Monday’s Navy Yard shootings in Washington D.C. reaffirm the need for a better understanding of emotional and mental stability.
It now seems that the shooter, Aaron Alexis was suffering from several emotional and mental problems.
Reports from the major news outlets state that he was possibly suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and even delusional paranoid schizophrenia.
The sad part about all of this is that the thirteen people including the shooter might not have had to die.
It appears that Aaron Alexis had at least on two occasions stated to police and Navy officials that he was hearing voices which is classic delusional paranoid schizophrenia.
There are at least three police incident reports indicating his aggressive behavior of which two involved the use of fire arms; all are preliminary indicators of PTSD.
From what is known, Aaron Alexis had apparently tried to get help from two separate Veteran’s Administration Medical facilities.
If this is the case and his problems were not properly diagnosed, the ramifications are endless and the obvious consequences were horrific.
As a Christian psychologist/counselor this writer will be the first to admit that psychology is not a perfect science; we still have much to learn about the mind and the human psyche as well as the neurological aspects of the brain and as such we can and sadly do have patients misdiagnosed.
Of course with Alexis’s death, nothing is known for certain but from what has been reported, it appears Alexis realized he had a problem and attempted to address the problem.
Although nothing can excuse in any way the horrific actions of Aaron Alexis and his useless killing of twelve innocent people, reports indicate he sought out friendship, medical and psychological assistance and even converted to Buddhism in an attempt to find peace from a spiritual perspective.
There is no psychologist, counselor, therapist or minister who would not agree he was apparently doing everything right to handle his problem.
We might never know what triggered his action or “event” as we refer to it in the mental health care community but this is clearly a lesson to each of us that good mental and emotional health is essential.
We must remember that each of us is simply human and are capable of doing anything at any time and as the old college advertisement says, “The mind is a terrible thing to waste” so we must keep a careful check on it.
The following three check points can help you keep check and stay mentally and emotionally stable: