Mental illness play role in Colorado shootings?
Psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow weighs in
- Duration 7:34
- Date Jul 23, 2012
Psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow weighs in
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Well this morning we got our first glimpse of the man allegedly behind one of the biggest shooting massacres in American history.
-- 24 year old James Holmes appeared in court today not speaking a word to the judge or to his defense attorneys based on camera.
This is the daily news uncovers new details about his actions in prison allegedly spitting at guards acting erratically.
So how did this once brilliant graduate student allegedly turn into a cold blooded killer.
Doctor keep out there was a psychiatrist and a member of a Fox News medically team pack -- -- just speaking with our last panel about how.
This is what we do in the wake of these tragedies because we I think struggle.
As a mere mortal to understand these acts and it reminds us of our own mortality of the mortality of those we love.
And we feel desperate to put answers on these circumstances so that we can say will.
Will understand it better will work to prevent it and it won't happen to any of us in the future and yet.
Is that a futile effort.
It's not a fuel effort because there are holes in the mental health care system.
And in the student health care system on college campuses and in graduate schools.
Big enough to drive.
No pun intended a mad man through.
We can tighten up to a great extent the sensitivities.
That we need in order to identify people at risk for violence.
And in order to prevent that by rendering them needed services.
The reports on this -- are that he was a Ph.D.
He was described as very Smart but in the process of dropping out of graduate school.
He is said to have few friends.
Barely any social life and they say he allegedly lost touch with reality after becoming obsessed with video games.
Including role playing -- something called world of war craft we you compete against people on the Internet the point is.
It seems like he was getting more and more with fraud.
To the point -- -- -- I don't know what this means but when his mother was contacted about the incident on Friday she reportedly said to the to the reporters.
You have the right person I need to call the police and -- out -- Well it I'm sure you know when we know more about his mother if she comes forward and says what she's been dealing with with her son when we talked to his father.
When we talk to neighbors are here with they have to say around him.
When we listen to student health services or academic -- about his performance and his teachers and his fellow students.
It won't be any mystery anymore that here was a brilliant.
Would be healer.
Trying to research mental illness and look at the DNA -- associated with mental illness.
Who would devolve into madness now what could the variable be schizophrenia.
Can strike people of this age.
Drug abuse and addiction can intervene.
Bipolar disorder can do this other delusional disorders can.
I'm not saying that those were the were present here but they certainly could be.
And they can do this and I've seen them do this I've worked with patients who labor with delusions and and thankfully.
Gotten them the help they need but they got to my office.
I get other calls from schools that just don't make sense.
People asking me you know well you know this person he's he's he's -- a cemetery in and that -- the tombstone to other students names on them.
That you think we should refer him to someone.
Like well yeah that's a five -- question absolutely why is that confusing.
To a mental health center on campus.
I wanna get into the his age because it's so often these guys who do this are about the same age and we see something appear to be on -- in early twenties but before I get to that let's just talk about what's on court this morning.
With his demeanor -- he was you know struggling to keep his eyes open or so we would have us believe he seemed dazed.
And may be confused looking at a far off -- direction or he would have us believe I don't know whether this was real or an act.
But what are we to make of what we saw in court this morning.
Wolf first of all I think people internally we'll say boy that's the guy who who caused all this carnage.
It seems like a non sequitur he he seems not very powerful.
Well he he may in fact be one of the weakest people you've ever met your life and subject to all kinds of psychiatric symptoms that have -- -- low possibly.
Now in terms of his demeanor he may have been medicated.
While in jail that's possible.
He he may in fact be coursing in and out of different states of consciousness.
Literally attending to voices that he years.
And therefore at one time.
Seeming not to be able to attend the things they're gonna have to answer the question is -- even able to Kate capable.
Two -- -- attorney in his own defense is -- capable standing trial to start with.
But listen they should get an MRI -- this guy they should look for could it be a brain tumor could he have an infection that invaded a central nervous system.
Everything needs to be looked at here because as you've already said Megan and you're exactly right.
-- why we don't have the why and we need it and we might be able to get it and the answer might be sadly psychiatric illness.
Just a few years ago he was giving a presentation at this science event and talking about how he wanted one data -- all.
-- don't own a slipping machine -- wanted to make scientific discoveries.
Got exclusive rights to the video they've given us permission to run some of it do we have a controller take -- take a look.
But he seems so normal this clip and it's available on ABC news dot com folks but.
He seemed so normal he seems like as sweet kid you know he's smiling and -- -- sounds.
Like any anybody else how in the course of just a few years did he go from -- To this redheaded guy we saw in court and why does -- keep happening with these 24 year old I want to tell our viewers.
You know you got he had -- often are the -- -- -- -- real Giffords shooting massacre 22 Virginia Tech shooter.
Some which show 23 this sky 24.
Those -- of prime time for severe mental illness is to take hold of probably also prime time when stress -- in life in terms a job -- career exacerbate.
Underlying questions about self esteem and trigger mental illnesses.
You're more exposed to drugs one could argue than you might be as an adolescent or even as an older adults so it's and that.
-- a terrible had a word sweet spot if you will.
For mental illness taking hold so that may be one reason that could also indicate well maybe we want to screen people -- they're talking about.
You know not having as many guns in society which has nothing to do with this maybe you wanna say maybe we should be screening college students.
For psychopath apology after all you have to turn up with you know immunization records to go to grade school.
Maybe it's okay to screen for psychopath -- -- freshman entering call cash.
I I literally have forty seconds and -- break if you can quickly.
Why -- does it feel like there's so many of these these days.
And it feels like they're more because there are more it's not just media coverage.
People are losing touch with their real sensibilities.
Their capacity to deal with things in a real and genuine way because their emotions aren't available to them too much technology too many drugs and we're losing sight of deploying psychiatric -- is my profession is half full of massive holes.
Doctor Abdullah thank you -- --