Well the title of this post make it pretty clear what it’s about so I’m not going to give the normal introduction to the idea of the post like I normally would. However before sharing my thoughts on the documentary I’d like to make two things clear : Firstly my thoughts and sympathy go out to all the victims of the massicare. Secondly the comments I make in this post are based on the one case presented in the documentary and the limited information we have been given about it , I want to make this clear because every persons case is different and although some points I make may fall under the catorgory of general mental health treatment everyone should see them self’s as an individual and seek perfessional help if they feel it is needed.
For those of you who don’t know what programe I’m referring to the show panorama ran a documantry or investigation actually I don’t know what they were trying to do! But the program concentrated on the murder James Holmes a man who committed a massicare in a USA cinema in 2012. James has a mental health condition and before the murder was put on an SSRI drug to treat his condition the bbc claim it wanted to investigate if there was a link between the medication james was put on and his intent to murder so they sensitive called their programme the batman killer- a prescription for murder.
I wrote down notes while I was watching the programme and the first thing that struck me was the title a liscence to kill, I understand that titles are meant to be shocking to draw people into the programme but the main reason the title stuck a chord with me was it was partly true this man was given a licence to kill not because of his status of having a mental illness or being on medication but because he was able to buy a gun.
In an American culture I can see how it would be easy to look past this fact but for the BBC a British TV channel that is meant to be respectable and non biased to not even mention that without the gun he would not have had the tools to enable him to carry out the thoughts he was having regardless of weather they were caused by taking the medication sertraline or not.
I say regardless because even though I’d like to hope they didn’t cause him to have thsee thoughts there is a possiblity that the sertraline did cause the thoughts that led him to plot the massicare but as I’m not a qualified perfessional I would not what to speculate whether they did or did not controbite to it.
However I myself have social aneixty and take sertraline and when hearing his feelings about hating human situations sometimes and being shy I could relate. But that relation stopped as soon as I heard he wanted to kill people! As soon as heard this I wrote in my notes”the feeling to kill is not a feeling or symptom of social aneixty it is psychotic ” this was later confirmed by the perfessionals in the documentary but not made clear enough in my opinion, and because of this i would now think twice about reffering to my aneixty as social aneixty because of well people associating me with this terrible act.
Lastly another thing that stood out for me was the terrible practice of doctor who was treating James Holmes. An example of bad prac rice is It was mentioned but again not highlited enough that he was having thoughts of killing people before he was put on the meds as a perfessional she should have recognised that this was not part of his social aneixty so his treatment should have been altered. Another mistake that was made was upping the dose of the SSRI he was on. Even if drugs are not harmful by nature they are powerful substances so if any drug reacts to someone negatively don’t up it whether it’s a physical health problem or a mental one just throwing drugs at the problem is a form of substance abuse and will cause damage of some kind.
There were many more mistakes she made but this post is not about his treatment it’s about the documentary and my main problem with the programme is that it made no effort to be informitive or balanced.
Even if the proggrame aim wasent to give a holstic and fair view on mental health the bbc had a responsiblity to inform ir British audience that the procedure for mental health treatment is very different here and just like we wouldn’t have guns in my ecxpirence we are treated with stricter guidance, I have to have check ups on my medication and how it’s effecting me and with this not bring mentioned it is going to create unnecessary fear that will lead to pejedice and discrimination.
I was willing to give this documentary a chance as like I’ve said we don’t know what effects drugs we are given have our stytem and mental health paticarly is an evolving field so it could have raised some intesting thoughts . But it’s lack of balanced and factual reporting along with not making it revelvant to its British audience can only in my opinion do harm to the thoughts and culture we place on mental health in britian.
I’d just like reiterate that thus case is a very unique case and if you feel you need perfessional help please do!