Violence and Mental Health: A Cocktail of Chemicals

Mental health is continually cited as a causal factor in gun violence, ‘it isn’t the gun, it is the person’.   But rarely do we take that statement and apply it globally to violence. A person that physically harms another by any means, in my opinion, is mentally ill, with few exceptions.

Recently, a home security video was circulating the internet depicting a woman screaming hysterically and banging on a door crying for help. She was located the next day inside the home of her boyfriend brutally beaten, her boyfriend was arrested and she was immediately taken to the hospital.

The actions of the man should be considered mental illness, just as the actions of a deranged mass gunman.

Another video was released today showing a Swedish woman at an Ocasio townhall calling for everyone to eat babies in order to reduce carbon emissions. While she is obviously mentally ill, she was told to sit down and at the end of the meeting likely went home.

Mental illness has been rising steadily, and while it is prevalent across the globe, it is measured in oblique terms by each country and the numbers do not represent the real problem when measured within the scope of violence.

Psychiatrists within mainstream outlets provide the same dreary analysis:   Mental illness can be caused by environmental factors, biological factors, and hereditary factors.

So why the increase?   What environmental factors should be avoided?

We have become a planet of toxins.   Both heavy metal and man-made chemicals disrupt brain development and hormones.   The cocktail has become so pervasive it is difficult to near impossible to avoid completely but knowledge can help mitigate:

1) Lead from old water pipes leaching into drinking water causes irreversible brain damage, a lowered IQ, brain volume loss, disrupted motor development and function, and the inability to achieve academically.

Although lead pipes were slowly discontinued since the 1950’s, any home, apartment, school, or office built before 1950 is likely to have lead piping.   Flint Michigan was only the tipping point, the US has 6.1 million lead service lines connecting water supplies.   The heaviest concentrations are in the north eastern and north central regions, Texas and Florida. States are doing absolutely – nothing to resolve the problem given that replacement is estimated to cost $1 trillion.

24 million homes across the US still have lead based paint.

2)   Copper is an essential mineral that we obtain through shellfish, grains, nuts, beans and potatoes. But copper pipes leach just like lead pipes.   Copper produces dopamine which is essential in providing us with alertness and reward based motivation. But too much dopamine can lead to ADHD symptoms; hyperactivity, aggressiveness, irritability, impulsivity, and agitation.   In our pharma culture ADHD is treated with stimulants which do not work when levels of copper are too high and instead increase the ADHD symptoms.

In addition, excess copper blocks the production of serotonin, the necessary natural chemical that creates mood balancing in humans. A lack of serotonin causes; emotional, mental, and behavioral problems, depression, anxiety, psychosis and paranoia.

3)   Phosphorous is the second most abundant chemical in the body. It is essential for our bone health. It is found in protein rich foods and a deficiency is rare.   But, our bodies are finely tuned and balance is the scale that defines. Too much phosphorus interferes with our absorption of other minerals, such as calcium and magnesium.   Phosphates in processed foods and soda are the largest contributors to an over abundance of phosphorus.   Phosphates have been shown to trigger ADHD symptoms.

4)   Many plastic products contain hormone disrupting chemicals, such as BPA and phthalates which enter the body and disrupt brain function and our nervous system.   Phthalates are classified as a human carcinogen and are associated with childhood behavior problems and executive functioning problems (ADHD).   These products have been found to leach from medical devices and pronounced levels were determined to be higher in children who were in intensive care facilities. Levels were shown to be sustained four years later.

BPA levels are monitored in urine. Children with higher levels of BPA are said to be 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.   There is a significant positive association between pregnant women with high levels of BPA and boys showing behavior problems, depression, somatic behaviors, and defiant oppositional behavior. It is believed that the BPA in pregnancy altered thyroid function which is critical to brain development.

5)   Insecticides have been shown to destroy an enzyme that controls attention, learning and short term memory. There are 40 different types of insecticides used throughout the US – including on school grounds.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton vowed that when she was elected president she would overhaul the US mental health system to increase providers and provide more medication.   In other words, her solution had nothing to do with the ‘cause’ and everything to do with hyping Big Pharma.  It wasn’t about curing – it was about profiting.

Knowledge is power.   Each of these causal factors are detailed in their singular effect, the cocktail effect can be devastating!   While we can likely not prevent the absorption of all these chemicals, we can limit the deficiencies and abundances through careful choices. Some are preventable.   Healthy detoxification can include simple choices including drinking green, dandelion and black tea, eliminating processed foods, using toxic friendly household cleaners, no plastic, no Teflon, filtered water, no soda, etc…

Guns; Mass Shootings; And Mental Health

Mass shooting.   The first recorded as such in the US was in 1949 when in Camden, New Jersey a 29 year old Howard Unruh walked calmly through his neighborhood and shot and killed 13, wounding another 3. He was diagnosed as criminally insane. He used a German Luger that he obtained as a WWII veteran.  

In 1968 Charles Whitman, a Marine trained sharpshooter struggling with violent tendencies shot his mother, and his wife among 12 others, and injured an additional 31 people using an arsenal of weapons including semi-automatics, a Luger, and a Magnum. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

In 1982 George Banks shot and killed 13 people including 5 of his own children and their mothers. His lawyer plead insanity stating that he was a victim of racism because of his own mixed racial identity.

In 1984, James Huberty announced to his wife that he thought he might have mental problems. He had a history of domestic violence. Three days later he shot 41 people in McDonalds, 22 died.

Since those shootings nearly 300 people have died in 19 separate events as a result of deadly mass gun violence perpetrated by a lone gunman who had mental illness or by terrorists.  The weapons ranged from semi-automatic rifles, to handguns, to the use of multiple guns as in an ‘arsenal’.

THIRTEEN Presidents have served in office during this time frame.   Eleven of these 22 shootings, 50%, occurred during Obama’s reign.   253 people died during Obama’s reign as a result of mass shootings and he did nothing to change or quell these atrocities.   But somehow this is the fault of Trump and the NRA…

While there remain the naysayers who believe that mental health is not a causal factor, the statistics simply do not support this defense.   In fact, the statistics overwhelmingly do provide this fact or Truism as a core commonality.   However, while creating a mental health database for the purchase of guns may hinder or slow the ability to purchase, black markets will always abound, and as Sweden has newly discovered, perpetrators will simply find a new weapon of choice – hand grenades and bombs, which are apparently quite plentiful.

Mental health in the US is an abysmal statistic. It is believed that 20% of the US population has some degree of mental health issue with 50% suffering co-occurring substance abuse. 11.2% of youth suffer from severe depression.   And the over-whelming majority “Choose” to not seek help.   Not because it isn’t available, but because they don’t want to.

Perhaps a better query would be to ask why the US is host to so many with mental health issues?

In 2004, “the most common primary diagnostic groups were depression (27.8%), schizophrenia (19.5%), bipolar disorder (19.4%), alcohol use disorder (11.6%), and drug use disorder (11.1%), with other psychiatric disorders accounting for the remain- ing 10.5% of hospitalizations.”    Prior to the infamous Obamacare, 53% of the total medical cost was assumed by Medicare and Medicaid, the remainder was covered by public health insurance – according to Premier Perspective Community Database. This would mean that Obamacare has had no relative benefit in reducing uninsured from seeking psychiatric help.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, anxiety was the most common disorder. Miltown was the first mass produced drug distributed to inhibit anxiety and was prescribed as a tranquilizer writing a phenomenal 500 million prescriptions.   With the advent of Valium, 20% of all women and 8% of all men reported taking this new and improved tranquilizer in the 1970’s and the term anxiety was replaced with ‘depression’.

Between 1987 and 1997, the psychiatric community increased their diagnosis of depression by 300%.   A boon to the pharmaceutical industry!

Today, most treatment for mental health disorders is- a prescription.   A person may request treatment without the use of drugs, but this is quite uncommon and most psychiatrists are rather pushy in demanding drug administration.  The causes are left unfettered, and the symptoms are masked by drugs.

In 2015, there were 130 people killed in mass shootings in France by semi-automatic weapons despite a nearly complete ban on such guns.   In 2016, Ali Sonboly killed 21 people in Munich at a McDonalds. He was under psychiatric care for depression. He was said to have been severely bullied at school.  Germany has very strict gun laws.

And while there is a meme circulating that demands more psychiatrists in schools, more teachers, more counselors, more nurses, more tolerance, more more, it is so incredibly unrealistic and serves no real purpose in providing a true solution.   The core commonality of most mass shootings is mental health (outside of terrorism) whether in the US or abroad.   Among youth, school bullying is by far the most prevalent cause.  Medicating society has been the solution according to Big Pharma.  While Pharma has prospered on this notion quite lucratively, society has suffered.

The last gun law passed by the Federal government expired in 2004.   Since then, two sitting Presidents have done absolutely nothing.   Trump has stated that he will be researching ways to better monitor background checks for mental illness, but it is a difficult path with many barriers, the most obvious of which is – privacy and HIPPA. Civil Rights lawsuits would hugely impact the ability of background checks to include medical records.   And while Israel has been cited as a model, a behavioral assessment is required in order for a person to own a gun.

Still the media cites guns and Trump as the culprit while Obama gets a pass, HIPPA is ignored, and the estimate that only 15% of firearms used in an illegal act were legally obtained, is not addressed.   

In view of the ‘death threats’ promulgated by multiple Hollywood entertainers, their mental health would most certainly qualify them for prohibition… community service, and fines.  Right?

EX-TV Reporter – Murder By Insanity

Jeffrey Marks – an amazing spokesman, I listened to his take on the shooting-murder of two of his people by the disgruntled ex-employee. His response was both heartfelt and ethical, it showed a man of values and integrity…and I don’t say that often.

It is what many of us believe, that there is no fathoming of the ‘why’, because their simply can never be a ‘why’, because so doing justifies the act. And the act really has no justification – it is insanity. A cold blooded murderer has to be insane and anything else just isn’t – possible.

It is no different than James Holmes opening fire in a movie theater. Of course he is insane! There is no other way we can wrap around such an action. What we need to do is have a separate insanity plea that means the guy acknowledges he is eternally insane and that he has to be committed to an institution of some nature – for life. Of course, yes, I know, an insane person cannot acknowledge anything – but that’s when the common rule of three unaffiliated psychoanalysts will confirm – not his insanity, but the fact that he can not be ‘repaired’.

Some in the media would label this rampage ‘a workplace grudge’. But a grudge is a feeling, not a venge filled brutal murder. A grudge is something far less than the planned, videotaped, assault on innocent people who have done nothing to justify this action. And to call it such minimizes their death and minimizes the terrorism with which this man acted.

Again, this speaks to mental illness, and the lacking command of the US to tend to a growing epidemic. In a paper released by NIH, the author addresses the fact that insanity in the US is increasing, and it’s increase is not simply a product of a growing population, but a product of ratios.

Mental health issues have survived as long as mankind. Their causes are vast including environmental, genetic, and conditional – that is, a result of a life event(s). But we’ve also witnessed a new form in the past few decades, a mental illness that is created as a result of medications. When I had breast cancer my oncologist prescribed Arimidex, a type of chemo drug with vast side-effects. When I confronted him with the side-effects (blurred vision, extreme pain, numbness, severe dizziness, swollen legs, high blood pressure, arthritis, bone loss, vomiting, fatigue, weight gain, sleep disorders, hair falling out, hives, breast lumps…) his response was to casually declare that all side-effects could be handled with an additional prescription medication. He calculated that a lot of women took upwards of 12 different meds as a result – all of which gave him kick-backs (he didn’t say that part).

Of course the other mistake was the fact that this medication is used for ‘post-menopausal’ women only and I had not even begun menopause. A gross misdiagnosis with me as the patsy.

The point is that America has become the land of prescription drugs. Something wrong? Give it a drug. More things wrong – more drugs.

Facts: One in four children take one or more prescription drugs. Age 65 and older the rate rockets to 9 out of 10. Overall, 70% of Americans are on some type of prescription drug. 13% of the population is on painkillers, and another 13% on anti-depressants.

Do drugs exasperate mental health issues or mask them? They certainly don’t cure anything.

According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 20% of Americans have mental health problems, although they say the reality could be as high as 30%. According to their study, the states with the highest incidence include; Washington, Oregon, Utah, Idaho, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia. So we have a problem, a big problem. Bigger than cancer, guns, heart disease, this is a travesty ignored. How can we possibly deny that these killers are anything but insane? And what are we doing to mitigate this? Giving more pills and making gun laws will do nothing to curb insanity…

According to a report in 1894, the biggest causes of insanity included; epilepsy, hereditary, intemperance, morphine, masturbation, and that ubiquitous class, ‘other’. And while we think we have progressed beyond some of the more inane causes stated in 1894, think again… Some researchers state that cigarette smoking leads to schizophrenia, and synthetic drugs (like the ones prescribed to combat depression and anxiety may cause insanity). In other words, a lot of what we do to battle illnesses will cause mental illness. But the most obvious of all seems to be a defective gene. As researchers have come around from blaming red meat, mushrooms, tomatoes, potatoes, nuts, as culprits, as the primary cause of cancer, the true demon would appear to be a defective – gene.

And while this does not rule out that situations, trauma, and psychological factors play a part, or contribute, it would make sense that in the billions of genes that make and create who we are physically and mentally could easily risk having a deformity, however slight, that will alter our being.

How we look to cure that – is still a far leap in the future. But recognizing it is a first step, albeit a baby step.