- Council Moves Gun Range to Second Reading
- Nostalgic Images of Ten Forgotten Huntington Venues
- Thundering Herd Community Mourns the Loss of Emileigh Cooper
- DEVOTION: Fat Tuesday
- Public advocacy group retains Washington law firm to mount antitrust challenge to proposed Dow-DuPont merger
- Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology rated in nation’s top 50
- Questions About Proposed Department of Energy Budget Requests
- School of Pharmacy receives grant from Walgreens for diversity initiatives
- First Alert donates 175 smoke, carbon monoxide alarms to Fire Department
- Huntington Receives Donation of Life Saving Drug
OPINION/COLUMN: Story That Will Make an Atheist Pray
Friday, December 14, 2012 - 23:12 Updated 3 years ago by David "Alligator" Williams
I do not even want to write this column today. I really cannot even imagine anyone wanting to read this. This is a train wreck that makes me want to gouge my eyes out so I won’t look at it since I obviously can’t look away. This is a story that is too sick to be fiction, a fiction writer who conjured up a book like this would be diagnosed with a mental illness.
Because sadly, this story does all come down to mental illness, you can blame good and evil…but mental illness is at the root.
I woke up this afternoon around three, after sleeping all day. I work midnights in a mental health facility. The sun was shining and it looked like a beautiful day so I decided to take a walk. As I walked I started looking at my Facebook wall. The pieces of the puzzle that were displayed on my Blackberry came together as one of the saddest and most sickening stories I have ever heard.
I read the prayers for the lost children first. Then the news details came. I prayed. Tears formed in my eyes. My knees buckled.
We now know the details. It is pure unimaginable horror. We know what is coming in the next few hours or days. We know Bob Costas will be saying “I told you so.” We know that guns rights lovers will hold on to their guns tighter as the left-wing wackos will be giving them the evil eye. Nancy Grace will prove why her type of sensationalism is disgusting. Every rock will be unturned. Every sickening detail will emerge.
To me, it all comes down to mental health.
I am a mental health professional. There are times that mental health is made into a joke. We have all heard the ‘jokes about people hearing voices’, we have all heard the old song “They’re Coming To Make Me Away.”
If we know anything at all after today, we know mental health is not a joke. It is a serious issue. I am not sure what caused today’s horror, but this has mental health written all over it.
I cannot count how many times I have heard patients say “I do not belong here.” The newly committed patient always says, “I’ve got my rights and you cannot keep me here.”
When it is pointed out that the judge has taken their rights, they boldly state that they will sue the hospital and they will make sure that the judge will never sit behind a bench again. If there was any likely hood of the judge being ‘fired’, we would have ran out of judges long ago.
It must be hard to commit someone you love. It must be even harder to check yourself into a mental hospital. But the hospitals are there for a reason. In the long run, they are there to prevent senseless tragedies like this.
Mental illness is the most powerful force we may ever deal with. It may be stronger than pure evil, because mental illness cannot be rationalized with. Mental health can only be treated. Treatment of a mental illness can prevent needless pain and sorrow.
I implore to you that even in this holiday season, beg a loved one suffering from mental illness to get help.
Take the necessary steps to get them help if they refuse to do so on their own.
Mental illness can be overwhelming during the holiday season when painful memories and stress rise to the surface.
If you want to make a difference, learn about mental illness and increase awareness of mental illness. It is not the guns that cause this type of carnage, it is mental illness. Mental illness would find away to destroy without the use of guns. You cannot change society and mental illness, you can only treat it. We must raise awareness of mental illness so it can be treated.
Pray for the children that are lost.
Pray for the families of the victims.
Pray for the mentally ill that their sickness never reaches this disturbing level.
In a time like this: just pray.