There are many points to think about:
1-2. Gun control is definitely something to look at but also Mental Illness needs to be looked at in our children.
The reason I wrote my book Flashbacks in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Surviving the Flood was to find people who are untreated and are present in our society. I felt if the person with mental illness or a loved one read my book they would see signs of mental illness similar in their children. Then the hope would be for the adults in the child's life to get them evaluated.
I am also awaiting high school and university of UWO to review the possibility to have my book be read so young adults can read and recognize in their own behavior what is going on for the high school audience because I think teenage suicide can be part of mental illness being untreated. For college level I hope to have students of social workers, counselors, nurses, psychiatrist, and victim advocate programs be required to read my book to get a better understanding of mental illness and what to do to help people with mental illness.
I had PTSD all my childhood because of parental neglect, molestation, rape, physical, and emotional abuse. I had to survive on my own. I remember the thoughts I had that were against myself no one else but still it scared me because I knew it wasn't me, that was in my teenage years.
I didn't think about violence on another person until I was abused by my, now, ex husband. The abuse got so overwhelming and I started to think of situations where I could kill him. I started to understand why women who were abused are in jail for killing their husbands because they can't deal with the abuse anymore and end up snapping in a psychotic episode. That scared me enough to go to an Domestic Abuse Center to get confirmation that I was being abused. He was so good at telling me what he was doing wasn't abuse that he had the right to treat me and do with me what he did because I was his wife, his property.
I didn't get diagnosed until two years ago. I repressed 32 years of pain before I ended up in the hospital and finally was put on medication after I admitted myself because of my flashbacks, body memories, paranoia because my trauma was overtaking my mental state.
The scary point I want people to know is that I operated normally for 32 years in our society, was a B student in high school, received four college degrees and had a 3.65 GPA, didn't get in trouble, respected teachers and authority, never did anything against the law. I had three children, wife again, had a steady job and had four promotions during my 9 plus years with the same employer. People think that mentally ill people are withdrawn and isolates themselves, not in my case, I was outgoing, loving, would never hurt anyone, very compassionate, a great friend, etc. Or people have a picture in their head of a homeless man walking down the street talking to him self when they think of mentally ill. This isn't always true.
3. Also people think that the gunman in Newton, CT in early stages of investigation wasn't mentally ill because it looked planned out. A person with PTSD have rapid thoughts cycle over and over inside their head and some hear voice telling them to do it repeating over and over again, until they have a psychotic break. For me I knew for myself something was wrong more than anxiety which doctors told I suffered from. I had smells bother me, loud noise bothered me, I thought I smelt my rapist in the house with me when I knew he wasn't.
When I finally got good insurance that was when I started to get help and started therapies that helped me to release the painful memories. Therapies EMDR, Brainspotting, Resource Building, Attachment Therapy, etc.
4. This brings up another problem in our country is health care. There are so many people that reaches out to me after they read my book and tell me about their traumas and how they don't have insurance and cannot get help. There is nothing I can offer them accept for things that helped me cope so they can try it until they are able to get assistance. I feel all people need to get mental illness help because of these shootings and that they are all linked to mental illness.
Teenagers how does mental illness affect our children:
My daughter has PTSD, Bipolar, paranoia and possibility of hearing and seeing things that are not there, the justice system didn't help me until she had a psychotic break at home and threatened to kill herself by taking pills and I stopped her. Then she went into the kitchen where she kept slamming my drawers while looking at my knives on the counter and smiled as I hurried to call the police for help.
She later told the police and doctors that she thought of stabbing me and herself. I had my husband at the start of the break down take my 5 year old out of the house as I waited for police. It felt like it took forever to get help. I had to think about what I would have to do defend myself if she got to the knives or attempted to stab me. She currently is 14 yrs old and 5'8 and I am 5'2 225 pounds. When you are mentally ill you have unbelievable strength. I had been trying to get her diagnosed since she was eight years old and since she didn't have a record, no problems in school no one would help until October 2012, which now she is on medications and finally she is getting help.
We need to fix our system and listen to the parents. My 14 year old daughter was beating on me and her older sister now 17 years old for 6 years before I got her help because they blamed my own mental illness for what she was doing. I told them I felt she was capable of killing me and my family and that I locked my door at night in fear of her killing us in my sleep. I also told them that I could see her committing a tragedy if she didn't get help. They didn't take me seriously. They also didn't take into account that her father let his step son molest my daughters at age 5 and 7 years and it lasted for three years because the police couldn't find evidence so visitation wasn't taken away. Then my ex husband found out from his 9 year old that she was raped by a 15 year old while being unsupervised in the welfare apartments he lived in at the time. He never reported it and she never told me. I found out just a months ago in therapy and then it was reported.
Two years ago the girls lied about me because I was very protective of my girls because of my past traumas. They wanted to live with their dad because they knew they would be able to run the streets because he didn't care where they were during visits. The Guardian at litum and judge allowed him to have full custody because of the lies they told. Their behavior got out of control got into trouble against the law and got on probation. The social worker wouldn't call me when I called to tell of neglectful behavior of my ex husband that my daughters told me on my visits. My Therapist said it is painful but only time will show social services, police etc what the truth is and it did.
They ended up coming back to me and apologized for what they put me through due to their dad's neglect. It all came out that I wasn't the reason for my 14 year old behavior. My 17 year old is not ready to deal with her memories so far she has PTSD but isn't violent but I am watching for signs of the need for help with her.
5. That brings us to another stereotype that people generally have which is that a person with mental illness are not a good parent or can't be trusted or are unreliable. When our mental illness is in control we are wonderful parents and with the coping skills we learn and what we learn about our specific illness we know when we need help and we seek it.
Please go to my website www.silencednolonger.com for information on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder warning signs, my story and book, also therapies I have done to help me, and also resources you can use to get help.
Also there are media interviews I have done about PTSD and my story. Please replay interview below"
Rita Schulte - Fairfax Station, VA - On August 9, 2012, from Heartline Podcast - http://ritaschulte.com/podcasts-heartline-podcast-episode-51-leslie-raddatz/
LA Talk Radio Max Tucci Radio Show - Interview with Max Tucci and Dr. Cathy Zeeb on “Max & Friends” on February 19, 2012. I was interviewed about post-traumatic stress disorder and promoted my book. Replay the show on http://www.latalkradio.com/Max.php. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and choose from the archive.
Ella Sandwell, based in Boynton Beach, Florida, is an author of Good Bye Martha. I was interviewed on April 9, 2012. She did a photo ad with two quotes from the author and links to my website and blog. She followed me on (Facebook, Twitter, FB Fan page). Full promotion on Twitter (and three mentions a week on her radio show).
Barbara Shelton - Arlington, Texas - five day interview, February 28 - March 2, 2012 on her blog http://barbjan10.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/flashbacks-in-post-traumatic-stress-disorder/
Mary Jackson blog interview Blog interview - August 13, 2012