December 18th, 2012
01:11 AM ET

Inside the brains of violent killers

Dr. Sanjay Gupta discusses research about people with mental illness, the role of medication and how families struggle.

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Sophia Kaid

    My heart goes out to the 26 families suffering unthinkable loss and tragedy. My god give them the courage and tenacity to deal with this ordeal. I hope they continue to receive support and kindness from around the world.

    As a mother of child on the spectrum, my heart grieves for Nancy Lanza. I only hold her responsible for having guns in her house and taking her child to target practice. By most accounts it seems like she was a decent person. Trying to get help and raise a child with "unusual" needs is difficult. There is a stigma and pain that mothers (espeically) blame themselves with. You have that feeling that I bought this child into the world but I dont always know how to help me.

    The system is partly to blame. Schools – thru no fault of their own cannot properly accomodate the needs of these children. You must get a LABEL in order to get help and services for your child. Most professional HEAVILIY encourage the use of medication. Sometimes, its pure unadulterated love and acceptance is what these children need. I don't know what went on with Lanza family – what they dynamics were. They were clearly affluent and priveleged. I am pretty sure they were able to provide Adam material things. However, sometimes social acceptance and interaction is absolutely necessary. There are no records of this child....Looks like he lived a secluded life....

    SADLY IN MANY SOCIAL CIRCLES where children are status symbols – awkards kids are SECLUDED by their families. Along with gun control lets open the dialogue and how we feel our kids.

    Sadly the Columbine kids were from PRIVELEGED FAMILIES TOO.

    December 19, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  2. C. Mentzer

    Dear Dr. Gupta,

    My sincere thanks for being the voice of reason in a media witch hunt against people with aspergers and autism.

    As I weep for the victims in Newtown, my heart is seized with fear and sadness for the millions of innocent autistic people who are being judged and condemed by uneducated reporters and others trying to place blame on something.

    What comes to mind is the Salem Witch trials.


    C. Mentzer

    December 19, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  3. Andrea

    Anderson, I am a mental health professional and I certainly do not know everything, but this evening you said that Aspergers and autism are not mental illnesses, however they are in the DSM IV. Codes 299.80 and 299.00. I just felt it important to clarify that point.

    December 18, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
  4. Tony W.

    What about the effects of violent video games? The studies suggest causal effects for aggression, but are slightly mixed. I believe, like humans, the studiies are highly flawed. Children are coming into contact with viloent content at an ever increasinghg rate, and much like the overt sexuality found in entertainment, and its effects on sexuality in our youth, I believe graphic images of, and participation in ultra violence through video games has to have a serious and negative effect on young people. It may be in part about the availability of guns, but it is more about the psychology. Particularly dangerous in psychologically fragile individuals.

    December 18, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
  5. shan

    I read somewhere that the shooter was subjected to bullying. Yet his horrible crime cannot be justified by any means. Soon after the shooting incident, lots of people started talking about gun control again. Apparently, no one talked about the other side of the story. What or who made this person to do such a horrible crime.
    I am a victim of organized gang stalking. I have been experiencing rude and strange behavior from people in public places. In my case , I experienced workplace mobbing at the very beginning in Denver, CO. Later, It turned out to be community mobbing or gang stalking. If you google it , You will find a lot of articles about organized gang stalking. I am under 24/7 covert illegal surveillance. This is not a conspiracy theory at all. The stalkers ultimate goal is to make the victim isolated from the society. The stalkers do that by sharing victims personal information with friends, family, strangers , co-workers and anyone who comes into the victim's life. The stalkers tells others half truth and twisted lies about the victim. After this point, You realized everyone is rude. Your friends act in a strange way implying you that they know your personal stuff. If anyone tries to help you, the stalkers try to turn them against you by using cheap and evil tactics. For many reasons, most of the people think the victim is paranoid or he/she is suffering from some sort of mental illness. But the truth is the victim is so stressed because of what he/she has been going on for months or years. Unfortunately most of the people who are part of the stalking program do not realize OGS is a slow kill method.I have been going through this for past 2 years now. Could school shooting also be a result of gang stalking? When a gang stalking victim tells others what he/she has been going through, most of other people think the victim is paranoid. It's hard to believe a group of people spend so much time and money just to harass one person. When someone goes through this everyday life and no one believe him, There is a possibility that he/she could end up doing something like this. In my case, at least I have some kinds of support system and some of my friends actually believe what I say. But I don't think everyone can deal stalking situation with patience and responsible manner. Some people may take desperate measures at desperate times. I believe it's important to address gang stalking issue too, if we want to eradicate these types of unfortunate incidents in future.

    December 18, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  6. lynne

    Neuropsychiatric events have been reported in adult, adolescent, and pediatric patients taking SINGULAIR. Post-marketing reports with SINGULAIR use include agitation, aggressive behavior or hostility, anxiousness, depression, disorientation, dream abnormalities, hallucinations, insomnia, irritability, restlessness, somnambulism, suicidal thinking and behavior (including suicide), and tremor. The clinical details of some post-marketing reports involving SINGULAIR appear consistent with a drug induced effect....../////............This is now on the label of the drug that changed my son,it was not on it when we first started taking it FOR ALLERGIES,, while on this drug he was prescribed celexa,lexapro,wellbutrin,none of which unbeknown to me at the time were not approved for use in children.I estimate the amount of money i spent in the side effects caused by this drug to be in the thousands.....He now takes no drugs,its even hard to get him to take an asprin when he is under the weather, and he is fine and well,it is truly a tale of two children.When the FDA made Merck add these side effects to the label,they were also told to add them to the tv commercials...instead they decided to run no commercials,they may say because the drug marketed itself or some other reason,but i believe they just wanted you to figure it out for yourself

    December 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  7. Helle Aarma

    Anderson, I totally changed my mind. You are right about de-emphasizing the shooter's name. I apologize. Having a Yale education you certainly are not unaware. You surprise me with how much you know on so many matters! It causes many of us to wonder where in the human heart is this the capacity for this sort of action? The horoic young teachers and beautiful children will never be forgotten, and hopefully there will be changes in school security, gun laws and more vigilance watching for signs of mass killings potential.

    December 18, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  8. lynne

    The holes in the system are huge,everyday children fall through the cracks,i needed to access the system for my child,and was appauled. Every time i hear of another one of these stories,i say "there by the grace of god go i".I am happy to write that we are a success story,not through anything the medical industry did for us,but another mother going public as to what a medication had done to her child.The pieces all fell together for me then,and just like humpty dumpty,against all odds i was able to put my child back together,and a nightmare that lasted three years is behind us.He is now in college and thriving,i no longer worry everyday as to what will happen.

    December 18, 2012 at 9:25 am |
  9. Teresa Mullins

    We all talk about guns.....Why not talk about bringing GOD back in school....when I went to school in the seventy we said a silent of prayer each morning.....what can we do to bring GOD back ...but it's strange when things happen all religion comes together.....I want God back in school not guns

    December 18, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • Samantha

      What good will to do to bring God back into schools? Please do tell me where was your "God" was when Lanza started shooting innocent children?

      December 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
  10. gywn phillips

    While we discuss mental illness in children, we must include the toxic food they eat! Some people get flu-like symptoms from MSG, for example, while others go bazerk! MSG is only one chemical, but probably the worst, and is now hidden in every food item on the grocery shelf. If it says "natural flavors", MSG is its main ingredient!

    Think about the rise in mental health problems in the last few decades and compare it to the rising level of known carcinogens in consumer products and worse in our toxic food products. Also, compare these stats with food quality in the other civilized nations whose teen violence stats are much lower!

    But, hey, corporate greed will just create another chemical to mask the effects of the ones that are causing our kids to flip in the first place! It's the American way!

    December 18, 2012 at 2:53 am |