Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Vortex, 2

Ok, this kid, Cho, was beyond the edge -- he'd been living IN the Vortex for a long time, and the system failed to help him or prevent him from hurting others.

It's apparently very difficult in Virginia to get someone psychiatric treatment if they're delusional and refuse treatment. That needs to change. The kid who shot up the police station in Chantilly is another case in point, and there were a number of articles and essays in the Post about how hard it is for the parents of mentally ill kids to get their kids proper treatment; the kids wind up being a danger to themselves and others. This is the latest instance.

The law used to make it possible to commit people who were not mentally ill, which was wrong. But now it's gone too far in the opposite direction. I hope the state of VA takes a serious look at this.

The rant he mailed to NBC is interesting. He targets rich kids and our consumerist culture. That certainly doesn't justify his actions, but it's clear that alienation and bullying aggravated whatever else might have been wrong with his brain.

The opposite of alienation is connectedness/community. He was uprooted at a young age (8) and thrown into a completely alien environment. That's a difficult experience even for kids who don't have mental health issues. Some come through it (Cho has a brother who is, by all accounts, highly successful), but in this instance, maybe it pushed a fragile child further toward being broken.


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