the change was almost immediate and my health improved so quickly I went from being told I needed a heart transplant to going from a 1.5 grading to 10.5.
Most people don’t deal with the medical profession for anything more than a common cold and ADHD has become so common I am sure parents assume it is perfectly safe because if it wasn’t there would have been more information out there about it. The number of children who commit suicide or violent crimes is not tracked in terms of the drugs they were on and they are just chalked up to “the child was depressed” or the child “had behavior problems”
I am sure in most cases the children end up being ok taking the medication and grow up without incident. But what about the 1% who have adverse effects and slip through the cracks?
What about the kid, who on top of being medicated is bullied, and because of the drugs starts to get paranoid, has feelings of aggression he doesn’t know how to deal with, throw into the mix the boy’s father dies and the mother is grieving and not able to handle the child as well. Now the child is dealing with feelings of grief, being bullied, has no one to talk to and maybe is just dismissed by all the adults dealing with their own issues (adults rarely give children credit for their emotions and tend to dismiss them because they are just kids) What does a kid do if he has feelings he doesn’t know how to deal do? they either isolate themselves or they act out. Can you see the vicious cycle starting? THEN!
The drugs are doing exactly what they are intended to due, dull his feelings, and by every definition the person becomes a narcissist, no empathy, no love, just hatred and anger.
The kid, being bullied grows angrier, adults are always angry with him, kids withdraw from him because he is angry and they can’t relate to losing their dad, (or as in my son’s case, his dad just chose to not be in his life and criticize him when he did see him the odd time, cancelled daddy days and generally disappointed the kid time after time). The kid isolates himself and buries himself on the internet, sees other kids great lives on Facebook, those popular kids who want nothing to do with him. He ruminates about it, all alone, day after day and gets more and more angry. He doesn’t know how to release his angry in a healthy way or how to communicate in a constructive way and he builds deeper pathways in his brain so that even if he doesn’t want to, all he can think about is how no one cares, rejects him, dismisses him, is angry with him and how unfair life is. Then his mother gets sick and dies. He is alone, homeless, kicked out of school, no one understands him, he doesn’t understand himself, even his own little brother teased him.
There had been thirty 911 calls made about Nikolas Cruz since 2016. One call was made by his mother because he had gotten angry and was throwing things and hit her with the vacuum hose, his therapist had attended the home with the police. The therapist had given him drugs, he had calmed down so they said there was no need to take him in for assessment. His mother had said he was becoming more irate over time, talking more about wanting a gun, cutting himself and generally exhibiting progressively scarier behavior. He had called 911 himself to report being bullied just days after his mother died. Yet nothing was done. As much as what he did is horrific, it can not be chalked up to “he slipped through the cracks”. The boy was screaming for help and warning people what he was planning to do long before he did it and no one listened, sadly he has everyone’s attention now! So, the truth of the matter is; his feelings were dismissed, he wasn’t taken seriously, he was given more of the drugs that were making him even more angry, paranoid and violent. In my mind, society failed this boy is such a huge way, and it has to stop before any more kids die.
Society, media, TV, video games, movies and music all associate violence with masculinity. Boys are told to “man up”, don’t be a sissy, if they cry, girls naturally know how to express sadness but boys are expected to be tough, they end up dealing with all their feelings one way, with anger and aggression.
There are narcissists and psychopaths who are born that way, and they can not be helped and are very dangerous; but most of these kids are created by society.
I have to ask too, how many of the kids being prescribed medication are truly ADHD? There are many prescribed tests doctors should be doing to determine if there is some other cause for the child’s behavior.
To rule out other conditions, a doctor may ask for tests (but how many do?), including:
Hearing and eyesight
A blood test for lead levels
A blood test for diseases such as thyroid disease
A test to measure electrical activity in the brain
A CT scan or MRI to check for brain abnormalities
The Vanderbilt Assessment Scale is a 55-question assessment tool that reviews symptoms of ADHD. It also looks for other conditions such as conduct disorder, oppositional-defiant disorder, anxiety, and depression.
The Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC) is a test that looks for things like hyperactivity, aggression, and conduct problems. It also looks for anxiety, depression, attention and learning problems, as well as the lack of certain essential skills.
The Child Behavior Checklist/Teacher Report Form (CBCL) is a scale that looks at physical complaints, aggressive or delinquent behavior, and withdrawal.
The Neuropsychiatric EEG-Based Assessment Aid (NEBA) system is a scan that measures brain waves. The ratio of certain brain waves tends to be higher in children and adolescents with ADHD. The scan is approved for use in children ages 6 to 17, but is meant to be used as a part of a complete medical and psychological exam.
Other tests help diagnose other medical conditions that mimic ADHD, but don’t diagnose ADHD itself.
Look for my next post with my thoughts on how to stop raising narcissistic kids and mass murderers.