Mental Illnesses vs Evil…and Tragedy

21 Jul

So I know I already posted today… and like 5 minutes ago… but I seriously think of so many things at one time I really don’t know how my brain doesn’t combust lol.

But anyways… I really don’t know how to talk about what I want to talk about, especially since the topic is something that has happened so recently.

My heart is torn for the people of Aurora, CO. The lives lost and the amount of people injured is devastating. Acts of heroism happened during this tragedy as well… people helping others and taking bullets for others. It is hard to think about the fact that life can be taken away so suddenly. All they were doing was going to see one of the most anticipated movies of the season and their lives ended in terror. I can’t imagine what that moment must have been like for them and all those affected.

I wish I could go help all the victims…

My question though… is what would drive a person to do something like this? They have yet to determine his motive in all this. It was obviously extremely premeditated. It seems like he knew his whole plan.. and he knew that he would devastate lives. What grabs my attention about this individual though is that he called himself the “Joker.” They think that he may have taken on the persona of the Joker from the Batman movies. To be honest I’ve never seen any of the batman movies…they just aren’t my taste in movies…but I know the very basic ideas of it all.

What would drive someone to believe that they were like the Joker?

I have a friend who has DID. One of her personalities she named the “Joker.” To be honest I don’t know much about DID either. (Really I don’t know much about anything and really need to do more research now that I have my computer back.) But when she was in this persona or any other it was like she was a completely different person. She never did anything wrong… she was just different. She told me that when she was in her Joker persona that she was not her normal self, but rougher and more forceful than she normally was.

Now the guy responsible for the Aurora tragedy had been planning this for a long time… so I’m not sure if he could have something like DID, because I don’t think (but I really have no clue) you are stuck in that persona for that long of a period.

But really… what if he really did/does have a mental disorder that led him to this?

I guess what I am asking and thinking about is… everyone in our society who does an evil act (not counting terrorists groups)… do they really have mental illnesses? Or are they evil? Or perhaps both? Where is the line? What could make someone do that?

Again.. I really don’t know how to word this… but before I knew what OCD was and that I had OCD… I really thought I was evil. Who would have thoughts like I did that wasn’t an evil person? Of course I fought the thoughts with all of my strength… and I NEVER acted on any of them… they actually say that is what defines an OCD person with harm obsessions… someone who would never act on their thoughts because their compulsions are there to attempt to make the thoughts stop and they spend all their time doing those compulsions.

But what if someone wasn’t as strong as I was? What if someone gave into the thoughts? And they enter into psychosis? Is giving in to the thoughts and entering a psychotic state what makes a person evil? But are all evil people really victims of mental illnesses? And victims to society since there is such a stigma to mental illnesses?

I’m NOT TRYING TO JUSTIFY this man’s actions in any way. It was WRONG. It is one of the greatest tragedies ever. But I’m just trying to understand how someone could do that? To take so many lives… so many innocent victims. Could this have been prevented if he had been more educated about mental illness? (That is if he has one.. but I still don’t understand the difference between psychosis and evil…)

What if he was a victim to mental illness? I mean aren’t there women out there who had PDD and ended up killing their children because of it? An absolutely evil act… but one caused by a mental illness/disorder.

Is that why mental illnesses/disorders are so stigmatized? I just always thought there was a stigma out there b/c I didn’t want people to think I was “crazy”… but one of the ways you can define crazy (according to my MacBook Pro dictionary) is “mentally deranged, esp. as manifested in a wild or aggressive way.” So I guess I never thought about the fact that one of the stigmas could be because people thought people who had mental illnesses were crazy and could cause harm to others. But are they justified in their thinking? If it happens in one case… such as this one? That is if they prove he has a mental disorder.

If he doesn’t have a mental disorder… is he just pure evil? But I have a hard time accepting the fact that someone would want to be evil. Maybe that is just my naivety.

I really don’t know. I’m pretty sure that I’ve just been rambling. But if anyone can understand my thoughts and help me straighten things out… I would really appreciate it.


Posted by on July 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


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3 responses to “Mental Illnesses vs Evil…and Tragedy

  1. prideinmadness

    July 21, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    I have come close to hurting someone and I’m glad I didn’t. i could not explain what possessed me to even try (probably a horrible medication side effect) but it really puts it into perspective what we’re capable of as humans. We chose not to hurt others but we can if we decide to.

    I do not think you need to have a mental disorder to harm others. I think some people are just mean or do not care. I think we associate many murders and other horrible crimes with mental disorders to make sense of it. “Normal” people wouldn’t shoot up a mall so they must be “insane”. The reality is people with mental disorders are more likely to experience violence than commit violence.

    Great post!

  2. amyauthorblog

    July 22, 2012 at 3:06 AM

    You and everyone else (in my opinion) are thinking and questioning the same thing and I thank you for for being so bold and posting your thoughts so that we can all communicate with each other not in a violent way like on live feeds, for example, but just the questions we all are asking, for that I think you are amazing! Wonderful post on a truly tragic event…

  3. logicallyillogicalwithocd

    July 23, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    I definately dont have any answers for you…. because I wonder all the same stuff. Just dont let yourself lose days in looking for the answer because ultimately it is “unknowable”.


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