I am writing this article to show how hard it would be to diagnose a person suffering from mental illness in order to stop mass murders of large groups of people.
During my nursing career, I have worked in several types of medical units but working in critical care units were my favorite units. However, it not only takes education and; dedication, it takes empathy for the patients and their loved ones. For a patient to overcome a critical onslaught against their physical bodies, they must have good mental coping skills.
Once, I decided to take a break from critical care nursing and went to work in a facility that treated mentally unhealthy people and drug addicts. I was extremely surprised to find that there are so many types of mental diagnoses that affect what are so-called average people. These are neurotics,:
NEUROTC BEHAVIOR per Britannia: Neuroses are characterized by anxiety, depression, or other feelings of unhappiness or distress that are out of proportion to the circumstances of a person’s life. They may impair a person’s functioning in virtually any area of his life, relationships, or external affairs, but they are not severe enough to incapacitate the person. Affected patients generally do not suffer from the loss of the sense of reality seen in persons with psychoses.
Serious cases of mental illness were sent to a State Institution for the mentally ill. These people become so mentally ill, it becomes obvious they are a danger to themselves and others. However, they are not usually diagnosed until the disease has progressed to the serious stage.
Once, we had a man who had admitted himself for treatment of serious depression. He was suicidal. He spent weeks in our facility and the doctor discharged him. Staff members agreed he needed no more treatment. However, the minute he was discharged, he secured a gun and shot himself...dead.
His wife sued the doctor for releasing the man too soon. As nurses, we were subjected to a deposition in the case. When it came my turn to give my opinion, I said this: "On a continuum from 0-100, with 0 representing insanity and 100 representing totally sane, the doctor felt the man had moved high enough on the continuum it was safe to discharge him." I went on to say to the group of lawyers in the room. "There is nobody in this room that would be 100."
The point I am making is that there are all types of mental illnesses and afflicted people are at varying degrees of the continuum of mental illness/wellness.
I agree that something should be done, but it would be very hard to accomplish. If the government set up a website/division to take tips about suspicious behavior of someone, the website would crash from badly behaved tipsters. An example I personally witnessed: A woman ran into a fast-food place angry and waving a bag of food. She was screaming, "I asked for a cheeseburger without cheese, and look what I got." (A hamburger!)
I rest my case!