A diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome does not mean mental illness


This post is a response to some extremely ignorant remarks coming from individuals on a swag of blog sites. It seems to me that many people are extremely ignorant about autism, as well as the more highly functioning who have a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome. As far as I am aware there is a long way to go in understanding autism and how it is that so many children end up with this problem that affects the wiring of their brains. The worst kind of autism is that of a child who is whole wrapped up in its own world, unable to communicate properly with other than close family members.

I will note here my own experience with a young man who was autistic. I had the experience on the Trans-Canada train going from Toronto to Vancouver. The boy was not able to communicate with the rest of us, although he did get angry because we were laughing so much. His younger sister cared for him and was with him most of the time. I add here that his father and a female relative were also a part of the family group. The boy loved trains and his thing was train time tables. He did not have Asperger’s Syndrome because he was lower functioning. I also note that I came across even more of these individuals when on a cruise, because by chance there were a number of disabled travelling on that particular cruise. I observed one older male who I would also put in the autistic category. He did not have the ability to write.

On the other hand, the young people with Asperger’s Syndrome tend to be those with a very high IQ. They are the nerds in the school. They are the computer whiz kids.  A good example of such individuals would have to be the young men portrayed in the hit show, “The Big Bang Theory”. If you observe their characters carefully you can see how they are incapable of mixing socially with others, sometimes they are inappropriate in the way that they try to socialize, and they love routines.  They are extremely nerdy and they have a thing about rituals.

Adam Lanza could be easily identified as typical of the person portrayed on the Big Bang Theory, but with exception. It appears that he had some other form of mental illness. I suspect that he had schizophrenia, and when he went off the deep end he had reached a level of paranoia that meant he should have already been committed to a mental institution for his own good.

Some information is becoming available, such as someone stating that Lanza was angry with his mother because she had applied to the court to have him committed. I do not understand the connection to Sandy Brook Elementary School because the mother had worked in the finance sector and had not worked at the school.

Right now there is a very incomplete picture. Lanza damaged his computer hard drive prior to his murderous rampage. This means that he was probably hiding something about his online activity. Could it be that he had been a hacker for Anonymous or with Lulz? Did he discuss his anger with someone online?

The point that I want to make here is that this person had more than Asperger’s. It was quite clear that he was mentally ill, and this is something that is increasingly apparent in the majority of these murderous rampages. In nearly every single case, mental illness has been the root cause of the evil perpetrated by certain individuals. I think that this was also the case with Anders Brevik of Norway, except that the courts claimed he was not mentally ill (oh yeah!!).

Conditions such as Asperger’s Syndrome are something that is observable. Even with ADD and ADHD there are observations about the condition that can be made, but not all children diagnosed in that way actually have the condition. Sometimes it is a case that the child needs a stern hand from a father figure. The mother becomes the victim of the individual because she is coping by herself. If the child screams something like “I have rights”, then you can start looking elsewhere, not just for blame, but at least to understand the psyche, and to show that sometimes the leftist notion of “rights” actually goes too far.

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9 responses to “A diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome does not mean mental illness

  1. This is a very important point.

    Everybody thinks it is a good idea – and still within constitutional provisions and natural rights – for the “mentally ill” to be disallowed guns.

    HOWEVER

    There is much gray around the edges – both in terms of definitions and who has the authority to declare people mentally ill.

    As long as it is a matter of diagnostic and therapeutic convenience, nobody cares. But when it comes to depriving people of fundamental rights, that is a whole different story.

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  2. That is part of my point Carlyle, that people with Asperger’s Syndrome are not mentally ill. They have a condition with regard to their brain, but it is not mental illness.

    However, this person had more than Asperger’s and had slipped into schizophrenia. Would you allow a schizophrenic to own a gun?

    Asperger’s Syndrome is high function autism which places Aspergers in a group called autism spectrum. There is speculation that people with ADD and ADHD belong in the same spectrum. One characteristic is their inability to socialize. The inability to socialize means that they withdraw from society and that is very unhealthy. It is the slippery slope towards other serious mental illness.

    I have already noted that the characters from the Big Bang Theory display many of the features of Asperger’s Syndrome. If you have ever seen the show, then study the characters in light of what is known about autism and especially highly functioning autistics with Asperger’s. These are people with a very high IQ, and yes, Adam Lanza fitted that description to a T. I have seen episodes of that show that really spell out what it is like to have that syndrome, especially in the way that they relate to other “normal” people.

    If anything it is society that needs to be educated about these people, and we should not be forcing them to adhere to the norm. We do not have a full picture of what was happening with Adam Lanza. Something is not right in the whole story. People are saying things that are contradictory with regard to his condition, and also about the mother. If she was trying to bond with him then in all likelihood she had not understood the actual condition of her son’s mind.

    All of the mass murders have been perpetrated by people with some form of mental illness, including Columbine High and Virginia Tech, as well as the Australian case of Martin Bryant. There are other Australian examples where perpetrator was just downright criminal, and the victims of the crime were police gunned down. We have stopped several attempts to commit mass murder by those who belong to the religion of MumboJumbo where the adherents want a caliphate to be restored. However, let me get back to the one case where the toll was higher than that of Sandy Hook elementary school. It is the case of Martin Bryant at Port Arthur in Tasmania. There were 36 victims, including women and children (one man lost his wife and daughters on that day). Martin Bryant was another odd person who could not relate to others. The children on the bus used to tease him. His only friend in the world was one woman. I am not sure whether he was diagnosed with a mental illness prior to the shootings or whether he was just thought to be weird. The bullying that he received is certainly a factor with regard to the manner in which he snapped. I certainly think that Martin Bryant should never have been allowed to purchase a high powered weapon!! The other case where I feel I can comment is that of Jared Loughner. He was another one who did not make friends easily. However, his descent into evil was due to him taking drugs including cannabis and the other drug (which is never on the tip of my tongue). That second drug causes hallucinations but the two combined led to him slipping into a psychotic state. His hatred of Gabby Giffords was not normal. He was a leftist, and I wonder if he ate meat or whether he was a vegan. (I have a pet theory about vegans and their descent into madness).

    People who have been classified as mentally ill, especially if the dx is bi-polar (the new name for manic depression) or schizophrenia (especially paranoid schizophrenia) should be prohibited from possessing firearms. Please note I am not adding Asperger’s dx people to this list, because I think that they are less of a risk if they are allowed to be normal within their own sub-group.

    However, when it comes to things like violent movies and games, then I would think that this is not suitable material for those with Asperger’s Syndrome. Always keep in mind that these are people who like routine… again I suggest watching episodes of the Big Bang Theory to figure out why they like routine.

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  3. Ha ha – very funny – no, not the tragedy, of course, but Big Bang Theory.

    Surely you must have guessed that I must resemble some of the people on there. We watch it religiously and my wife continually LOLs and ROFLs because the whole thing reminds her of me and my friends in college. She imagines herself to be the “normal” Penny, but in reality she is a mixture of Penny and Amy. Looks better than Amy but sharp as a whip – and slightly socially inept, but not as bad as Amy or the guys.

    I’ve never been officially diagnosed with anything, but I must have ADHD, OCD, and Aspergers for sure and maybe even somewhere on the Autistic spectrum.

    They say I am very smart, but how would I know? I only know that I am very focused (OCD?) but also undertake different topics in turn (ADHD?) so that I know about a lot of different things. My major trait is absolute intolerance for idiots, frauds, and liars.

    And that leads to my Big Three barn burner topics:

    Anything Obama

    Global Warming H-rse Sh-t

    Gun Controlling Maniacs

    (Which also probably explains my extreme reaction to Mr. Demented Prick over at the other place!)

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    • Carlyle I doubt that you have any of those things!! 🙂 unless of course you performed any of those rituals and had a penchant for comic books.

      There is normal and the not so normal. If you really did know anybody with autism you would know the difference.

      Also, people without autism can have OCD. Any link with ADHD is extremely tenuous, despite any recent research. Some of the children diagnosed with ADD are just naughty children, but those that really have it do change with the introduction of medication.

      Having seen people with autism I do know some of the things relating to them. The vacant stare is a dead giveaway. The inability to socialise with anyone other than family is another clue. Violence can be a part of the picture. Some children with autism used to bang their heads against the wall. There are a lot of symptoms.

      However, that Lanza kid had more than Asperger’s Syndrome. His isolation probably was the cause of him descending into schizophrenia. I would like to know more about his online influences because there is something not right about what is being said… and I think that maybe he belonged to some group…….

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  4. One more thing, the son of the partner of one of my sons has a mildly autistic child. It is difficult coping with him because he seems to be a naughty child. He has problems with speaking but he has improved over the past year.

    In my view Autism should not bee seen as the reason that this Lanza kid murdered 27 people. Lanza had a very high IQ and he was communicating with people over the Internet. We shall have to wait and see if there is any trace on his activity and the kind of sites that he frequented to have any idea about what was driving him. My guess is that he had been communicating with Anonymous and was probably one of their hackers.

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  5. Air Force Brat!

    Excellent analysis, Aussie. I always enjoy reading yours and Carlyle’s comments.

    Call me cynical (and I admit that sometimes I am), but part of me can’t help wondering if Lanza is simply an example of “the bad seed”. In other words, that he did what he did because he CHOSE to. Of course, I could be wrong. But then again, I could be right too. We will likely never know the full story on him.

    On another note, do you have any idea what might be going on with Hillbuzz? No site updates or new comments since 3 December. Nor have I seen any posts by Tamminator, Robert James, Penny Lane, et al., anywhere else. It’s kind of weird for a thriving website with heavy traffic to just up and stop. Although I’m not one of them, I’m sure plenty of people out there are already convinced that the “Chicago machine” has “gotten to” them. Any thoughts or info?

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    • I am not sure what is happening with Hillbuzz. Like you I have not seen any posts.

      I do in fact think that you are correct in your summation about Adam Lanza. The comment definitely fits that of Anders Brevik in Norway.

      As a Catholic and a Christian I believe that everybody makes a choice to do right and wrong. Males with Aspergers Syndrome (the majority are male) belong to the highly functioning category of Austism. The worst case autistics are not able to communicate except with family. It is my understanding that Lanza was communicating with people. He had a very high IQ and belonged to the “Techie” or Nerd group at school.

      Despite being highly functioning autistic Adam Lanza was capable of thinking for himself and he was capable of making choices. If the investigators are able to get the data off his hard drive, then they might be able to find out what he did online…. I suspect he had a link to a group such as Anonymous. I have absolutely nothing to prove this suspicion except that Anonymous were interested enough to do some damage to the Westboro website (I do not mind that they hacked into that site – just saying). It is my suspicion that Adam Lanza chose to participate in hacking activity. He certainly had the capability to do something like that.

      If Lanza was involved in some kind of illegal activity online, then for me it is not a stretch to see this as the beginning of making a series of choices. One thing I do not know is whether or not he ever used drugs like Jared Loughner. The use of illegal drugs is another situation of making a choice.

      Once these choices are made, there are usually some consequences. In the case of Jared Loughner, he made choices relating to hallucinating drugs other than the cannabis, yet in combination with the cannabis, they led him into some kind of paranoid state. It is the choice to take those drugs in the first place that matters, not the effect of taking those drugs.

      There is some research available regarding men with Asperger’s Syndrome and violent acts where lives are taken out at the same time. I am not sure that I agree with the conclusions of that research, because it turns the diagnosis of Asperger’s into some kind of convenient fall guy. The person with autism is already living in a somewhat isolated world, and this is quite frankly dangerous for their mental well-being as they get older.

      The case I am most familiar with is that of Martin Bryant, the male responsible for the worst Australian massacre of this nature. In fact more died at Port Arthur than at Sandy Hook Elementary school. There were over 30 victims in that massacre, with one man losing his wife and both daughters (I am happy to state that he has married again, and I think that they have children). Martin Bryant was another loner who was considered to be weird. The children on the bus used to ridicule him. Only one woman befriended him. It is no wonder that there was a build up of anger that led to the explosion at Port Arthur. Martin Bryant is mentally deficient, but as far as I am aware he did not take illegal drugs. It was simply a build up of anger against people who had bullied and belittled him.

      I do not see Adam Lanza in the same category as a Martin Bryant. I see him as someone who had other issues, where it seems he had somehow descended into paranoid schizophrenia. Keep in mind that his mother was trying to get him committed to an institution for treatment.

      Schizophrenics do not believe that there is anything wrong, and it is common for them to refuse any form of treatment. Here in Australia it is common for parents and family to seek court intervention to order the schizophrenic to take medication that can help them. Of the schizophrenics that I have known, I have seen a link to amphetamines and cannabis. Something in their brains must trigger when they make the decision to take those drugs in the first place. It is always a choice.

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  6. Air Force Brat!

    Wow, that is so weird about the ENTIRE Hillbuzz lot seeming to have disappeared off the face of the Earth. Even if all of them are working full-time, surely someone would post something, somewhere. Surely the inevitable conspiracy theory — that all were threatened, kidnapped or “eliminated” by the “Chicago machine” — isn’t true?

    If the burden of blogging and the costs of maintaining the site are too great, the thing needs to just be shut down. Can a site just hang out there in the ether forever?

    Sorry to remain off-topic . . . something just seems weird, that’s all. I hate unsolved mysteries.

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    • It could be a problem of paying for the bandwidth again. It could be that Kevin is ill.

      I am simply unsure about what might be happening. I have seen this in the past where the site goes quiet for a while.

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